Sick Time

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. G.1.6

Human Resources

Initiated by:Human Resources Director
Approved by:MBL Director/CEO
Date:October 14, 1989
Revision: #4, March 2011
Distribution:MBL Community

1.0 Policy Statement
It is the policy of the MBL to assist employees who are absent from work because of illness by paying for a certain amount of sick time.

2.0 Eligibility
All regular full-time employees are eligible to be compensated for 13 days (104 hours) of sick time per year. Any accrued sick hours not used during the 12 months time will be carried over to the next year up to a maximum of 130 days (1040 hours). Unused sick time is not payable upon termination. An employee may use a maximum of 1040 hours, or 130 days, of sick time during an extended illness.

All regular part-time employees working at least half time will be credited with sick time in proportion to their hours of work.

3.0Employee Notice
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 occasional sick days. 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.

For extended illnesses (period of time greater than 5 days) see the Family and Medical Leave Policy.

4.0Medical Certification
The supervisor working together with the Human Resources Department is responsible for the equitable administration of the MBL sick time policy, and may require medical certification from an employee’s physician indicating that the employee is unable to work because of illness, before sick time is paid.

5.0Use of Sick Time
Sick time may be used for the following reasons:

5.1 Illness of employee
5.2 Illness of immediate family member provided the worker is the primary caregiver for that person and no alternative care provider arrangements are feasible.
5.3 Medical or dental appointments

6.0If accrued sick time is exhausted, vacation time will be charged for any additional time taken. If both accrued sick and vacation time have been exhausted, consideration will be given for the advancement of up to 40 hours of additional time under the following conditions:

  • There should be compelling circumstances; ie, catastrophic illness or circumstances;
  • The approval of the immediate supervisor and department manager, if applicable;
  • The approval of the Human Resources Director;
  • The approvals are received before any money is advanced;
  • The time advanced will be deducted from future accruals of sick and vacation time.
  • Advanced vacation time will be deducted from the final paycheck.

If sick and vacation time are both exhausted, then an unpaid leave of absence may be requested. Total leave, paid or unpaid, should not exceed 6 months.

7.0Birth or Adoption of child
Male and female employees who have accrued sick time may use up to 8 weeks of paid sick time for the birth or adoption of a child. If additional time is needed for medical reasons and the employee has the sick time accrued the additional weeks will be paid. Medical certification will be required.

See complete Family and Medical Leave Policy G.1.10

8.0Accrual of time
Eligible employees will accrue 0.05 hours of sick time for each hour recorded on the time sheet up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.  Employees will not accrue additional sick time while on a sick leave that extends beyond 12 weeks.

Employees should record the hours that they are away from work due to illness on their time sheet, using available accruals only. They will be paid their current hourly rate at the time payroll is processed.

10.0    Sick time used in combination with Worker’s Compensation
10.1     If an employee is receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits and has accrued sick time, the employee may supplement the Worker’s Compensation benefit with sick time to achieve full pay.  In no circumstances shall an employee’s total compensation exceed the employee’s regular compensation.  Because of the tax consequences, the employee may choose the method of achieving full pay.

10.2    An employee may choose to either

10.2.1   Keep the Worker’s Compensation benefit and supplement that benefit by usingaccrued sick time to achieve full pay.  In this instance the employee will not receive a Retirement Plan contribution on the amount of benefit paid by Worker’s Compensation and will not accrue sick or vacation time on the related hours.

10.2.2   The employee may sign the Worker’s Compensation check over to the MBL and be paid the employee’s full compensation using accrued sick time.  The MBL will reimburse the employee’s sick time accrual by the number of hours equivalent to the Worker’s Compensation benefit.  In this instance, the employee will receive the full Retirement Plan contribution, if eligible.

10.3    In either instance, during the first 12 weeks, the MBL will continue to pay its share of insurance premiums as mandated by the FMLA and explained in the Family and Medical Leave policy.  After 12 weeks, the MBL will continue to pay its share of the insurance premium while the employee is in full pay status, either through accrued sick time or the combination of sick time and the Worker’s Compensation benefit.  When the employee is no longer being paid by the MBL, the provisions of the Leave of Absence policy or COBRA will apply.

11.0Return to Work
The MBL requires an employee who takes leave as a result of his or her own serious illness to provide a fitness for duty certification signed by a health care provider before returning to work. An employee may not resume work until he or she provides such a certification.

12.0Policy Clarification and Updates
Policy clarification and updates are available in the Human Resources Department.