Policies and Procedures
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Policy summary: Faculty
Policy summary: P&S
Transfers within state agencies and Board of Regents institutions
Sick leave conversion to vacation credit
Exhaustion of accumulated sick leave
Release to return to work
Leave without pay for medical reasons
TIAA-CREF premium waiver
Medical, dental and optical appointments
Pallbearer, funeral, emergency leave
Adoption leave
Pregnancy leave

Personnel action form
Sample physician's release form


All faculty members, regardless of appointment base, accrue sick leave at the rate of one and one-half days for each full month of employment, with no upper limit on the amount of unused sick leave that may be accrued. A-base faculty who have accumulated a minimum of thirty days of sick leave may elect to have one-half day (4 hours) added to their accrued vacation account for any month that no sick leave has been used in lieu of the accumulation of twelve hours of sick leave for the month, up to a limit of twelve additional days (96 hours) of vacation.


Sick leave is accrued at the rate of one-and-one-half days for each full month of employment, with no upper limit on the amount of unused sick leave that may be accrued.

Employees who have accumulated a minimum of 240 hours of sick leave (30 work days) may elect to have four hours added to their accrued vacation account for any month that no sick leave has been used in lieu of the accumulation of 12 hours of sick leave for the month, up to a limit of 96 hours of vacation (12 work days).

Employees who retire and who meet the eligibility requirements are entitled to a cash payment for unused sick leave.


Permanent and probationary budgeted employees accrue sick leave credit at the rate of one and one-half working days for each full month of employment. Part-time employees and graduate assistants accrue pro-rated sick leave based on their fractional appointment. There is no maximum accrual limit to sick leave hours.

Sick leave credits do not accrue during unpaid leaves of absence. Sick leave credits continue to accrue during paid medically-related disability leave.

Separation from state employment shall cancel all unused accrued sick leave. If an employee is laid off, however, and the employee is re-employed by any state department, board, agency, or commission within one year of the date of the layoff, accrued sick leave of the employee shall be restored.

Transfers Within Agencies of the State of Iowa, and the Board of Regents Institutions.
An employee who is transferred, promoted or demoted from one position to another position within an agency of the state of Iowa, or within Board of Regents institutions will not lose any accumulated sick leave credits if there is a lapse of 30 days or less between such positions.

Sick Leave Conversion to Vacation Credit
Permanent full-time or part-time employees who have accumulated a minimum of thirty days (240 hours) may elect to convert sick leave credits to vacation credits for any month that no sick leave has been used. Specific guidelines are as follows:

1. Full-time, permanent employees are defined as those eligible employees (A, D, P, E and H base) who are regularly scheduled for forty (40) hours per week for at least 9 months per year.

2. The conversion for part-time employees is pro-rated based on the number of sick leave hours the employee accrued the previous calendar month. Example: an employee who accrues six hours of sick leave in a calendar month will be able to exchange those six hours for two hours of vacation.

3. C-base employees are not covered by this Executive Order.

4. B-base employees do not accrue vacation and are not covered by this executive order.

5. To elect conversion of sick leave to vacation credit, an employee must notify his/her department head or designee by the 10th of the month following any calendar month in which there has been no sick leave used.

6. An employee may also make a one-time election (in writing) to automatically convert sick leave for vacation leave each month the employee is eligible. The election will remain in effect until the employee notifies the employer (in writing) to terminate the original request.

7. The additional vacation days accumulated by an employee under the Executive Order must be accounted for separately from the regular vacation accrual in order to assure the limits of either are not exceeded. Full-time employees may accrue a maximum of 12 days (96 hours) of vacation from sick leave conversion. Part -time employee accrual maximum is pro-rated. Vacation usage may be subtracted from either account at the option of the employee.

8. Any use of sick leave, including use for doctor's appointments, funeral leave, etc. makes one ineligible to make the conversion for the month in which the use occurs.

9. If use of sick leave reduces an employee's sick leave account below 240 hours, the account will have to be built up to 240 hours before the eligibility for conversion is restored.

Sick leave pay may be granted on satisfactory evidence of illness or injury presented to the employee's supervisor/department manager.

Employees who resign during a medically-related disability leave will be allowed pay for sick leave up to the effective date of resignation, or to the end of the accumulated sick leave entitlement, whichever occurs first.

Exhaustion of Accumulated Sick Leave
An employee who is incapacitated after exhausting all accumulated sick leave will be eligible to use accumulated vacation credits to extend their paid medically related disability status.

Employees who are enrolled in University group insurance programs and who exhaust their sick leave and vacation accrual should contact the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resource Services, 16 Beardshear, to arrange for payment of applicable insurance premiums. If leave is subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), refer to that section for additional information on employee and employer insurance contributions.

Release to Return to Work
A supervisor may request an employee to provide a doctor's release to return to work following an extended leave. Definition of an extended leave will be the judgment of the supervisor, but highly encouraged in leaves of two weeks or more. A sample physician's release is provided.

