Regent Policy Documents



(Formerly 73-10)

The Board adopts the following System Sick Leave Policy for Faculty and Academic Staff as the Board Guidelines on the implementation and administration of Ch. UWS 19, Wisconsin Administrative Code (effective 3/1/76):

Absences of faculty and academic staff of the University of Wisconsin System because of personal illness, injury, or pregnancy, as well as attendance on the children or spouse of a staff member whose condition requires the staff member's direct care, will be subject to the following leave policy, effective June 8, 1973. The policy is applicable, without regard to extent of appointment, to all faculty and academic staff, other than graduate assistants or visiting faculty, who are covered by sick leave provisions at their home institutions. (Faculty assistants, lecturers and instructors with teaching responsibilities shall be accorded the same sick leave provisions as members of the faculty. Visiting faculty whose home institutions do not provide for sick leave shall also be covered by this provision.)

Accumulation of Leave: Staff members whose initial appointments are for nine months or more shall be granted 22 working days (i.e., Monday through Friday, exclusive of holidays) of leave which they may draw upon as required by illness, injury, disability, or pregnancy. After 1½ years of service, additional non-lapsing leave is earned by such members at the rate of one day per month for persons holding annual appointments, six days per semester and four days per quarter for persons who hold academic year appointments with a maximum annual accumulation limited to not more than twelve days. Unused sick leave shall accumulate from year to year in the staff member's account.

If a staff member takes sick leave, the rate of sick leave compensation shall be the rate of salary which the staff member would have normally received. Other than the 22 days of sick leave granted to the staff member upon appointment, sick leave may be taken only after it has been earned (i.e., it may not be anticipated). A staff member utilizing paid sick leave continues to accumulate sick leave during the period of absence. However, a staff member shall not accumulate sick leave while on an unpaid leave of absence. Previously accumulated sick leave shall not be affected by unpaid leaves of absence.

Pro-ration of Accumulated Sick Leave: Initial entitlement and accumulation of sick leave as specified in the preceding section assumes full-time appointment of nine months or more. Part-time appointees have an initial entitlement, earn, and are charged sick leave in proportion to the extent of their appointment.

Allowance for Past Service: On the effective date of this policy, University of Wisconsin System staff members whose appointments are normally for nine months or more shall have an initial accumulation totaling the amount of sick leave the individual would have accrued during previous years of service if this sick leave plan had been in effect less a debit of two days per year of service.

Cancellation and Reinstatement: If a staff member leaves employment within the University of Wisconsin System , unused sick leave will be terminated but will be reinstated if the staff member is reappointed to any position within the System within three years.

Relation of Sick Leave to Income Continuation Insurance: When a staff member becomes eligible to receive compensation under income continuation insurance, sick leave benefits are no longer applicable to that illness.

Faculty with Teaching Responsibilities: In any semester in which a faculty member who has teaching responsibilities is entitled to use sick leave, the provisions of this policy shall be modified as follows:

  1. If a faculty member's duties are assumed by colleagues for the duration of the semester, as has been the traditional way of covering teaching responsibilities, the absent individual will not be required to use sick leave until the end of the semester in which the absence began.
  2. If a replacement is appointed to assume the faculty member's responsibilities he or she must use sick leave.

Whichever of the above situations occurs during the semester in which the absence commences, the absent staff member will be required to use sick leave thereafter.

Use of Sick Leave for Medical Absence That Can Be Anticipated: In order to minimize disruption of the academic program and the attendant demands on students and staff, a member of the faculty who has teaching responsibilities and who expects absence under this policy during an upcoming semester may, with two months advance notice, elect to receive a combination of paid and unpaid leave for the entire semester. Such leave will be taken only at the option of the faculty member, but the university may require proof at the time two months notice is given that the anticipated absence cannot be arranged so as to avoid interruption of teaching duties. Under this clause the faculty member may receive the sick leave benefits for which he or she would have been eligible had the staff member remained on duty up to the time of disability. Other portions of the semester not covered by sick leave will be on leave without pay.

Leave for Maternity Purposes: Provisions governing maternity leave do not differ from policies governing other temporary disabilities. A teaching or non-teaching staff member may opt to continue her normal duties through pregnancy using accumulated sick leave as needed for prenatal, delivery, and post delivery care while physically unable to perform her duties. Thereafter, she may take additional consecutive days or the remainder of the semester as unpaid leave at her option.

A member of the faculty with teaching responsibility, alternatively, may opt to

receive a combination of paid and unpaid leave as provided in "Use of Sick Leave for Medical Absence That Can Be Anticipated." In such cases it shall be understood that the timing of pregnancy cannot be "arranged" under the meaning of this policy.

In the semester after the one in which delivery occurs, irrespective of her medical condition, the staff member shall be granted, upon her request, leave without pay for the semester. In the case of non-tenured faculty members such leave will not be counted in the calculation of probationary time. A female staff member who anticipates taking leave for maternity should so inform her chairman or supervisor as early as possible. (Either parent may receive such leave in the semester following the birth of the child. However, if both parents are employed by the University, only one may receive such leave for child care.)

Sick Leave During Summer Session: Staff members whose basic appointments are for nine months or more and who teach in the summer session may qualify for sick leave in the summer session, provided inception of the illness occurs on the first or subsequent day of the summer session. Visiting faculty, if not covered by sick leave provisions at their home institutions, are covered during the summer session provided their appointments at the university extend for at least nine months in addition to the summer session term. Exceptions to this policy regarding sick leave during the summer session may be made, on behalf of the members of the permanent faculty only, at the discretion of the chancellor.

Exempted Staff Members: Many members of the University of Wisconsin-Extension staff hold joint appointments with Wisconsin counties. It has been customary for most such individuals to observe the vacation and sick leave policies of the counties in which they are based. Provisions of this sick leave policy do not apply to faculty and academic staff members who elect to observe the sick leave policies of a county. However, the University System sick leave policy does apply to county-based staff members who elect to receive coverage under income continuation insurance for which a state contribution is made.

Records: Each department or equivalent unit shall maintain records of sick leave entitlement for its faculty and academic staff members.

Exceptions: Nothing in this policy shall terminate benefits or commitments previously made to persons absent for medical reasons on the effective date of this policy.

Terms: In this policy, the word "days" refers to "working days." The word "semester" in this policy shall be interpreted to include "quarter" or any other institutionally defined time period. For the purposes of this policy, faculty assistants, lecturers, and instructors with teaching responsibilities shall be accorded the same sick leave provisions as members of the teaching faculty. Visiting faculty whose home institutions do not provide sick leave shall also be covered by the provision.

History: Res. 506 adopted 6/8/73; amended by 75-9. (See also Policy 20-6 and Unclassified Personnel Guideline 10.)

Return to the policy index

The Regent Policy Documents were adopted and are maintained pursuant to the policy-making authority vested in the Board of Regents by Wis. Stats. § 36. The Regent Policy Documents manifest significant policies approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This document is a ready reference for those charged with carrying out these policies. Unless noted otherwise, associated documents and reports may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, ph 608-262-2324.