HR - Sick Time - CA

Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include California staff only. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. 

The ability of Emerson College to provide quality education for students and to excel in all of its endeavors depends on the attendance, punctuality and general reliability of its employees.  Accordingly, Emerson College expects employees to demonstrate a professional work ethic in this regard. However, the College also recognizes that employees will need days off from work to address medical needs and thus provides eligible employees with paid sick time.   

Policy Guidelines

Eligibility

Regular full-time and part-time staff employees working 20 hours or more are immediately eligible.

Part-time staff employees working less than 20 hours and temporary staff employees who have worked 30 days in a year are eligible.

Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Staff Working 20 Hours or More

Sick Time Accrual and Maximums:

Regular Full-Time and Part-Time Staff Working 20 Hours or More

Length of Employment Amount of Sick Time
 Upon hire through 5 years of continuous service

 1.25 days per month to a maximum of 90 days

 Pro-rated for part-time based on full-time accrual of 1.25 per month

 5 years or more of continuous service

 2.50 days per month to a maximum of 90 days

 Pro-rated for part-time based on full-time accrual of 2.50 per month

 

Annual Sick Time Usage: Regular full-time and part-time staff working 20 hours or more per week employees receive generous sick time benefits and maximums and are expected and trusted to use discretion, good judgment and to demonstrate a professional work ethic when scheduling and/or using sick time.  Staff employees may use up to half of their annual sick time accrual to care for children, spouses/domestic partners and parents or parents of spouses/domestic partners.

Part-Time Staff Working Less Than 20 Hours Per Week & Temporary Employees

Sick Time Accruals and Maximums: California requires employers to provide all eligible employees with sick time accruals if they work at least 30 days in a year, including part-time staff employees working less than 20 hours per week and temporary staff employees. 

Part-Time Staff Employees working Less Than 20 Hours Per Week & Temporary Staff Employees

Length of Employment Amount of Sick Time

Upon hire and as long as staff employees work at least 30 days in a year

1 hour for every 30 hours worked to a maximum of 72 hours

Annual Sick Time Usage: In accordance with state and/or local law, part-time staff employees working less than 20 hours and temporary staff employees may accrue a maximum of 72 hours/9 days.  Part-time staff employees working less than 20 hours per week and temporary staff employees may use up to 56 hours/7 days of sick time per year for their own personal illness and half of this accrued time to care for children, spouses/domestic partners and parents or parents of spouses/domestic partners.

Sick Time Accrual Availability and Parameters

  • Staff employees may begin using sick time upon eligibility, as necessary, and in accordance with this policy.
  • Non-exempt, hourly staff employees may use sick time in (15)-minute increments.
  • Exempt, salaried employees must use sick time in half-day or full-day increments.

Absence Reporting and Documentation

For foreseeable absences, staff employees must provide their supervisors with no less than seven (7) days’ notice, when possible.  Staff employees who are absent from work must notify their supervisor by either phone, email or text at least two (2) hours prior to the beginning of their work period each day that they are absent or as soon as they are able. If staff employees are unable to reach their supervisors, they must contact their division or department head. 

Medical certification is required after five (5) days of consecutive absence due to illness or injury and/or if there appears to be an abuse of sick time, unplanned time or pattern of absences. If the medical certification contains confidential medical information, employees may provide this information to their HR Business Partner or the Leave of Absence administrator in lieu of their supervisors. Employees must inform their supervisors that the documentation is with HR and direct the supervisor to contact HR about the status of the medical certification.    

Appropriate Use of Sick Time

  • Staff employees’ own illnesses, injuries or medical conditions (physical or mental health related) that require home care, professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventative medical care.
  • Staff employees’ routine medical appointments.
  • Care for the psychological and physical effects of domestic violence.
  • Staff employees may use up to half of their annual accrued sick time to care for their child, spouse, life partner, parent, sister, brother, grandparent, and the immediate family of the employee’s spouse or life partner with illnesses, injuries or medical conditions (physical or mental health related) that require home care, professional medical diagnosis or care or preventative medical care or the routine medical appointments for employees’ children, spouses or parents. A child is any child who is the biological child of the employee, who is adopted by the employee or whom the employee supervised on a day-to-day basis and for whom the employee is financially responsible.

Staff employees may use sick time for reasons above and are expected and trusted to use discretion, good judgment and to demonstrate a professional work ethic when using sick time. Staff employees who demonstrate a pattern of sick day utilization before or after a weekend, vacation or holidays may be required by their supervisors to provide medical verification of allowable reasons. Staff employees may not use sick time during their last week of employment without medical verification of allowable reasons. Staff employees may be subject to corrective action or other adverse employment action for inappropriate use of sick time under this policy.

Sick Time and Federal (FMLA) and/or State Leaves

Sick time will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Pregnancy Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, California’s domestic violence law and other applicable state and federal laws.  

Shared Sick Bank Program

Regular full-time and part-time staff employees working more than 20 hours per week may participate in the Shared Sick Bank Program.

Sick Time and End of Employment

Accrued, unused sick time is not paid to exiting staff employees.  

Other Information

Related Policies

Key Offices to Contact 

Please contact Human Resources for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.       

Links to Procedures or Forms

Not applicable

Definitions

Full-time equivalent (FTE): An FTE is a unit to measure employees in a way that makes them comparable although they may work a different number of hours per week. The unit is obtained by comparing an employee’s regular number of hours worked per week to the regular number of hours of a full-time employee. A full-time employee is counted as one (1) FTE (40 hours). A part-time employee is provided an FTE number based on the number of hours worked relative to a full-time employee for example; based on a 40 hour work week, a 20-hour employee would have a 0.5 FTE.  

The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment.  This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.

Policy Effective Date:  May 2019