4.3 Sick Leave/Personal Leave

4.3 Sick Leave/Personal Leave

The Institute grants paid sick leave to employees to guard against loss of earnings due to illness. Sick leave is not part of salary or wages to which an employee is entitled regardless of need; it is not payable upon termination, except in some cases upon retirement (see 4.3.15 below).

Supervisors have the principal responsibility for the proper and consistent application of the sick leave policy. Abuse of sick leave in any form can have serious impact on the morale and effectiveness of all members of a group or office.

4.3.1 Notification of Absence

An employee must notify his or her supervisor on or before the first day of absence due to illness in order to be paid for sick leave. In cases of prolonged illness, employees are expected to keep their supervisors informed at regular intervals of their condition and their anticipated date of return to work, so that work may be properly scheduled or reassigned.

4.3.2 Paid Leave for Medical Examination and Care

It may be necessary from time to time for an employee to seek medical care during working hours. The circumstances of each incident determine whether the time away from the job should be paid as time worked or should be charged to sick leave balances. Please see Section 4.7, Paid Leave for Medical Examination and Care, for the complete statement of this policy.

4.3.3 Medical Certification

The supervisor is responsible for the equitable administration of the Institute's sick leave policy, and may require medical certification from an employee's (or family member's) physician indicating that the employee is unable to work because of the employee’s or family member's illness, before the sick leave is paid.

4.3.4 Illness During Vacation

Ordinarily, illness during vacation is not counted as sick leave. However, if any employee has a serious accident or extensive illness which destroys the intended benefit of the vacation, the supervisor should discuss the matter with the Human Resources Officer for the department to consider whether sick leave should be granted, and part or all of the vacation rescheduled.

4.3.5 Sick Leave for Disability Associated with Pregnancy or Childbirth

Disabilities associated with childbirth will be treated as any other disability with regard to payment for sick leave in accordance with applicable sick leave policies. See Section 4.5.1, Leave Related to an Employee’s Own Serious Health Condition (including Pregnancy and Childbirth). See also Section 4.6, Parental Leave.


Sick leave balances for eligible employees are credited on the employee's anniversary date (date of hire) of each year and are to be used only in cases of accident or illness as described in Section 4.3.7, Use of Sick Leave, and for medical or dental examination and care as described in Section 4.7, Paid Leave for Medical Examination and Care. Other needs for paid leave must be met through the use of personal leave (Sections 4.3.17 - 4.3.20), or vacation leave (Section 4.2). For use of sick leave in cases of work-related accidents, see Section 4.8, Industrial Accident and Workers' Compensation. Sick leave balances may be verified in the department.

4.3.6 Amount of Sick Leave

Full-time and part-time employees will be credited with 12 days of sick leave on the employee's anniversary date of each year, provided that they:

  1. work at least 50% of a regular work schedule, and
  2. have completed at least six months of service at the Institute.

New employees are credited with one day of sick leave after completing each of the first six months of employment. At the end of the first six months of service, employees are credited with one additional day of sick leave for each month remaining until the employee's next anniversary date.

Unused sick leave may be carried over and accumulated to a maximum of 192 days. Sick leave is paid at normal straight-time rates, plus any applicable shift differential, and must be reported on attendance records as required by the Institute' s payroll policies for non-exempt personnel.

4.3.7 Use of Sick Leave

Sick leave is to be used in cases of accident or illness of the employee, and medical or dental examination and care. (See Section 4.7, Paid Leave for Medical Examination and Care). In addition, an employee may use up to three days of accumulated sick leave every year to care for a sick family member, such as a child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or other member of the household, and for their medical or dental examination and care.

4.3.8 Holiday Within Sick Leave

If a recognized Institute holiday falls on a regularly scheduled work day during a paid sick leave period, the day is paid as a holiday, and is not counted against sick leave allowances.

4.3.9 Vacation Accrual During Paid Sick Leave

Employees absent from work on paid sick leave continue to earn vacation at their normal rate.

4.3.10 Payment of Sick Leave to Part-time Employees

Part-time employees who work at least 50% of a normal work week on a fixed schedule (an established number of hours per week on a predetermined schedule), and who have sick leave hours accumulated, will be paid for absence due to illness during the normally scheduled work hours. Hours worked outside the regularly scheduled hours will be paid without regard to such sick leave payments.

Part-time employees who work at least 50% of a normal work week on a variable schedule (an established number of hours per week with no predetermined schedule), and who have sick leave hours accumulated, will be paid for absence due to illness in an amount not to exceed the difference between the number of hours scheduled and the number of hours actually worked during the week. No sick leave payments will be made during any week in which the actual number of hours worked equals or exceeds the number of hours scheduled.

4.3.11 Adjustment of Sick Leave Balance to Reflect a Change in Normal Work Week

The accumulated sick leave balance of an employee whose schedule changes from one normal work week to another is adjusted proportionately for the balance of the months remaining to the employee's next anniversary date to reflect the new work schedule. The adjusted balance should not exceed 192 days of sick leave.

If an employee changes to a less than half-time schedule, he or she will retain any sick leave balance already accumulated after the normal adjustment has been applied, but will no longer accrue sick leave after the effective date of the change in hours.

Sick leave balances will not be reduced for employees who change their normal work week from a greater to a lesser number of hours after reaching age 65.

