Purpose: The purpose of the Faculty Sick Leave Bank is to provide emergency sick leave to members who have suffered a serious, unplanned illness or injury and who have exhausted all their personal sick leave and annual leave, if applicable, in accordance with the TBR Policy 05:01:01:07 and TBR Guideline P-060.
Establishment: The Faculty Sick Leave Bank was established at the request of Faculty Senate when a group of 20 employees agreed to donate a specified number of accrued sick leave hours to a common pool and petitioned the college president who authorized the establishment of the Faculty Sick Leave Bank.
Trustees: The president of the college appointed five (5) sick leave bank trustees upon receipt of the petition. It was determined that at least three (3) of the appointees should be full-time faculty. The remaining trustees may be members of the administrative staff.
Initial appointments were made as follows: two (2) trustees to serve for one (1) year, two (2) trustees for two (2) years and one (1) trustee for three (3) years. Thereafter, all appointments would be for three (3) years. Trustees are eligible for reappointment. Any vacancy resulting from the expiration of a term, discontinuance of employment, retirement, death, resignation, or removal by the president of a trustee from the trustee role shall be filled immediately by appointment by the president. A chair shall be elected by the trustees and will serve a one-year term. Upon expiration of the chair’s term, the trustees will reappoint the current chair or appoint a new chair.
If a trustee has a need to request sick leave from the bank, the trustee will recuse him/herself from the committee and the president will appoint an ad hoc member to serve in the trustee’s absence.
The trustees shall:
- Be responsible for the preparation of the sick leave bank plan of operation. The plan is subject to the president’s review.
- Administer the bank and approve or reject requests for withdrawal of leave from the bank. The request for bank must be submitted to the trustees. The bank member’s supervisor shall be informed of any request for bank leave, prior to approval by the trustees.
- Adopt reasonable rules for the assessment of hours by participants in order to maintain an adequate reserve of usable days for the bank members. This reserve shall only be established through the assessment of bank membership and shall maintain a positive balance at all times. The assessment shall be based upon total membership and projected potential need. All members shall be assessed the same amount of sick leave hours. The trustees shall have sole discretion in determining how many assessments are necessary to maintain the reserve’s positive balance.
All actions by the trustees require three (3) affirmative votes for approval.
All actions by the trustees must remain confidential. The trustees must abide by a confidentiality code that prohibits discussing any meeting, request, action, etc. outside of the committee members, except for those who have a legitimate need to access the information; e.g., human resources staff. Failure to maintain confidentiality will lead to immediate removal from the committee and may result in disciplinary action. A trustee must not engage in discussions with employees (outside the committee) that may lead to inference that a certain request would be approved. All questions to, or discussions with, a trustee should be referred to the committee chair for consideration by the trustees as a group.
Eligibility: Participation in the Faculty Sick Leave Bank is available to regular full time faculty or full time employees with faculty rank. During the open enrollment period, those employees eligible to participate will be assessed three (3) days from their accrued sick leave and those days will then be transferred to the bank. A personal sick leave balance of five (5) days is required before being eligible to join.
Sick Leave Bank Plan
- Upon approval of the policy there will be an initial enrollment period of 60 days with subsequent enrollment periods to begin on August 1 and last for 30 days. The trustees shall notify all eligible employees of their eligibility status and the dates of the enrollment period. Enrollment forms and copies of the plan and its regulations shall be made available at this time also.
- All eligible persons who elect to participate in the bank shall be assessed an hourly equivalent of three (3) days according to his/her employment classification. A beginning personal sick leave balance of five (5) days is required to join.
- The necessity for subsequent assessments will be determined annually and shall only be conducted in order to maintain a positive minimum balance in the bank. The trustees have determined that 300 hours shall be the minimum balance. Assessments will be limited to an hourly equivalent of one (1) day minimum and three (3) days maximum.
- An employee must have been a member of the bank for sixty (60) calendar days prior to applying for withdrawal of sick leave bank hours.
- An employee must exhaust all accumulated sick leave and annual leave, if applicable, prior to applying for sick leave from the bank.
- Bank sick leave shall NOT be used for, and will not be approved for:
- Any surgery not required or recommended by the employee’s physician
- Illness or death of any member of the individual’s family
- Board of Claims benefits (e.g., worker’s compensation). If a member sustains an on-the-job injury or illness, the member is first required to submit and receive a determination upon a worker’s compensation claim prior to requesting sick leave from the bank.
- Routine maternity leave.
- A period during which the individual is receiving disability benefits from social security or a state-sponsored retirement plan.
The list above is not intended to be all-inclusive, but rather, examples of types of requests that would not be appropriate for bank sick leave.
Note: Any optional long-term disability insurance benefits shall have no effect on a member’s eligibility to request sick leave from the bank.
- Initial grants of sick leave shall not exceed the hourly equivalent of 20 consecutive days for which the applicant would have otherwise lost pay. After receiving 20 consecutive days, the bank member should explore all other options available to him/her. If the bank member requests an extension, he/she must sign a statement which explains the available options (for example, worker’s compensation or disability insurance) or verify that he/she is ineligible to qualify for these options. Additional grants of bank leave shall not exceed the hourly equivalent of 60 days for a total of 80 days in any fiscal year (July to June), or 90 total days for any one (1) accident, illness, or recurring diagnosed illness.
- Primary consideration for requesting bank sick leave will be given to those members on 100% medical leave. However, exceptions may be made for members who are on partial disability due to treatment-related leave. For example, should an employee be going through a treatment such as chemotherapy or physical therapy and require partial time off from work, they would be eligible for leave from the bank. However, regular and/or follow up doctor’s visits will not count as partial disability and will not be considered for leave from the bank. The employee requesting leave from the bank for partial disability will need to provide, in advance, complete and proper documentation from their healthcare provider stating the treatment plan, the treatment schedule and the dates the employee is authorized to return to work, with or without restrictions.
- Upon receipt of a request to draw upon the bank, the trustees will examine the bank member’s status and sick leave record. If there is an appearance of abuse, the trustees may deny the request. In the event an employee is denied the request due to evidence of abuse, the employee will be given the opportunity to appeal the denial to the committee by providing supporting evidence (in written form) which might clarify the employee’s sick leave history.
- Approved sick leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave for an eligible employee who has not already exhausted the 12 work-week entitlement.
- A bank member shall lose membership upon termination of employment, retirement, or cancellation of bank membership. The refusal or inability to honor the trustees’ assessments or going on leave of absence in a non-pay status for reasons other than illness, injury, or disability will result in temporary loss of the right to withdraw bank sick leave. This right will be restored upon transfer of the individual’s personal sick leave assessment to the bank, which must occur no later than one (1) year from the date of the missed assessment. After one (1) year, the member must rejoin the bank. The member must donate, and the trustees must honor the donation, once the member’s sick leave balance reaches assessment level. Any prior member who wishes to re-join the bank will be subject to the same conditions as new members.
- When a bank member is physically or mentally unable to apply for bank sick leave, the immediate next-of-kin may make the request for leave on his or her behalf. If there is no available next-of-kin, this request may be made by the legally appointed guardian, conservator, or an individual acting under valid power of attorney.
- At any time the trustees may request from a bank member a physician’s statement certifying the illness or condition of the bank member requesting leave. Refusal to submit the certifications will result in denial of the request for bank sick leave.
- A bank member may be eligible to receive sick leave which has been donated by other employees if he/she has made application for the bank sick leave and the necessity for bank leave is substantiated by the trustees. Should bank sick leave be denied the bank member shall be eligible to receive donations from other employees as provided in TBR Policy 5:01:01:15.
- A bank member may cancel his or her membership at any time upon written notification to the trustee chairperson. Sick leave bank assessments are non-refundable and non-transferable to other state institutions. The effective date of the cancellation will be determined by the date of the request.
- Employees who are granted bank sick leave shall continue to accrue sick leave and annual leave, and service credit for retirement and longevity purposes, during the time they are on bank sick leave. They will also receive credit for any holidays that may occur during the bank sick leave period. Any leave accrued during this time must be used before the employee can request additional leave from the sick leave bank.
- Grants of bank sick leave shall not be contingent upon repayment of hours used or waiver of other employment benefits or rights.
- The trustees will approve or reject all requests for bank sick leave within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the request. The operation of the faculty sick leave bank shall exist separately from the regular sick leave accrued to individuals’ personal accounts with respect to approvals and appeals; the decisions of the trustees shall not be appealed beyond that body.
- All official forms and records pertaining to the sick leave bank and formal minutes of the trustees’ meeting will be maintained in the human resources office. All records will be subject to audit by appropriate state officials.
Schedule Requirements: The following time schedule shall be followed in establishing the sick leave bank:
- Petition Received by the President
Within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the petition, the president shall appoint the trustees.
- Trustees Responsibilities
- Within ten (10) calendar days of appointment, the trustees shall hold their first meeting and elect a chairperson.
- Within sixty (60) calendar days before the effective date of the sick leave bank, the trustees shall notify all eligible employees of the establishment of the bank and its date of effectiveness.
- Effective Date
- The president, upon approval of the trustee’s plan of operation, shall determine the date on which the sick leave bank becomes effective.
- This date shall be no later than 180 calendar days after the date of receipt of the original petition.
Application Procedure to Receive Bank Hours: (All forms are located on the Human Resource web page.)
- Complete a Faculty Sick Leave Bank Request Form.
- Have the attending physician complete the Faculty Sick Leave Bank Physician’s Certification Form.
- Submit the completed forms to your supervisor for approval and then to the human resource office for verification of hours. Attach a copy of your timesheet verifying your leave balances.
- Human Resources will forward the form and all attachments to the chairperson of the sick leave bank.
- The chairperson will call a meeting and the trustees will make a decision within ten (10) calendar days from the date the committee receives the request.
- An e-mail or letter will be sent as notification of the approval or denial of the time requested.
The decision of the trustees shall not be appealed beyond that body.
Official Forms: (All forms are located on the Human Resource web page.)
- Enrollment Form
- Sick Leave Bank Request Form
- Notice of Assessment of Sick Leave Days
- Sick Leave Bank Physician’s Certification Form
Amendments: Amendments to these guidelines may be made by an affirmative vote of three (3) trustees and approval by the president.
Dissolution of the Bank: The sick leave bank shall be dissolved if Roane State Community College is closed or if the bank membership falls below twenty (20) individuals. Upon dissolution for insufficient membership, the total hours on deposit shall be returned to the participating members at the time of the dissolution and credited to their personal sick leave accumulation in proportion to the number of hours each has been assessed individually. If a member has withdrawn the equivalent of 22.5 or more hours of bank sick leave, that member will not be credited with a proportion of the sick leave hours.