Leave Without Pay for Medical Reasons (Disability Leave)
Employees who are still incapacitated after exhausting all accumulated sick leave and vacation time, will, at their request, be placed on a medical leave without pay. A Personnel Action should be initiated by the employing department no later than one month following the last day the employee was at work. This allows the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resource Services to begin the procedure for the long term disability claim.

Procedures for completion of the Personnel Action is as follows: In the upper left-hand corner of the form, under "Action Recommended", "LWOP-Medical Reasons" should be typed. The Personnel Action should show the beginning date of the disability leave, but no termination date. Under "Special Conditions", the Personnel Action should indicate: (1) the actual day the employee was last at work; (2) the dates of leave covered by accrued sick leave; (3) the dates of leave covered by accrued vacation, (4) the dates of any temporary return to work; and (5) the first date of leave without pay.

The employee's position should be held open for the employee's return to work unless a long-term disability claim is approved. If an employee has been employed by the University for less than one year and thus is not eligible for long term disability coverage, and the medically-related disability appears to be long term, the employee may be granted a medical leave of absence without pay or the employment may be terminated.

To restore an individual to the payroll, a Personnel Action designating the action as a "Return from LWOP-Medical Reasons", must be completed that indicates both the beginning and the ending dates of the leave. Any special conditions (fractional time, etc.) should be noted on the form under "Special Conditions" explaining the proposed action fully along with the effective date of returning to work.

If "Permanent Disability" ceases, the staff member maintains the right to return to employment under the following conditions: (1) tenured staff-full right to return to the department; (2) non-tenured staff-full right to return to employment with the institution, not necessarily in the same position, subject to availability of a vacant position for which the employee is qualified; (3) Board of Regents merit system employees-reemployment as prescribed in the Board of Regents merit system rules or the collective bargaining agreement.

In instances where an employee covered under the long term disability policy is able to work part time, each case will be considered on its merit, and the salary payment by the institution will be commensurate with the ability of the individual to render service. This partial disability situation may be applicable during the waiting period as well as the benefit period. Please contact the Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resource Services for details on how to process these partial disability cases. Disability insurance payments will be coordinated with salary as specified by the Disability Insurance Policy.

TIAA-CREF Premium Waiver
If the employee participates in the University-sponsored TIAA-CREF Retirement Program or the Civil Service or Federal Employees Retirement System, and is enrolled in the long term disability insurance program, and qualifies for monthly income disability payments because of sickness or injury, standard employee and employer contributions to the TIAA-CREF retirement program will be continued by the Principal Mutual Life Company. Cost of premium waiver is paid in full by the University. Participants electing LTD coverage in their first year of employment must also pay the TIAA-CREF waiver premium during the first year.

Employees on leave without pay will be required to pay the full premium if they wish to maintain coverage during their absence. Employees are responsible for making premium arrangements in advance with the Office of Human Resource Services, Benefits Section, otherwise coverage will lapse.

Questions concerning the waiver of premium for TIAA-CREF coverage should be directed to the Office of Human Resource Services, Benefits Section.


Medical, Dental and Optical Appointments
Routine medical, dental and optical appointments should be scheduled outside working hours. When impractical, occasional absences for such reasons may be charged to sick leave.

Pallbearer, Funeral, Emergency Leave
An employing department will, when satisfied by evidence presented, grant an employee time off with pay:

1. Not to exceed three days for each occurrence in the case of death in employee's immediate family;

2. Not to exceed one day for each occurrence for service as pallbearer at the funeral of a person not a member of the employee's immediate family (for blue collar, security, technical, and security employees, see contract); and

3. Not to exceed five days per calendar year for the care of and necessary attention to ill or injured members of the employee's immediate family. Five days should be interpreted as 40 hours for full-time individuals, 20 hours for half-time individuals, etc.

All such time off will be charged to the employee's accrued sick leave and will not be granted in excess of the employee's accrued leave. For the purpose of this policy, immediate family is defined as and limited to the employee's spouse, children, grandchildren, foster children, step children, legal wards, parents, grandparents, foster parents, step parents, brothers, foster brothers, step brothers, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters, foster sisters, step sisters, sisters-in-law, daughters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins, corresponding relatives of the employee's spouse and other persons who are members of the employee's household.

Adoption Leave
A newly adoptive parent is entitled to five days paid leave chargeable to accrued sick leave as approved by the Board of Regents 5/20/92.

Pregnancy Leave
The time during which an employee is unable to work because of a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth and recovery therefrom will be covered under the provisions of the university's medically-related disability leave program.

RELATED ITEMS: Catastrophic Illness/Injury Policy (4.29) | Family and Medical Leave (4.30) | Vacation - Sick Leave - Compensatory Time Reporting (4.9) | Sick Leave Payout at Retirement (4.15)

Iowa State University Policy 4.25
Policies and Procedures Section 4: General Personnel
Responsible University Officer: Vice President, Business and Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resource Services
Original Effective Date:

Questions, suggestions and comments about this policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resource Services, hrs@iastate.edu.
Copyright 1999, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.