|Applies to:||Original Policy Date:||Date of Last Review:||Approved by:|
|Full-time and part-time faculty and staff||November 1, 2015||July 2022||Dr. Marco Carvalho
Executive Vice President and Provost
Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources
The Sick Leave Bank at Florida Tech has been established to help protect employees from financial loss during times when they are unable to work because of illness or injury or when they must attend to other medical needs or the medical needs of an immediate family member and whose sick, personal, and vacation leave have all been exhausted.
All benefit-eligible employees
The Sick Leave Bank program is a voluntary, confidential program created to provide its members the opportunity to remain in full-pay status and to provide continued pay deductions for payment of benefit premiums when all accrued leave has been exhausted. This program may be used during most employee or immediate family medical situations in accordance with policy guidelines.
Eligibility and Contributions for the Sick Leave Bank
- Eligibility: Employee participation in the Sick Leave Bank is strictly voluntary. During the annual Sick Leave Bank enrollment period, any employee in a position that earns sick leave may enroll in the Bank provided that other eligibility requirements are met. Participation in the Sick Leave Bank requires completion of the Sick Leave Bank application for Enrollment, which will be available during the Bank enrollment period. An employee already on sick leave will be allowed to join the Bank. However, enrollment must be in accordance with eligibility requirements and during initial or designated Sick Leave Bank Enrollment periods.
- Initial Contribution: The minimum initial contribution required to join the Sick Leave Bank is 8 hours of accrued sick leave. The maximum initial contribution is 120 hours of the employee’s accrued sick leave. The employee must have a minimum of 80 hours of unused sick leave remaining after making the initial contribution to the Bank. Enrollment effective date will be the first day following the end of the Sick Leave Bank enrollment period.
- After Initial Participation: Employees may continue to contribute to the Sick Leave Bank each year by donating a flat number of hours during the Sick Leave Bank Enrollment Period. However, such contributions are not required to remain a Member. Sick leave may not be advanced for the purpose of contributing to the Bank. Should the balance of the Bank be reduced to less than 100 hours, a special enrollment period will be opened to replenish the Bank. Employees will be given ten days written notification of the special enrollment period and each employee in the Bank will be given an opportunity to donate. If the Bank has not been sufficiently replenished following special enrollment, the University reserves the right to dock each Member of the Bank 16 hours of sick time in order to keep the Sick Leave Bank operational. Written notice will be sent to the Members prior to this occurring.
- Withdrawal from Membership: An employee may withdraw from membership during the annual Sick Leave Bank Enrollment Period. Sick leave already contributed to the Bank will not be returned to the employee.
- Reenrollment: Reenrollment will be allowed during the annual Sick Leave Bank Enrollment Period. An employee who wishes to re-enroll will be required to make an initial contribution amount of at least 8 hours; regular enrollment rules apply.
- Contribution: Once a contribution is made to the Sick Leave Bank, it becomes the property of the Sick Leave Bank and is not refundable to the donor.
Withdrawal of Sick Leave from the Bank
- Member requests to use the Sick Leave Bank should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.
- A participating employee may withdraw sick leave from the Bank only after all of the employee’s accrued sick leave and vacation leave has been depleted.
- A participating employee who uses sick leave from the Bank will not be required to recontribute such sick leave to the Bank. All leave accumulated while drawing hours from the Bank shall be applied towards the leave in progress before continuing to draw time from the Bank.
- Any sick leave drawn from the Bank may be used only to cover time when the employee is certified as unable to work. Withdrawal of leave from the Bank will require, in all cases, a physician's statement testifying that the employee is unable to work or stipulating the incapacitation of the employee’s family member. “Unable to Work” certifications must meet the definitions of an allowable absence as stated in the Family and Medical Leave Policy.
- No more than 150 hours may be withdrawn by a Member within any twelve-month period. The maximum number of hours a Member may withdraw from the Bank is 300 within any four consecutive years of employment. The intent of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide coverage for extended periods of continuous incapacitation, rather than for short term illnesses. Therefore, the minimum length of time a member must be certified as unable to work in order to be eligible to draw from the Bank is five consecutive days (40 hours). Members shall not be permitted to withdraw fewer than five days from the Bank for any given incapacity, unless such days closely follow the same or a related illness that has depleted five days of accrued sick leave.
