Frequently Asked Questions
Questions concerning sick time should be directed to the employee’s supervisor, or to HR Shared Services at email@example.com or 315.443.4042.
What is sick time?
In general, sick time is time away from work for personal injury, illness, health or safety reasons, or to care for an eligible family member due to their injury, illness, health or safety reasons. Consult either the University’s Non-exempt Sick Time Policy or the Exempt Sick Time Policy for a list of permitted uses.
Who qualifies for sick time?
All employees, student workers, and graduate assistants are eligible for sick time.
Why is the University’s sick time policy for non-exempt employees changing?
New York State has enacted a statewide paid sick leave law, New York Paid Sick Leave (NYPSL), which will be in effect beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Under NYPSL, the University will be required to provide all employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year.
This change brings an increase in the paid sick time provided under the University’s prior policy for most non-exempt benefits-eligible staff. It also represents the first time paid sick time will be provided to non-benefits eligible employees, student workers, and graduate assistants.
I am a non-exempt employee. How much sick time can I receive and when will it be available to me?
Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, non-exempt employees and students will accrue sick time at a rate of one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum accrual of 56 hours each calendar year unless otherwise negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement. A balance of sick time will be available as of Jan. 1 and will be the greater of either the unused time under the University’s prior sick time policy, or time accrued under the new sick time policy since Sept. 30, 2020. Sick time that remains unused at the end of the calendar year will be maintained as carryover to the next calendar year. Non-exempt employees will be able to view their available sick time on their paycheck beginning in January.
Non-exempt employees who qualify under the University’s Benefits Eligibility Policy and/or a collective bargaining agreement may, subject to supervisory approval, be able to take additional sick time, at a reduced rate of approximately two-thirds full pay. Additional sick time at a reduced rate may be taken only if an employee has already taken 56 hours of sick time in the calendar year or does not currently have sufficient paid sick time accrued to cover the absence.
Consult the University’s Non-exempt Sick Time Policy for further information.
I am an exempt employee. Is my available sick time changing?
Exempt benefits eligible employees will continue to be eligible to take sick time in accordance with the law. This benefit will now be extended to all exempt eligible employees including faculty, staff, and graduate assistants.
Who qualifies as an eligible family member?
Employees may use sick time for themselves, as well as to care for the following individuals:
- employee’s child (biological, adopted or foster child, a legal ward or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis);
- domestic partner;
- parent (biological, foster, step or adoptive parent, or a legal guardian of an employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee/student was a minor child);
- grandparent; and
- child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner.
What can sick time be used for?
In general, sick time is used for time away from work for personal injury, illness, health or safety reasons, or to care for an eligible family member due to their injury, illness, health or safety reasons. Consult either the University’s Non-exempt Sick Time Policy or the Exempt Sick Time Policy for further information.
Is there a minimum period of employment before I can use my sick time?
There is no minimum period of employment before you can use your available sick time.
Can I use sick time for doctor, dentist, eye doctor or other routine appointments?
Yes. Employees may use sick time for appointments when they require treatment for a condition or for preventive medical care.
Does sick time expire at the end of a calendar year?
Sick time that remains unused at the end of the calendar year will be maintained as carryover to the next calendar year. The carryover will provide the benefit of being able to use sick time as early as it’s needed in the new year without having to wait to accrue new sick time.
How can I see how much sick time I have available in the calendar year?
Beginning in January 2021, employees can view their available sick time, both accrued and carried over, on their paycheck.
How much notice do I need to provide before using sick time?
Employees and students who need to use sick time should notify their supervisor or department designee in accordance with their department's notification procedures. If the employee/student seeks to use the sick time for a purpose that is known in advance (e.g. a scheduled doctor’s appointment), they should provide notice to their supervisor or department designee as far in advance as possible. The University reserves the right to ask for documentation and/or an employee’s/student’s written certification to support sick time usage when authorized by law or regulation.
If I transfer to another job within the University, will my sick time transfer to my new job?
If you transfer to another job in the calendar year, your accrued and carried over sick time will transfer to your new role.
I do not work in New York State, am I still covered under the University’s sick time policies?
The University’s sick time policies apply to all employees. In the event the employee works in another state or city where there is a local leave law (such as city or county law) that mandates additional usage of sick time, then such other law controls.
Can I be disciplined for misusing the University’s sick time policy?
Yes. The University may take disciplinary action, up to and including termination, against an employee or student who uses sick time for purposes other than time away from work for personal injury, illness, health or safety reasons, or to care for an eligible family member due to their injury, illness, health or safety reasons.
In addition, all employees remain subject to University policies relating to time away from work and absenteeism. The University has discretion to determine, based on individual circumstances and the needs of a particular work area, whether absences are excessive and constitute abuse of University policies. Excessive absenteeism and/or abuse of University policies may result in discipline, up to and including discharge. The University reserves the right to interpret its policies and to amend, modify or terminate those policies at any time.
Will I be paid unused accrued sick time at the end of the calendar year?
No. Unused sick time will be maintained as carryover to the next calendar year and will never be paid out.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, the benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.