Policy Number: 30

Sick Leave


Eligibility for, use of, and accrual of sick leave


Eligible employees

Date Reviewed: February 2014

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer


Employees appointed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") for a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least four and one-half months in a fiscal year may, when authorized, utilize accrued sick leave with pay for absences necessitated by personal illness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement, or when the employee is needed to assist a member of his/her immediate family who is ill.

Immediate family is defined as any person living in the same household who is related by kinship, adoption (including foster children certified by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services), or marriage. Minor children of the employee, whether or not living in the same household, are also considered immediate family. An employee's use of sick leave for family members not residing in that employee's household is strictly limited to the time necessary to provide care and assistance to a spouse, child, or parent of the employee who needs that care and assistance as a direct result of a documented medical condition. An employee who is the legal guardian of a child by court appointment may use sick leave to care for the child.

Negative balances of sick leave cannot be carried forward from one month to the next. Employees must be placed on leave without pay for hours overdrawn on sick leave.

Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate records of sick leave entitlement, accrual and use. (Refer to HOOP Policy 24 Time and Attendance Reporting.)


A. Accrual

Employees accrue sick leave as follows:

B. Use

1. Eligibility

To use sick leave with pay, the employee must notify or cause the supervisor to be notified promptly of the reason for any absence attributed to illness, on the initial day of the absence and each day thereafter.

2. Absences Greater than Three Working Days

For absences of more than three working days, an employee will be required to submit a statement from the attending healthcare provider (or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness that is acceptable to the supervisor) upon returning to work. An employee who uses sick leave to care for spouse, child or parent who does not reside with the employee and is not totally dependent on the employee, but needs the employee's care as a direct result of documented medical condition, must be able to provide a healthcare provider's statement concerning the spouse's, child's or parent's condition. It is within the discretion of the supervisor to require documentation concerning illnesses resulting in absences of three working days or less.

3. Release to Return to Work

Employees with identified medical conditions that may affect their ability to fulfill their job responsibilities must submit a healthcare provider's statement to their supervisor indicating they can safely return to work.

4. Abuse of Sick Leave

An employee whose behavior gives rise to the suspicion that sick leave is being used inappropriately may be required to submit a statement from an attending healthcare provider. This request is to be made at the discretion of the employee's supervisor. An employee who is discovered to have obtained sick leave pay under false pretenses is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

5. Birth/Adoption of a Child

Sick leave may be used by the employee for the period following delivery and recovery associated with the birth of a child to the extent certified by the healthcare provider.  Sick leave may be used for the adoption of a child under the age of three and is limited to the amount of sick leave that would be necessary to recover from childbirth.

6. Educational Activities

An employee who is the parent of a child(ren) attending school (prekindergarten through 12th grade) is entitled to use up to eight hours of sick leave per fiscal year to attend educational activities of the employee's child(ren). This includes school-sponsored activities such as parent-teacher conferences, tutoring, volunteer programs, field trips, classroom programs, school committee meetings, academic competitions and athletic, music or theater programs. Employees must provide reasonable advance notice to, and obtain approval from, their supervisor for the leave.  Approval of the leave is at the supervisor's discretion.

7. Personal and Family Medical Leave Act Leave

All accrued sick leave and vacation time must be exhausted before a request for personal leave for medical reasons is submitted. (Refer to HOOP Policy 105 Personal Leave.) Employees who wish to take family and medical leave for their own serious health condition(s), or to care for family members with serious health condition(s), should consult HOOP Policy 106 Family and Medical Leave for the circumstances and restrictions specified for that leave. Employees are required to use all accrued sick leave, if applicable, when taking leave under HOOP Policy 106 Family and Medical Leave.


ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Human Resources 713-500-3130 https://www.uth.edu/hr/department/employee-relations/index.htm