Recognizing the diverse needs of employees in balancing their work and personal lives, the College has structured its sick leave policy to help employees better meet these needs. This policy provides a measure of protection against the worry and financial problems that may accompany illness or injury. Employees may charge their own medical appointments (i.e. physicians or dentists) to sick leave. In addition, it provides employees the opportunity to care for a sick family member or to deal with an emergency or personal business that they may not otherwise be able to take care of except during their normal work schedule (see Sick Leave/Personal Time for more information).
In the event you cannot report to work, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible.
Accrual of Sick Leave
If you work a minimum of 20 hours per week for the academic year, fiscal year, or more than the academic year but less than the full fiscal year, you are entitled to accrue sick leave earned at the rate of 1.25 working days for each full month of continuous service up to a maximum of 15 working days a fiscal year. A regular working day is calculated by dividing the total hours in your normal work week by the five days of a normal work week.
New employees are not eligible to use sick leave until they satisfactorily complete 90 calendar days of continuous service, at which point, the accrual of sick leave will be retroactive to the date of employment.
If you are sick on days that you are not scheduled to work, you are not eligible for sick leave pay for those days.
If you are an academic year employee who does not work during the summer, or if you are on approved unpaid leave of absence, you do not accumulate sick leave during absences. However, you do retain leave previously accumulated.
The unused portion of your sick leave at the end of any fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) is carried forward into the next fiscal year, provided that the total accumulated amount carried forward does not exceed 130 days. You will not receive payment for unused sick leave when you terminate your employment with the College.
If you are a temporary employee, or if you work less than 20 hours per week, you are not entitled to paid sick leave.
General Rules about Sick Leave
Accrued sick leave may be used for your own illness or when you are on a qualified Family and Medical Leave to care for your spouse, daughter, son, or parent.
You may charge absence for illness exceeding the amount of earned sick leave against your accumulated vacation leave. Absence for illness exceeding combined earned sick leave and earned vacation time will, if approved by your department head, be entered as leave without pay. Please refer to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy for extended absences due to your own health reasons (serious health condition) or that of your immediate family members.
If you are absent on paid sick leave and a College holiday should fall within the period of such authorized sick leave, the pay for the sick day which coincides with the holiday will be charged to holiday pay instead of to paid sick leave, if you meet all other eligibility requirements for holiday pay.
If you are on vacation and become ill, you may, with the permission of your department head, charge such sick days during your vacation to any paid sick leave you have accrued. However, the extension or rearrangement of your earned vacation must also be approved by your department head.
The College may require a statement from a physician, in case your illness extends beyond three working days or occurs while you are on vacation and you wish to use sick days rather than vacation days. The statement must give the nature and probable duration of the illness. Also, in order to protect both you and the College, a physician's certification may be required before you can return to work.
The College will try to hold open, for a reasonable period, the position of a person on extended sick leave. However, re-employment after an extended sick leave may require changes in assignment, duties, or schedule. Please also refer to the Family and Medical Leave Act.
If, after six months' time, you are still unable to return to work because of illness or injury, you would be eligible to apply for Total Disability Benefits which, if approved by the insurance company medical reviewers, would guarantee you a monthly benefit for as long as you are certified disabled by the insurance company, up to age 65, or according to provisions of the Total Disability Plan after that age. Please refer to the Total Disability section of this handbook for provisions of the plan.
Notice of Employee Rights (with instructions for MHC employees)
Beginning July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employees have the right to earn and take sick leave from work.
Employees may use up to six (6) of their accrued sick days per year to care for sick family members or for other personal business/emergencies. The intent of this policy is to provide employees with some flexibility with their sick leave to help them to tend to personal business or emergencies which, by their nature, conflict with their normal work schedule. Personal emergencies are generally the types of things for which we cannot plan, i.e. a sick child, a tree falls on your house, and your boiler breaks down. We also deal with other personal issues that conflict with our workday. For example, parent/teacher conference, closing on a mortgage, car accident and dealing with your insurance company. This policy allows the employee to deal with the emergency or personal issue and return to work when the emergency is resolved. We encourage staff to discuss needs for time off with supervisors and coordinate, as best as possible, around the needs of the department operation and personal needs.
Leave Donation Policy
The Leave Donation policy has been established at the request of employees to provide the opportunity to assist fellow employees in the event that a catastrophic illness or injury has caused them to exhaust their accrued leave banks. The intent of this policy is to augment, not replace, the current leave policies of the college. There is no guarantee that donated time is available or provided.
Voluntary donations may be made from an employee’s vacation bank to the Catastrophic Leave Bank. This bank will be administered through Human Resources as part of the administration of FMLA.
Employees may elect to donate time from their accrued vacation bank. An employee may donate up to 50% of the expected annual vacation accrual to the Catastrophic Leave Bank. Only accrued time is available for donation, that is, time cannot be donated in advance of being earned. These donations are irrevocable. Donations at year end must be completed by May 1. Days donated are based on the donor’s regular work schedule. That is, 7.5 or 8.0 hours per day for a full time employee, pro-rated hours for part time employees. The minimum donation is the hourly equivalent of one work day for the donor.
The Benefits Manager, in consultation with the recipient’s supervisor, will act as the clearinghouse for processing donated leave. Time will be added to the recipient’s leave banks, as needed, on a payroll by payroll basis and will not exceed 50% of the recipient’s normal work schedule.
Employees are eligible to receive donated time for the timeframe of FMLA or an approved extension of leave.
Criteria for Eligibility
- The employee must have exhausted all of their leave banks before donated time will be applied.
- The employee must not be receiving compensation from other employment or worker’s compensation.
- FMLA is activated and will run concurrently with any leave – paid or unpaid.
- FMLA is activated for the care of a spouse, parent, child or self. Child birth or adoption will not qualify for leave donation eligibility.
- Donations will not be used to cover FMLA used on an intermittent basis.
- The employee will continue to accrue leave during any period for which they receive pay. This accrual will be used each pay period as it becomes available in addition to any donated time
- The employee must complete a written request for donated time.
- The employee must have a positive attendance record in order to receive donated time.