Policy 402A - Safe and Sick Leave for Full-time Administrators

Section: Time Off
Policy Number: 402A
Responsible Office: HR/HR Services
Effective Date: 4/1/14
Revised: 5/5/18; 11/7/19; 7/31/20; 9/30/20; 6/9/22

(Adapted from policy #402)

SCOPE

This policy applies to full-time administrators. Administrators on a Reduced Schedule are eligible for paid safe and sick leave on a prorated basis, depending on their schedule. Part-time administrators should refer to policy #402C.

USES OF SAFE AND SICK LEAVE

Administrators may use safe and sick leave on a continuous or intermittent basis for their own care and treatment or the care and treatment of a family member (defined below), and to seek assistance or take other safety measures if the employee or a family member may be the victim of any act or threat of domestic violence or unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking.

“Family member” is defined as including spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or the child or parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, any other individuals related by blood to an employee or any other individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Examples of permissible uses of safe and sick leave include:

  • An employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for preventive medical care. 
     
  • To care for a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or who needs preventive medical care.
     
  • When the University is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or when an employee needs to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
     
  • Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other services program; 
     
  • Participate in safety planning, relocate, or take other actions to protect the employee’s safety or that of the employee’s family members, including enrolling children in a new school;
     
  • Meet with an attorney or social service provider to obtain information and advice related to custody; visitation; matrimonial issues; orders of protection; immigration; housing; discrimination in employment, housing, or consumer credit.
     
  • File a domestic incident report with law enforcement or meet with a district attorney’s office; and
     
  • Attend civil or criminal court dates related to any act or threat of domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking.

Employee notice: When an employee’s need to use sick or safe leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide his or her immediate supervisor seven days’ notice. When the employee’s need for safe or sick leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice to his or her immediate supervisor as soon as practicable.   

ALLOTMENT OF SAFE AND SICK LEAVE

A. The Orientation Period

During an administrator’s first three months of employment (Orientation Period), they can use a maximum of 56 hours of safe and sick leave for their own care and treatment and for the care and treatment of a family member, unless additional leave is provided by law.  

B. The First Year of Employment 

During an administrator's first year of full-time employment, they can use a maximum of one month (140 hours), of sick leave for their own care and treatment. Up to 56 hours of this time can be used for the employee's own safe leave, or for safe and sick leave for a family member, unless additional leave is provided by law.  

C. After One Year of Employment

  • After one (1) year of full-time employment, an administrator who is incapable of performing the essential functions of their position because of an illness or disability, even with a reasonable accommodation, shall be eligible to receive a maximum of six (6) months paid leave, provided that there is compliance with the requirements of this policy. An administrator’s use of sick time may be continuous or intermittent, as necessary, but shall not exceed a total of six (6) months in any 12-month period, unless additional leave is provided by law. 
     
  • After one (1) year of full-time employment, the administrator’s use of safe leave shall not exceed 56 hours, and the use of safe and sick leave for a family member shall not exceed 56 hours, unless additional leave is provided by law. 

If the administrator receives governmental disability or any similar benefits during a period of paid safe or sick leave, the administrator shall be paid the difference between the benefits received and the benefits provided above. 

Each calendar year, a full-time administrator has a maximum of 56 hours that can be used for employee safe leave and for a family member's safe and sick leave, unless additional leave is provided by law. Each request for safe or sick leave must be for a minimum increment of at least one hour, provided such minimum increment is reasonable under the circumstances.

Accrued and unused safe leave and family sick leave may be carried over into the next calendar year (January 1 – December 31), but use of such leave in a calendar year may not exceed 56 hours, except where provided otherwise and except where additional leave is required by law. Upon separation from employment, any unused safe and sick leave shall have no monetary value and will not be paid out.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

Supervisors are responsible for tracking safe and sick leave, in consultation with the Employee Benefits Office.  

For absences of five or more consecutive workdays, full-time administrators are required to submit to the Employee Benefits Office documentation from a licensed medical provider or, in the case of safe leave, reasonable documentation from a social services provider, attorney, law enforcement, clergy member, or notarized letter by the employee indicating the need for safe leave. The documentation from a licensed medical provider must attest to both the existence of a need for sick leave and the date on which the administrator is “cleared” to return to work. The documentation for safe leave must indicate the need for safe leave. Documentation provided by an employee will be maintained in the employee’s confidential benefits file.  Documentation shall not include confidential information regarding the nature of any medical condition or of any domestic violence/sexual offense matter requiring the use of leave under this policy.

Failure to provide documentation when requested may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. 

CONTINUATION OF BENEFITS

Paid safe and sick leave provides continuation of a full-time employee’s salary and benefits during periods of absence from work for the purposes specified above. Paid sick time does not guarantee that the employee’s position will be held open during the period of absence or that the employee will be reinstated to active employment when the employee returns to work.

During periods of safe or sick leave, regular deductions, including those for fringe benefits, shall continue to be taken from the employee’s salary. 

For information concerning time off from work for purposes other than illness or disability, refer to additional policies in the Leave and Time Off sections of the Human Resources Policy Manual.

COMPLIANCE AND NON-RETALIATION

In the event of a conflict between this policy and a law that provides greater leave benefits to the employee, the law providing the greater leave benefits shall apply.  The University cannot require that employees or a health care or service provider disclose personal health information or the details of the matter for which an employee requests sick or safe leave, unless disclosure is required by law.  The University shall keep information about an employee or an employee’s family member obtained solely because of the Paid Safe and Sick Leave law confidential unless the employee consents to disclosure in writing or disclosure is required by law. 

Employee misuse of safe or sick leave, including unapproved absences after exhausting safe or sick leave, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Retaliation against any employee for appropriate use of sick or safe leave is unacceptable and strictly prohibited. Any employee who feels he or she has been retaliated against should immediately report the matter to Human Resources. Employees also have the right to file a complaint with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

For more information on the NYC paid safe and sick leave law, refer to the Notice of Employee Rights that was provided to you, and to the Frequently Asked Questions published by NYC Consumer Affairs. 

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual