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

(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.

Use of Safe and Sick Leave

Administrators may use safe and sick leave on a continuous or intermittent basis for the care and treatment of themselves or 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’ written notice. When the employee’s need for safe or sick leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide his or her immediate supervisor as much written notice as possible.  

Allotment of Safe and Sick Leave

A. The Orientation Period

During the administrator’s first three months of employment (Orientation Period), the use of safe and sick leave for the employee or a family member shall not exceed five (5) total days, unless additional leave is provided by law.  

B. The First Year of Employment 

During the first year of full-time employment, the administrator’s total use of sick leave for themselves shall not exceed one (1) month, the use of safe leave for themselves shall not exceed five (5) days, and the use of safe and sick leave for a family member shall not exceed five (5) days, 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 regular duties of his or her job because of an illness or disability shall be eligible to receive a maximum of six (6) months paid sick leave, provided that there is compliance with the requirements of this policy, and provided further that the University’s payment for sick leave shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the administrator’s annual base salary.  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 provide by law.
     
  • After one (1) year of full-time employment, the administrator’s use of safe leave for themselves shall not exceed five (5) days, and the use of safe and sick leave for a family member shall not exceed five (5) days, 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, the use of safe leave for the employee shall not exceed 40 hours, and the use of safe and sick leave for a family member of the employee shall not exceed 40 hours, unless additional leave is provided by law. This 40-hour safe and sick leave balance is replenished at the beginning of each calendar year.  Upon separation from employment, any unused safe and sick leave shall have no monetary value.

Documentation Requirements

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

For absences of more than five (5) consecutive work days, 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.

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, refer to the Notice of Employee Rights and to the Frequently Asked Questions published by NYC Consumer Affairs.

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