Policy UL-AC01 Libraries' Faculty Sick and Medical Leave (Formerly UL-HR01)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Introduction 
  • Criteria 
  • Short-Term Absences
  • Long-Term Absences
  • Charging Vacation in Lieu of Sick Leave
  • Sick Family Leave
  • Absence From Work for Parental Leave
  • Notification and Documentation Requirements
  • Faculty Who Began Employment in the University Libraries Prior to November 4, 2002
  • Additional Resources
  • Cross References


To state the University Libraries’ position on absences for medical reasons for Libraries’ full-time faculty.


Faculty in the University Libraries do not have work schedules strictly tied to the academic calendar, and therefore, are treated similar to staff in that they accrue vacation. Faculty are different than staff in that they do not maintain a sick leave balance, and paid sick leave requires prior approval in certain situations, as outlined in this policy.

Medical leave for Libraries’ full-time faculty is subject to the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as well as University guidelines found in Human Resources Guidelines 11 (HRG11), “Family and Medical Leave.”


Examples of absences chargeable as sick leave:

  • when the faculty member is unable to perform his or her duties due to illness or injury
  • when routine appointments with a physician, dentist, optometrist, etc., last a half day or more, provided it is not possible to schedule the appointment on the faculty member’s own time
  • when tests or other medical procedures require an absence from work for more than half of a day


Short-term absences are defined as absences that meet the criteria above and last at least half of a day but do not exceed three (3) working days. Short-term absences do not require prior approval to be paid. Absences of three (3) or more working days are considered to be long-term absences (see Long-Term Absences' section below) and require prior approval.

Although faculty members do not maintain a sick leave balance, they are expected to record absences that meet the criteria above and that last a half day or more on their attendance record.


Long-term absences are defined as absences from work that meet the criteria above and last three (3) or more working days. Paid sick leave for long-term absences requires prior approval of Absence Management. Requests for medical leaves for a long-term absence due to illness, with or without compensation, must include verification from a physician or other health professional for review by Absence Management. The duration of a leave is typically determined in accordance with the guidelines below:

Long-Term Absences
Length of Continuous Regular University Service at Beginning of Absence Length of Paid Leave* Maximum Length of Total Leave Granted (Paid + Unpaid)
Less than 1 year Up to 1 month Up to 3 months
More than 1 year, but less than 2 years Up to 3 months Up to 6 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 2, but less than 5 years Up to 6 months Up to 9 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 5, but less than 10 years Up to 9 months Up to 12 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 10 years Up to 12 months Up to 15 months, but not less than 3 months
More than 15 years Up to 12 months Up to 18 months, but not less than 3 months

*The above limits can be changed, at the discretion of the Dean, for extenuating circumstances, such as those that may have a negative impact on the retention of the faculty member and/or the operations of the department or University Libraries.

If, at the end of the approved paid portion of the leave of absence the faculty member is still unable to work, or the total amount of leave requested and approved extends beyond the applicable paid leave limit, then additional absences, at the option of the faculty member, shall be charged to accumulated vacation. If the faculty member expends all accumulated vacation, or elects not to charge the absence to accumulated vacation, the faculty member shall be granted a leave of absence without pay normally not to exceed the maximum length of total leave granted limits listed above. An employee may request vacation donation upon expending all accrued vacation and paid sick leave, subject to eligibility provisions.


If a faculty member is charging sick leave and the faculty member’s vacation accumulation reaches the maximum, the employee can charge vacation accumulation instead of sick leave, so that vacation earnings are not lost.


A faculty member may use up to 80 hours of sick leave per calendar year to care for a sick family member. Family member as used in this policy shall be defined as those whom the employee considers as family. The care provided may include such activities as bed-side care, accompanying the family member to a doctor's appointment, and emotional support. (See also HRG11, Family and Medical Leave.) 


Since faculty members in the University Libraries earn vacation time and have sick leave available to them, Guideline HR106, Paid Parental Leave for Staff Employees applies. Faculty may use sick leave up to six weeks immediately following the birth of the child by the faculty member. Additionally, Libraries full-time faculty are eligible for Paid Parental Leave under HR106. Any leave desired beyond this would fall under the terms of HRG11, Family and Medical Leave.


Owing to documentation requirements imposed by the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a faculty member shall notify their supervisor as soon as practically possible about medical absences.

In order to ensure compliance with FMLA regulations, Absence Management shall be contacted by the faculty member or the faculty member’s immediate supervisor when any of the following occur: 

  1. A faculty member has missed three days of work for the same reason/condition; or
  2. A faculty member discloses a medical condition or indicates they are seeking diagnosis or treatment from a physician.

Although faculty members do not accrue sick leave, they are expected to record short- and long-term absences on their attendance record. 


An employee who meets the eligibility criteria to leave the University as a retiree as outlined in University policy HR54 is eligible to receive 1/4 the cash value of the employee's unused sick leave accruals, not to exceed an amount equal to 136 hours of pay. All sick leave payout amounts are calculated using the employee's full-time base pay or hourly rate.


The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Guide

HR54 – Continuation of Group Insurance after Age 60, Age 65, and after Retirement or Death

HR106 – Paid Parental Leave for Staff Employees

HRG11 – Family and Medical Leave

Effective Date: January 1, 2024

Date Approved: November 8, 2023 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • January 2024 - Expansion of family sick time and sick leave pay-out to mirror updates to HR34; Editorial updates for clarification.
  • August 2021 - Revised "Fixed-Term" to "Non-Tenure Track" to comply with suggested language from the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Office.
  • February 2018 - Categorization changed from UL-HRG to UL-ACG to reflect new PSU Academic Policy classification
  • December 7, 2009 – Addition of guidelines on absences for childbirth; clarification of short- and long-term absences; sick family leave, and payout of sick leave for retiring faculty who began University Libraries' employment prior to November 4, 2002.  
  • August 8, 2006 – Editorial
  • September 19, 2005 – Addition of guidelines on length of paid leave based on length of continuous regular University service
  • November 4, 2002 – Supersedes February 1990 policy
  • February 1990 – New policy

Last Review Date:  October 2023