Policy 402C - Safe and Sick Leave for Eligible Part-time and Per Diem Employees, Adjunct Faculty and Students

Section: Time Off
Policy Number: 402C
Responsible Office: HR/HR Services
Effective Date: 4/1/14
Revised: 5/5/18; 11/7/19

Scope

This policy applies to eligible part-time and per diem administrators, part-time staff, adjunct faculty, graduate students and regular undergraduate student workers.  This policy does not apply to independent contractors and employees compensated by or through federal work-study programs or qualified scholarships. 

Uses of Safe and Sick Leave

Eligible employees can 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 Sick and Safe Leave

Part-time and per diem employees, adjunct faculty, graduate students and regular undergraduate student workers (non work-study) who work for the University for at least eighty (80) hours per calendar year accrue one (1) hour of paid safe and sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked, up to a maximum of forty (40) hours of paid safe and sick leave per calendar year.  These employees may not begin to take their accrued safe and sick leave, continuously or on an intermittent basis, until after 120 days of employment.

Any unused portion of sick and safe leave carries over to the following calendar year; however, no more than forty (40) hours of paid sick and safe leave may be taken during any calendar year, unless additional leave is required by applicable law.  

Upon separation from employment, any unused sick and safe leave shall have no monetary value. 

Documentation Requirements

Supervisors are responsible for tracking sick and safe leave accurately on employees’ timesheets by indicating Sick/Personal Leave and including comment in online timesheet or department timekeeping system.  

For absences of more than three (3) consecutive scheduled work days, employees may be 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 employee 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. 

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 safe leave.  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 paid sick time 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