EXTENDED SICK LEAVE GUIDELINES
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EXTENDED SICK LEAVE GUIDELINES DEFININTION OF EXTENDED SICK LEAVE Extended sick leave is a benefit for state employees to be used when eligible employees have exhausted all other forms of paid leave including the sick leave pool, if applicable. Specifically, Texas Government Code 661.202 (i) states: The administrative head of an agency…may authorize an exception to the amount of sick leave an employee may take after a review of the individual's particular circumstances. A statement of all authorized exceptions and the reasons for the exceptions shall be attached to the to the state agency's duplicate payroll voucher for the payroll period affected by the authorized exceptions. EXTENDED SICK LEAVE POLICY/PROCEDURE RECOMMENDATIONS Must agencies/universities have an extended sick leave policy in place? Each agency/university that grants extended sick leave is required to have an extended sick leave policy in place. All policies MUST be forwarded to the State Auditor's Office and made available to all employees in accordance with Government Code 661.202 (j). Who is eligible to apply for extended sick leave? Each agency/university has the discretion to determine who is eligible for extended sick leave; however, each agency/university should ensure consistency in its application. Agencies/universities can consider factors such as length of service, type of employee (e.g., temporary vs. regular), and work performance. When is an employee eligible to apply for extended sick leave? An employee is eligible to apply for extended sick leave when all other forms of accrued paid leave are exhausted, including any sick leave pool time granted, if applicable. How much time may be given to the employee? There is no specific minimum or maximum amount of time that each agency/university may give an employee. While an employee is out on extended sick leave, each agency/university should request a periodic status report from the employee to determine if additional time is needed beyond the time that was initially granted. An agency/university may want to consider the employee's period of employment with the agency or the type of illness when determining how much time to give employees who qualify. May extended sick leave be used to care for an employee's family member? Each agency/university can determine whether extended sick leave may be used by the employee to care for a family member who is ill only for the employee's own illness. Must the employee have a catastrophic illness to qualify? There is nothing in Government Code that requires an employee to have a catastrophic illness in order to be eligible to use extended sick leave. Therefore, it is possible for an employee who is not eligible for the sick leave pool to be eligible for extended sick leave. Should agencies/universities require documentation for the illness during the application process? Each agency/university has the discretion to require a written notice from the employee requesting the use of extended sick including appropriate supporting documentation on the nature of the illness and expected recovery time. May extended sick leave be used on an incremental basis? Yes. Each agency/university may determine if they wish to allow extended sick leave to be used incrementally. May an employee be required to "pay back" extended sick leave? An agency/university may not require the employee to pay back the amount of sick leave used.