RCUH Policies and Procedures
of the University of Hawai‘i
3.640 RCUH Sick Leave
It is the RCUH’s policy to provide continuing income during periods of absence from work due to illness or injury to eligible employees.
s Person Responsibilities
A. RCUH Employee
1. Comply with attendance procedures set forth by the Principal Investigator.
2. Notify Principal Investigator or authorized designee (immediate supervisor) within one (1) hour of the time she or he is scheduled to start work of any illness/injury resulting in absence from work. If the need for sick leave is foreseeable, provide Principal Investigator or authorized designee with prior notice in a manner which is reasonable and practical.
3. Notate sick leave on the Employee Time/Leave Certification Form.
B. Principal Investigator
1. Ensure that attendance procedures (i.e., call-in requirements, leave requests, changes in work schedule) are clearly communicated to each employee. Enforce and monitor attendance procedures.
2. Submit sick leave on RCUH Online Timesheet.
3. Request and collect physician’s certificate when required.
4. Comply with procedures described below for any matters relating to sick leave.
This policy applies to RCUH regular-status employees who work 50% FTE or more. This policy will also provide Principal Investigators and Project Administrators with a set of guidelines governing sick leave administration.
IV. Details of Policy
4. Submit written certification from a physician, or other approved supporting documentation, to substantiate your sick leave absences of five (5) or more consecutive workdays (or equivalent of one (1) workweek) within one (1) pay period or between two (2) consecutive and connecting pay periods. Partial days are considered one (1) day in the 5-consecutive-day count. Physician’s certification is also required each time sick leave is used for the employee’s own medical appointments.
A. Eligibility Requirements
Eligible employees begin earning sick leave hours upon hire and may begin using earned
sick leave on the first day of the following pay period in which hours are earned.
For example, a 100% FTE employee is hired on January 1 and accrues seven (7) hours in the 1/01–1/15 pay period. The seven (7) hours may be used in the 1/16–1/31 pay period.
B. Definitions Relating to the Sick Leave Policy
1. Service hours are defined as:
a. Regular FTE hours
b. Paid holiday hours
c. Other paid leave hours, except as described below in i)
2. Total Hours in Pay Period are defined as number of workdays and paid holidays in a particular pay period multiplied by eight (8) hours per day.
3. Available Sick Leave Balance is defined as the sick leave balance as of the end of the pay period prior to the commencement of the sick leave.
C. How Sick Leave Is Accrued
1. Sick leave is calculated and accrued on a semi-monthly basis.
2. Sick leave hours are accrued based on the following formula:
Service Hrs in a Pay Period x 7 Hrs Total Hrs in Pay Period at 100% FTE
3. Accrual calculations are rounded to the closest 0.25 hour.
4. Sick leave accruals are based on the employee’s FTE. At 100% FTE, an employee will not earn more than fourteen (14) hours (or 1.75 days) of sick leave for each full month of service, regardless of the number of positions held or hours worked.
5. An employee will accrue no more than twenty-one (21) days or 168 hours (at 100% FTE) per calendar year (January 1 through December 31).
6. Regular employees who are less than 100% FTE will earn a prorated amount based on their FTE (calculated to the nearest 0.25 hour).
7. Sick leave will accumulate without limit.
8. Employees will continue to accrue sick leave while on an extended paid leave (i.e., sick leave, vacation, etc.).
9. Sick leave shall not be earned and accrued on:
a. Any period of unpaid leave;
b. Time off while receiving long-term disability benefits or workers’ compensation;
c. Overtime hours or premium compensation pay;
d. Hours worked above employee’s FTE.
D. How Sick Leave Is Administered
1. Sick Leave Applied to Family Leave: Sick leave credits used in accordance with Policy 3.660 RCUH Family Leave will be deducted from the accumulated sick leave balance.
2. Sick Leave and Workers’ Compensation: Sick leave may not be applied to absences due to disability covered under workers’ compensation at an employee’s non-RCUH employment. Sick leave may not be used to supplement or substitute for workers’ compensation benefits (except if a 3-day waiting period is required).
3. Sick Leave and Medical Appointments (e.g., Doctor’s Visits, Dentist’s Visits, Medical Tests): Sick leave may be used to attend the employee’s own medical appointments, such as doctor’s visits, dentist’s visits, and medical testing, with the Principal Investigator’s approval. However, employees are encouraged to schedule appointments outside of their scheduled work hours whenever possible. The employee will be required to obtain a physician’s certification to substantiate these medical appointments and submit to their Principal Investigator. The Principal Investigator and/or RCUH reserve the right to verify an employee’s attendance at these appointments at any time. If the leave is taken to assist or accompany family members at such medical appointments, vacation must be used. If the leave is taken to assist a family member who has a serious health condition, see Policy 3.660 RCUH Family Leave for further details.