4.3.12 Sick Leave Credit to Support Staff for Exempt Service

Support Staff employees who have changed from exempt status without interruption in Institute service will be credited with four days of sick leave for each year of service at the Institute, up to a maximum of 192 days. In such cases a "day" equals one-fifth of the normal work hours scheduled per week. Credit given for years of exempt service may not be applied to the payment of accumulated sick leave at the time of retirement (see 4.3.15 below).

4.3.13 Adjustment of Sick Leave Following Leaves of Absence

Absences for leave without pay for a Support Staff employee which exceed a total of 22 working days during a given year (anniversary date to anniversary date) will result in a reduction of the sick leave balance at the rate of one day for every 22 working days of absence during the prior year, whether or not the days of absence were consecutive.

4.3.14 Reinstatement of Sick Leave Balance to Rehires

Previously accumulated sick leave balances are not reinstated in the case of the reemployment of a former employee, except for laid-off employees who are rehired within two years of their lay-off date.

4.3.15 Payment of Sick Leave Balance at Retirement

Retiring employees who have a minimum of 300 hours of unused sick leave to their credit on their normal or early retirement date, whichever the case may be, will be paid upon termination at their regular straight-time rate for one-half of the total hours credited. Sick leave credit will be computed as follows for the purpose of this provision:

  1. the total hours standing to the employee's credit at his or her anniversary date of the year preceding retirement, plus
  2. one day of sick leave credit for each month of service during the year in which the employee retires, minus
  3. sick leave used between the employee's previous anniversary date and date of retirement.


4.3.16 Sick Leave Policy for Administrative and Sponsored Research Staffs

There is no formal method of sick leave accrual or accounting for members of the Administrative and Sponsored Research staffs. A reasonable number of justifiable absences are paid in full. Extreme cases of extended illness or accident will be treated on an individual basis, with due regard to length of service at the Institute and other relevant factors, and may be paid for the duration of the absence up to but not normally exceeding a period of six months. Cases extending beyond six months will be reviewed for purposes of determining eligibility for Long-Term Disability Plan benefits. Medical evidence may be required when, in the opinion of the supervisor, the need is indicated by the pattern of sick leave usage or the period of absence. Department Heads are responsible for reporting a continuous absence greater than one month to the Human Resources Officer for their department for review.


4.3.17 Personal Leave for Support Staff

MIT's policy on personal leave is intended to provide Support Staff with flexibility in their work situations by allowing paid time away from work to accommodate personal needs which otherwise would have to be charged to vacation balances.

4.3.18 Amount of Personal Leave

Under this policy, regular Support Staff who are scheduled to work at least 50 percent time and who have completed six months of service at the Institute, may use up to three days of their sick leave accrual each year for absences associated with personal situations such as home repairs, or legal or financial business, which necessitate short-term absences. Employees may also use all or part of their personal time for the illness of a family member, in addition to the three days from their accrued sick leave that they may use for family illness, as noted in 4.3.7 above, Use of Sick Leave. Employees in their first year of service will be permitted to take personal leave following the completion of six months of employment up to a maximum of 25 percent of the total number of hours of sick leave credited to the employee for that year of service.

Employees who have exhausted their sick leave balance have no personal days to their credit. However, as of the employee's anniversary date of each year, employees may use up to three days of their newly credited sick leave accrual balance of twelve days as personal leave.

In the case of a Support Staff member whose normal work week changes in a way that affects his or her sick leave balance, credit for personal leave is prorated according to the resulting adjustment in the sick leave balance, so that no more than 25 percent of the year's sick leave credit is taken as personal leave. In the event that use of personal leave has exceeded the adjusted maximum, no retroactive changes will be made.

Personal leave time not used prior to an employee's anniversary date in a given year will not be accrued as personal leave, but will be carried forward as sick leave in accordance with the current policy up to a maximum total of 192 days. As in the case of sick leave, there will be no provision for payment for personal leave balances upon termination from the Institute except in the case of retirement as provided for under current sick leave policies. (See Section 4.3.15, Payment of Sick Leave Balance at Retirement.)

4.3.19 Notice of Absence

In keeping with other leave policies, Support Staff will be required to obtain the approval of their supervisors to be absent on personal leave on a given day or part of a day. It will normally be expected that employees will obtain this approval at least three working days in advance of the planned absence. No explanation of the reasons for the absence will be required except when emergency situations cause employees to seek approval for absences on shorter notice.

4.3.20 Reporting Personal Leave

Personal leave may be taken in less than full-day periods and should be reported to the nearest quarter of an hour. As in the case of regular sick leave, payment will be chargeable to departments in the same account distribution as provided for in normal salary charges.

4.3.21 Personal Leave for Administrative and Sponsored Research Staffs

Members of the Administrative and Sponsored Research Staff are not compensated for time worked in excess of their regular schedules because their duties are judged to satisfy the criteria established under the Federal Wage-Hour Law for exemption from the overtime pay requirements of the Law. They are expected to take professional interest in the work under their supervision or in the projects in which they are engaged and, when necessary, to fulfill the requirements of their positions without regard to the number of hours worked. Accordingly, these employees should be extended privileges with respect to occasional absences from work, and allowed to take time off without loss of pay or vacation credit for personal reasons or for needed rest and relaxation after working long hours of overtime.

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