File code: ADM.SICKLVBANK.POL
Approval Date: 1/28/03
Approved By: President's Staff
Sick Leave Bank Policy
The purpose of the Western Illinois University Voluntary Sick Leave Bank (Bank) Policy is to provide additional paid leave for employees who have exhausted their accrued sick and vacation leave benefits as the result of a catastrophic illness or injury. The Bank serves as a depository into which participating employees may voluntarily contribute leave (leave) for allocation to other participating employees. The purpose of the Bank is not to provide unlimited paid sick leave for any medical reason but to alleviate the hardship caused when employees lose compensation as the result of a catastrophic illness or injury.
Establishment of the Bank
The Bank will be established through the voluntary contribution of one leave day by eligible employees (as defined by this policy) during an initial enrollment period. Contributing a leave day establishes membership in the Bank and eligibility to apply for withdrawal from the Bank.
Once the Bank has been established, an open enrollment period will be held annually during the Benefits Choice period. At that time, any eligible employee may join the bank by contributing one leave day. In order to remain a member in good standing, current bank members must continue to make a voluntary annual contribution. Should the Bank reach a balance of forty-five (45) or fewer available days, a special contribution period may be opened. If any days remain in the Bank at the end of the fiscal year, they will be carried over to the next fiscal year.
Membership Eligibility, Obligations, and Limitations
- Membership in the Bank is available to all Western Illinois University employees who have leave balances. Employees who do not accrue cumulative leave, but who are granted non-cumulative leave, will be eligible for membership if they have been employed continuously for at least six months. For individuals on less than a 100% appointment, one day is pro-rated on the basis of the percentage appointment.
- Membership eligibility for participation in the Bank for a fiscal year begins upon the employee's original donation of one day of leave. Enrollment in the Bank continues, provided an additional day of leave is donated each subsequent fiscal year.
- Eligibility is discontinued upon termination of employment, retirement, death, or failure to donate a leave day the following fiscal year(s). No payment of benefits will be made to survivors.
- Membership continues from year-to-year with annual reduction in leave until/unless the member submits a revocation form to discontinue membership.
- Members must waive all claims to leave voluntarily donated to the Bank, including any monetary or retirement-related value the days may hold.
- The Bank is available to those employees who have completely exhausted all sick and vacation leave and who are not receiving disability or Workers' Compensation.
Donations to the Bank
- Employees will be given an annual opportunity to donate to the Bank. Donors must have a minimum balance of ten (10) leave days after making a donation.
- Any employee who wishes to donate a day of leave must sign a statement indicating the donation is voluntary. Donation forms will be submitted to Human Resources.
- Donations made during the Benefits Choice period qualify the employee for the following fiscal year.
- Employees may choose to donate either sick or vacation leave to the Bank. Donated sick leave will first be transferred from cumulative, non-compensable sick leave, if available. Employees who earn only non-cumulative sick and vacation leave will be allowed to donate non-cumulative leave if other eligibility requirements are met.
- Employees may not designate a particular individual to receive their donated leave.
Administration of the Bank
- The Bank will be administered by a committee (Committee) appointed by the University President and comprised of at least one representative from Human Resources, one representative from Academic Personnel, and one campus health care professional. Each appointed representative would name an alternate.
- The Human Resources Department will be responsible for convening the Committee, coordinating the annual donation period, processing requests, and maintaining appropriate related records.
- The Committee will be responsible for reporting usage and for reviewing the policies and operations of the Bank on an annual basis. The Committee may recommend changes or modifications to the President and Vice Presidents as needed.
- Requests for paid sick leave will be reviewed by the Committee. The Committee will prepare a written notification to the requesting member approving or denying the application for paid sick leave. Human Resources will ensure that the appropriate forms and/or documentation are submitted to the Payroll Office if the request is approved.
- The Committee may not grant paid sick leave days to members when the Bank does not have available days.
- An application shall be denied if it is incomplete, lacks supporting statements from a licensed health care provider, or if the member fails to provide any requested documentation. If denied, an application may be resubmitted.
- The Bank will be administered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act requirements.
Withdrawls from the Bank
- A member or his/her designee must complete an application for leave and submit it to Human Resources.
- Applications must be accompanied by a statement from a licensed health care provider that includes the beginning date of the condition, a description of the illness or injury, and a prognosis for recovery. Requests should indicate the estimated number of sick days required and information related to any pending disability claims.
- Requests for withdrawal must be made by the member or his/her designee no later than five (5) working days after all leave time has been exhausted.
- The Committee will render a written decision to the employee within five (5) working days after receipt of the request.
- The amount of sick leave granted for each request will be determined by the Committee
but cannot exceed one-third of the balance in the Bank or a maximum of twenty (20) working days, whichever is less. No member may receive more than twenty (20) working days in a twelve-month period.
- Sick leave may be used only during the term of an employee's period of appointment.
- Any leave granted may be used only for the purpose requested on the application. Any unused portion will be returned to the Bank.
- Leave may be used for the personal illness or injury of the employee or to care for a parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child with a serious health condition.
- Use of Bank benefits is considered under the provisions of the FMLA and any use is included in the twelve (12) weeks of leave provided under this Act, if applicable.
- Bank benefits are not available for leave taken prior to eligibility for participation in the Bank.
In the event that an employee is denied membership into the Bank or a member is denied benefits from the Bank, he/she may submit a written appeal to the University President within ten (10) working days of receiving the denial. A written response shall be issued within ten (10) working days from the date of the appeal.
- Bank Member: An employee who has voluntarily contributed leave days to the Sick Leave Bank. Only bank members may apply for and receive paid sick leave days from the bank.
- Catastrophic Illness or Injury: A severe medical condition which requires an employee's absence from work for a prolonged period of time and which results in a substantial loss of income to the employee because of the exhaustion of all earned sick, vacation and/or compensatory leave time. A qualifying illness or injury might include, but is not limited to, cancer, major non-elective surgery, serious accident, heart attack, or complications of pregnancy. In order to be defined as catastrophic, an illness or injury must be seriously incapacitating, of extended duration, and require the services of a licensed health care provider.
- Employee: An individual on appointment to Western Illinois University who has a sick and/or vacation leave balance, e.g., faculty, administrative/professional, and civil service staff.
- Licensed Health Care Provider: A trained health care provider practicing within the scope of his/her license.
- Sick Leave Bank: A pool of leave days voluntarily donated by Western Illinois University employees. The Sick Leave Bank provides paid sick leave to bank members who meet the eligibility requirements. It is administered by the Sick Leave Bank Committee with the assistance of Human Resources.
- Sick Leave Bank Committee: The review and decision-making body that receives and acts upon all applications for paid sick leave from the Sick Leave Bank. Committee members are appointed by the University President and include a representative from Human Resources, a representative from Academic Personnel, and a campus health care professional.
- Sick/Vacation Leave: Includes cumulative sick leave (payable and non-payable), and cumulative vacation leave (payable and non-payable). Non- cumulative sick leave and non-cumulative vacation leave are considered sick/vacation leave only for those employees who do not earn cumulative leave.