4. Transfer of Accrued Sick Leave Credits Due to Project Account Changes: An employee’s earned sick leave balance is automatically transferred to his/her current project account(s).
5. FTE Changes: When an employee’s FTE decreases below 50%, the accrued sick leave balance will be placed on “hold“ and may not be used until the employee’s FTE increases to 50% or more.
6. Sick Leave of Less Than One (1) Hour: Sick leave of less than one (1) hour per day is not allowed. Fractional hours beyond one (1) hour may be granted, provided that the units are in 1⁄2-hour (30-minute) increments.
7. Holidays: Holidays which fall within the paid sick leave period shall be paid as holiday leave for all regular employees in accordance to Policy 3.344 RCUH Holidays, Holiday Pay and Administrative Leave with Pay.
8. Employee Exhausts Available Sick Leave: If an employee exhausts his/her accrued sick leave, he/she will be paid with accrued vacation leave. If the employee does not have any accrued vacation leave, he/she will be placed on Leave of Absence Without Pay. This requirement (e.g., first exhausting sick leave, then exhausting vacation, then going on leave of absence without pay) does not apply to leave if taken in accordance with the Hawai‘i State Family Leave Law (see Policy 3.660 RCUH Family Leave for details).
E. When a Doctor’s Note Is Required
1. Written certification from a physician to substantiate the employee’s disability must be submitted to his/her Principal Investigator for sick leaves of five (5) or more consecutive workdays within one (1) pay period or between two (2) consecutive and connecting pay periods.
2. Any sick leave hours within a workday (constituting a partial sick day) are counted as one sick day in terms of the policy’s 5-consecutive-days rule to determine if a physician’s certification is required.
a. Example: The following constitutes sick leave for five (5) consecutive workdays, for which a physician’s certification is required:
(Example workweek: March 29 through April 2)
March 29 – 2 hours sick leave / 6 hours worked (counts as Day 1) March 30 – 8 hours sick leave (counts as Day 2)
March 31 – 8 hours sick leave (counts as Day 3)
April 1 – 4 hours sick leave / 4 hours worked (counts as Day 4) April 2 – 1 hour sick leave / 7 hours worked (counts as Day 5)
3. For employees on a non-traditional work schedule, a physician’s certification is required for sick leaves equivalent to one (1) workweek or more. For example, if an employee works four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, a physician’s certificate must be submitted to his/her Principal Investigator for sick leaves of four (4) or more consecutive workdays within one (1) pay period or between two (2) consecutive and connecting pay periods.
4. Failure to submit a physician’s note or any other non-compliance of this policy will result in the disallowance of sick leave from the first day of sick leave in the pay period. The employee will instead be paid using available vacation leave or placed on leave without pay if the employee does not have enough vacation leave available. This may also result in other personnel actions including disciplinary action for poor attendance and/or failure to comply with the policy.
5. The Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380-E) may be used in lieu of a physician’s certification of disability (see Policy 3.660 RCUH Family Leave).
6. Faxed copies of the physician’s certification are accepted, but the employee’s Principal Investigator reserves the right to request the original certification if warranted.
7. The Principal Investigator or the RCUH may also require an employee to provide a physician’s certification of disability on each day of the sick leave if warranted.
8. The Principal Investigator or the RCUH reserves the right to verify the validity and accuracy of any document presented.
F. If Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits Are Paid
1. Accumulated sick leave may be used up through the date an employee qualifies to receive long-term disability benefits (see Policy 3.570 RCUH Long-Term Disability Insurance).
2. All remaining sick leave balances will be held in abeyance pending the employee’s return to work status.
3. Programs approved by RCUH Human Resources may supplement long-term disability benefits with sick leave of up to 100% of the employee’s full pay.
G. Accumulated Sick Leave at Termination – Upon termination, eligible employees may be entitled to partial payment of their unused sick leave. The intent is to provide additional retirement benefits to RCUH employees who qualify.
1. Eligible employees are those who meet all of the following three (3) criteria:
a. Terminated after ten (10) or more continuous years of RCUH service as a regular employee;
b. Accumulated sixty (60) or more days of sick leave at termination;
c. Are 45.33 years old or older on the date of termination.
