Skip to main content

Policy 613 - Sick Leave

613. Sick Leave


The University's sick leave program provides salary continuation for eligible employees during periods of illness, injury, or medical disability such as maternity or periods of post-surgical recuperation. In the event employees are medically disabled for extended periods of time and a medical leave of absence is required, available sick leave will be coordinated with Short Term Disability Insurance, Workers' Compensation, Santa Clara University's Long Term Disability plan, and/or Social Security, as applicable.



Consistent with California law, all employees who work at least 30 days a year are eligible to accrue sick leave per the accrual rates and maximums as detailed below.

Accrual Rates

·Benefits Eligible Staff: Non-exempt benefits eligible staff who are paid on an hourly basis will receive an accrual based on the number of hours worked each pay period, at a rate of 1 hour per every 21.67 hours worked.Exempt benefits eligible staff who work full-time will accrue sick leave at the rate of four hours per pay period.Exempt benefits eligible staff who are working less than full-time will accrue sick leave on a pro-rated basis based on their percent FTE. Sick leave may be carried over from year to year and accrued to a maximum of 640 hours.Sick leave is credited each pay period and is reflected on the employee's wage statement.

·Non-Benefits Eligible Staff:Non-benefits eligible staff who work at least 30 days a year from the beginning of their employment accrue one hour of sick leave per every 30 hours worked.Sick leave may carry over from year to year and may be accrued to a maximum of 48 hours.Up to 24 hours of paid sick leave may be used per year.Sick leave is credited each pay period and is reflected on the employee's wage statement.

Accrual Periods

Sick leave accrues from the first day of employment and continues during periods of work, sick leave, vacation, and other periods of paid leave. Sick leave does not accrue for hours worked on an overtime basis or during an unpaid leave of absence.

Use of Sick Leave

Sick leave may be used when an employee's illness, medical disability (e.g., maternity, post-surgical recuperation) or injury prevents the employee from working. Employees may use sick leave when it is necessary to be away from work for less than one full day due to medical or dental appointments scheduled during the employee's working hours.Employees may also use sick leave for absences resulting from being a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.Non-benefits eligible staff may use up to 24 hours of accrued sick leave per year.

Sick leave may also be used when illness, injury, medical or dental appointments in the employee's close family require the employee's absence from work. Close family is limited to the employee's spouse or person who stands in substantially the same relationship, children or legal guardians or wards of the employee or spouse, parents and parents-in-law, parent surrogate, brothers and sisters of the employee, grandparents and grandchildren of the employee, and any other dependent family members living in the employee's residence. Use of sick leave for this purpose may not exceed 10 working days per calendar year for benefits eligible staff or 24 hours per calendar year for non-benefits eligible staff.

Holidays and Sick Leave

Benefits eligible staff:If a University holiday falls during a period of paid sick leave, it will be paid as a holiday rather than a day of sick leave.

Non-benefits eligible staff:Sick leave cannot be used on days the employee is not scheduled to work, such as days off and University holidays.

Illness or Injury During Vacation

Benefits eligible staff:If an employee becomes ill or is injured while on scheduled vacation, this period of time may be charged to accumulated sick leave.

Non-benefits eligible staff:Sick leave cannot be used on days the employee is not scheduled to work, such as days off.

Coordination with Disability Plan Benefits

An eligible employee who has met the disability waiting period is required to apply for the appropriate disability benefits. During disability periods for which benefits are payable from the Short Term Disability Insurance Plan, Workers' Compensation, Social Security Disability or Santa Clara University's Long Term Disability plan, accumulated sick leave must be used to supplement such disability plan benefits up to the employee's regular pre-disability net pay. If all accumulated sick leave has been paid, an employee may elect to use accumulated vacation to supplement these plans.

Approval of Sick Leave

In most instances, a conversation between employee and supervisor is sufficient for the approval of sick leave pay. The supervisor who approves the use of sick leave by an employee is responsible for determining if the conditions for use of sick leave are met. In some circumstances, medical certification may be required.

Doctor's Release/Medical Certification

To insure the health and safety of the employee who plans to return to work after an approved short or long-term disability leave of absence, an employee will be required to provide medical certification and/or undergo a fitness for duty exam verifying that the employee is able to return to work. This verification must be provided by the attending physician or a University-designated physician. The employee must present the verification to the supervisor and the Department of Human Resources. Certifications must include the capacity in which the employee can return to work.


Upon termination of employment, the employee's accrued sick leave balance will not be paid to the employee. When there is a change in employment status affecting eligibility for sick leave a record will be kept of any sick leave balance so that it can be re-credited if the individual becomes eligible for leave within one year of the change in status.


If an employee separates from employment and is re-hired by Santa Clara University within one year from the date of separation, any previously accrued and unused sick leave shall be re-instated.If an employee previously in a benefits eligible position is hired into a non-benefits eligible position within one year from the date of separation, any previously accrued and unused sick leave shall be re-instated, up to a maximum of 24 hours.

No Retaliation

Retaliation or discrimination against an employee who requests paid sick days or uses paid sick days is prohibited.


Employees should inform supervisors whenever their need for leave may be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or other local jurisdiction's laws. Supervisors are responsible for determining when a request for leave is covered by this sick leave policy, and if so, promptly informing the employee. In addition, supervisors are generally responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of this policy and the applicable federal, state, and local laws.

The Department of Human Resources is responsible for interpretation and administration of this policy.


Refer to the Family and Medical (614), Pregnancy Disability (622), and Industrial Disability (615) leave policies for procedures related to specific leave applications. Contact the Department of Human Resources for more information regarding this sick leave policy.

Policy Approved: October 23, 1998

Last Updated: June 13, 2015

Last Reviewed: June 30 2022

Maintainer: Human Resources

Back to Top