- Sick Leave payments will be coordinated with any payment the employee may receive from a third-party vendor, such as Short or Long-term Disability, or Workers’ Compensation. An employee may not receive more hours in sick leave and vendor payments than the total of their standard weekly base wages. For example, if an employee receives 66 and 2/3% of their weekly wages in Short-Term Disability, they would only be eligible for 33 and 1/3% of Sick Leave Bank wages for that week.
- Pregnancy and Childbirth shall be an eligible basis for withdrawing leave from the Bank, but only for such period of time that the employee is certified by a physician as physically unable to work. Sick leave may not be withdrawn from the Bank for the purpose of childcare or bonding. The requirement that all of the employee's accumulated sick and vacation leave must be depleted shall apply.
- If the Member is not capable of making written application, the Leave Specialist with the Office of Human Resources may make the application on behalf of the employee.
Reasons for Denial of Sick Leave Bank Benefits
- A contractual employee is limited to drawing time from the Bank for duty days according to the employee’s contract. Individuals cannot utilize the Sick Leave Bank during those times not covered by their base contract.
- A part-time, sick leave-eligible employee is limited to drawing from the Bank for duty days according to the employee’s normal work schedule.
- The Sick Leave Bank should not be construed as a guarantee of continued employment. The Sick Leave Bank is designed solely to provide supplemental income should the employee require assistance, and any reference to job protected leave will be noted within the Family and Medical Leave Policy. Furthermore, an employee will not receive Sick Leave Bank payments past the maximum leave allowed under the FMLA Policy.
- The Bank does not cover cosmetic or reconstructive surgery which is not the result of an injury, illness, disease, or congenital defect. Such injury, illness, disease, or congenital defect must have occurred or manifested itself while the employee was a member of the Bank.
- Medical condition, incapacity, or disability due to surgery which is not medically necessary shall not be covered under the Sick Leave Bank.
- Employees with previous misuse or abuse of the program will not be eligible to enroll.
- Benefits will be denied once the request exceeds the maximum allowable 150 hours per year per Member.
- Benefits may be denied for other reasons as determined by the Sick Leave Bank Committee.
For definition of Immediate Family and information about permissible use of sick leave, please see the Sick Leave Policy.
Administration of the Sick Leave Bank
- Administration: Operation of the Sick Leave Bank will be monitored by the Sick Leave Bank Committee acting in an advisory capacity to the Vice President of Human Resources. All applications for use of the Bank will be considered in the order in which they are received based on date and time stamping. The Vice President of Human Resources will provide the committee’s recommendation to the President’s Office. Upon approval of an employee’s application, the Vice President of Human Resources or designee shall notify the employee and the employee’s supervisor.
- Verification of Eligibility: The Office of Human Resources will verify eligibility of the employee.
- Sick Leave Bank Committee Composition: The Chair of the Sick Leave Bank Committee will be the Vice President of Human Resources. Composition of the Sick Leave Bank committee shall be representatives from the following areas:
- Benefits Manager/Wellness and Leave Specialist
- Exempt/Managerial staff representative
- Faculty Senate representative
- Staff Advisory Committee representative
- Non-exempt/Hourly representative
- Duties and responsibilities of the Sick Leave Bank committee include, but are not limited to:
- Reviewing, interpreting, and making recommendations for updating the rules for the Sick Leave Bank.
- Reviewing individual cases involving requests or questions concerning utilization of the Bank.
- Investigating any suspected or alleged abuse of sick leave by participants in the Bank. Recommending action in the event of a finding that a violation of the Sick Leave Bank rules or the intent of this program has occurred.
- Monitoring trends in participation and use of the Sick Leave Bank to assure its continued viability and capacity to meet the participants' needs for extended sick leave.
- Application of Benefit: The Vice President of Human Resources shall direct the Human Resources staff to deduct the contributed amount from each Member of the Sick Leave Bank and credit that amount to the Bank, as well as deduct from the Bank to credit the approved amount of sick leave to the applicant/recipient.
Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action which may include, but is not limited to, the requirement to repay sick leave or forfeit pay as deemed appropriate by the Vice President of Human Resources and removal from Sick Leave Bank membership.