2. The additional retirement benefit is calculated as follows:
[(Unused Sick Leave Hrs / 8 / 20] X (Avg of 3 highest monthly salaries) X (10%) – (0.5% reduction for each month below 62yrs)
a. Example: An employee is 61 years and 4 months old, has accumulated 1,000 hours of unused sick leave, and has an average of $3,000 for his 3 highest monthly salaries. This is the calculation for his sick leave payout:
1,000 sick leave hours divided by 8 = 125.00 125.00 divided by 20 = 6.25
6.25 X $3,000 X 10% = $1,875.00
(0.5% x 8 months =) 4% x $1,875 = $75 $1,875 minus $75.00 = $1,800.00
3. Eligible employees have the option of applying the additional retirement benefit to their existing Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) or electing cash payment.
4. The additional retirement benefit is paid from an accumulated Sick Leave Reserve Fund contributed by projects through the RCUH Fringe Benefit schedule (see Policy 3.510 RCUH Fringe Benefit Schedule).
H. Replacement of Employee on Extended Sick Leave Due to Undue Hardship
1. If an employee’s extended absence causes the project undue hardship, the employee may be terminated to enable the project to find a regular replacement. Replacements are considered “conditional appointments” for up to the first twelve (12) calendar months of employment. A “conditional appointment” is defined as an appointment contingent upon the former incumbent’s inability to return to work.
2. This will only occur if the employee is not able to perform the essential functions of his/her job and the project is unable to provide sufficient reasonable accommodations.
3. Terminations occur only after an absence (paid and unpaid) of six (6) months (includes continuous and intermittent absences) or when the employee’s physician has provided the employee/RCUH with a written diagnosis that the employee is unable to return to work for an indefinite period (whichever comes first) and must be approved by the RCUH Director of Human Resources or authorized designee.
4. The terminated employee will be subject to re-employment rights for a period of up to twelve (12) calendar months from the date of termination. During this time, if the employee obtains a clearance to work from his/her physician, the employee may be eligible to return to his/her position, provided the employee meets the current minimum qualifications, and the position is still in existence.
I. Advanced Sick Leave – The purpose of advanced sick leave is to supplement the employees’ pay by allowing them to use their “future” sick leave benefits which are not available to them at the time of their disability.
1. Regular employees with less than fifteen (15) days of accrued sick leave (this includes all used/unused sick leave) as of the date of disability will be allowed to apply for “advanced” sick leave.
2. “15 days of sick leave” above include sick leave used from January 1 of the current calendar year plus the available sick leave days as of the date of disability.
3. The following is the formula used to calculate the maximum amount of advanced sick leave an employee may receive:
120 hrs Adv Sick Leave – Allotment
Leave balance as of date of
Leave taken – since 1/01
of current year
Allowable = Advanced Sick Leave
a. Example: A full-time employee has a balance of 50 hours (6.25 days) of sick leave as of her date of disability and has already used 20 hours (2.5 days) of sick leave during the current calendar year. As a full-time employee, she is eligible for only 50 hours (6.25 days) of advanced sick leave (see calculation below):
120 hrs (adv sick leave allotment) – 50 hs (leave balance as of date of disability) = 70 hrs 70 hrs – 20 hrs (leave taken since beginning cur cal yr) = 50 hrs (allowable adv sick leave)
4. The combination of sick leave days accrued (used and unused) plus the number of sick leave days advanced shall not exceed fifteen (15) days in a calendar year.
5. Any advanced sick leave is deducted from future sick leave accruals.
6. Advanced sick leave will be enforced on a calendar-year (January 1–December 31) basis.
7. No employee will be allowed to accrue or take more sick leave than the maximum allowable.
8. Employees must submit a Claim for Disability Benefits Form (completed by both the employee and his/her treating physician) to the RCUH Human Resources Department for review and approval. The claim form, as well as the eligibility requirements for “advanced” sick leave, may be obtained from RCUH Human Resources.
B. Disallowance of Sick Leave – Sick leave may be disallowed for non-compliance to the RCUH Sick Leave Policy for the following reasons:
1. The employee fails to submit a physician’s note to the Principal Investigator by the designated deadline of the applicable pay period when on sick leave for five (5) or more consecutive workdays (including partial days) within one (1) pay period or between connecting pay periods, OR as requested by the Principal Investigator and/or RCUH. (Note: See comment regarding employees on non-traditional work schedule in Section IV.E.3.)
2. The employee does not return to work on the next scheduled workday after he/she is cleared by the physician’s certification. (See Section V.A.4 below.) If the employee does not return to work from an authorized leave, he/she is considered on unauthorized absence subject to disciplinary action and/or as having “resigned” from his/her position.
3. Employee is on other forms of authorized leaves, or on disciplinary suspension.
4. Change to sick leave status: If the employee is already on another authorized leave (e.g., vacation), a change to sick leave will only be allowed if the employee has a serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization. Certification from the hospital, in English, will be required.
5. Any other non-compliance of the policies stated above.
6. If sick leave is disallowed, the Principal Investigator may request that the employee be paid using available vacation leave or placed on leave without pay if the employee does not have enough vacation leave available.
7. Other personnel actions including disciplinary action for poor attendance and/or failure to comply with the policy may be imposed.
C. Official RCUH Sick Leave Record
1. The official record of unused sick leave will be maintained by the RCUH Human Resources Department.
2. Principal Investigators will be able to access all pertinent sick-leave information from the RCUH website. The “Vacation and Sick Leave Report by Project” in the RCUH Financial Portal provides the employees’ leave balances on the project level.
3. Available sick-leave balances are also available on the Preview Verification panel of the RCUH online timesheet for each pay period as well as the employee’s pay advice on the Employee Self-Service system.
A. Procedures for Employees Who Are Using Sick Leave
1. Notify Principal Investigator/Designee of Sick Leave Absence: Employees who are ill/injured and unable to work shall notify their Principal Investigator or authorized designee within one (1) hour after the time they are scheduled to report for work. When the need for sick leave is foreseeable, the employee shall provide his/her Principal Investigator or authorized designee with prior notice in a manner which is reasonable and practical.
2. Record Sick Leave on Time Report: Sick leave must be noted on the Employee Time/Leave Certification Form.
3. Submit Doctor’s Note When Required (see IV.E above): For sick leaves that require a physician’s certification or other supporting documentation (e.g., those constituting five (5) consecutive days), the physician’s certification must be attached to the time report and submitted to the Principal Investigator or designee by the applicable deadline.
4. Return to Work: Employees must return to work upon the conclusion of the authorized sick leave period. Employees must communicate any changes to the sick leave period to the Principal Investigator/designee as soon as practicable.
B. Procedures for Principal Investigators Who Have Employees Using Sick Leave
1. Ensure Attendance Procedures Are Clearly Defined and Communicated: It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure that attendance procedures (i.e., call-in requirements, leave requests, changes in work schedule) are clearly communicated to each RCUH employee.
2. Ensure Employee Is in Compliance With the RCUH Sick Leave Policy: It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure that all components of the RCUH sick leave policy is being followed, including the doctor’s note requirement.
3. Record Sick Leave on Time Report: If an employee uses authorized sick leave, ensure that the employee has noted the leave period on the Employee Time/Leave Certification Form (paper timesheet).
4. Collect Doctor’s Notes When Required: For sick leaves that require a physician’s certification (see IV.E above), the Principal Investigator must ensure that a doctor’s note covering the dates of the leave is submitted by the employee.
5. Submit Sick Leave on RCUH Online Timesheet: Log the sick leave hours in the “Sick Leave” column of the Payroll Earnings panel of the RCUH online timesheet.
6. No Work Allowed During Disability Period: Do not allow any employee to report to work during the period of disability as indicated by the Physician’s Certificate of Disability.
7. Contact the RCUH if Replacing or Terminating an Employee on Extended Sick Leave: Principal Investigators must contact the RCUH Director of Human Resources for guidance on replacing or terminating an employee on extended sick leave.
8. Sick Leave Records/Balances: Principal Investigators should check available reports on a semi-monthly basis to secure the integrity of the sick leave information. Any discrepancies should be noted in a memo, which should be submitted with any supporting documents to the RCUH Director of Human Resources for resolution.
RCUH Benefits: (808) 956-6979
VII. Relevant Documents
Employee Time/Leave Certification Form
Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380-E) Policy 3.510 RCUH Fringe Benefit Schedule
Policy 3.570 RCUH Long Term Disability Insurance
Policy 3.580 RCUH Workers’ Compensation
Policy 3.344 RCUH Holidays, Holiday Pay and Administrative Leave with Pay
Policy 3.650 RCUH Leave of Absence Without Pay
Policy 3.660 RCUH Family Leave
Date Revised: 4/25/17