Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 7/1/1978

Revised: 2/05/2015

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SPP 701–01: Sick Leave Benefits

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To provide employees with salary continuance during periods of absence from work by providing leave benefits for personal illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; for illness or communicable disease within the immediate family; or due to the death of certain family members

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Fair Labor Standards Act, as revised
Arizona Revised Statutes - §38–615
Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–804

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Benefits-eligible classified staff, university staff, and non-faculty administrators

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Sick leave is available for use by all eligible employees immediately upon accrual and the university reserves the right to require substantiation of the circumstances that resulted in the absence. New, rehired, and newly benefits-eligible employees begin accruing sick leave benefits on their first day of employment/eligibility.


Sick leave benefits may be used only when an employee:

  1. is unable to perform assigned duties because of illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
  2. must be absent from work to obtain health-related services for self or immediate family that are not reasonably available before or after the employee’s regular work hours
  3. is absent due to illness or communicable disease within the employee’s immediate family or established household, or in situations that place primary responsibility for care on the employee


  4. is absent due to the death of a family member not covered under SPP 704–05, “Bereavement Leave Benefits.” An employee may use up to three days of accrued sick leave for this purpose if in state or up to a maximum of 40 hours or one work week, whichever is less, to attend or arrange funeral services out-of-state; for example:

    1. an employee working an 8-hour day or less may be granted up to 5 working days
    2. an employee working a 10-hour day may be granted up to 4 working days


    3. an employee working a 12-hour day may be granted up to 3 working days plus an additional 4 hours.
Note: During periods of serious contagious illness, such as a pandemic event, where the instances of employee illness are anticipated to increase dramatically, the demands on medical service providers become extremely high. For this reason, ASU employees who become ill during such events will not be required to obtain and submit a doctor’s excuse/note or documentation that would otherwise be required in support of the absences.

For purposes of this policy, “periods of serious contagious illness, such as a pandemic event” means when the university has notified employees that such an event is occurring or is imminent.

An employee who is absent from work on a Family Medical Leave must use accrued sick hours in accordance with SPP 705–02, “Family Leave of Absence.”

With the supervisor’s approval, an employee may change authorized vacation leave to sick leave when the employee experiences a major illness or injury while on vacation.

Recording and Reporting of Sick Leave

All employees are required to report sick time. Supervisors are responsible for recording and maintaining accurate records of sick leave taken by their employees, including the reporting and approving of hours used. A Department Time Administrator (DTA) may be assigned to assist a supervisor in this task but it remains the supervisor’s responsibility.

Nonexempt staff should report sick leave in quarter-hour increments during the work week.

Exempt staff should report sick leave for any hours not worked within their standard, biweekly pay period (80 hours based on 1.0 FTE).

Note: Departments may establish a different method to request and record paid sick leave as long as that method includes creating and maintaining documentation that the supervisor approved the sick leave and that the sick leave was accurately processed by the DTA.

Accrual and Accumulation

Sick leave benefits accrue at the following rates:D

Percentage of Time Employed Accrual per Pay Period Accrual per Year
100% FTE (40 hours/week) 3.69 hours 12 days
50% FTE (20 hours/week) 1.84 hours 6 days

An employee’s actual accrual is based on the number of hours worked plus any leave benefits hours (i.e., vacation, sick, bereavement, holiday, and parental leave benefits) paid in a pay period.

A maximum number of 12 paid sick leave days may be accrued per calendar year and may be accumulated without limitation.

Paid Leave

Sick leave benefits continue to accrue for an employee while on paid leave, adjusted to the percentage of hours used.

Unpaid Leave

Sick leave benefits do not accrue for an employee while on unpaid leave of absence hours.

Compassionate Transfer of Leave

Sick leave benefits do not accrue for an employee while on Compassionate Transfer of Leave hours.

Unused Sick Leave Benefits

Rehired Employees

Employees who are rehired by the university within 12 months after separation are credited with all unused sick leave accumulated at the time of separation, with the exception of retirees who receive a payout (see Cash Payment at Retirement/RASL, below).

Transfer within Arizona State University

Employees who transfer from one department to another retain the accrued sick leave balance. The new employing department assumes liability for the accrued sick leave hours of the transferred employee.

Transfer within the Arizona University System

An employee transferring within 30 days between Arizona State University, the Arizona Board of Regents, Northern Arizona University, or the University of Arizona will have unused accumulated sick leave transferred unless the separation was a result of a disciplinary action or there was a retiree payout (see Cash Payment at Retirement/RASL, below).

Transfer from Other State Agencies

An employee hired from a State of Arizona agency within 30 days of separation shall have unused accumulated sick leave transferred to ASU. The employee is responsible for submitting documentation of the separation date and sick leave balance to the Office of Human Resources.

Employees Receiving Workers’ Compensation

Any sick leave benefits used while receiving workers’ compensation benefits will be credited back to the sick leave balance, up to the amount of workers’ compensation benefits.

Change of Status

Employees who transfer to a non-benefits-eligible status may no longer use any accrued sick leave benefits. If the employee returns to a benefits-eligible status within 12 months, the accrual balance is reinstated.

Terminating Employees

Employees who terminate are not paid for their accumulated sick leave balance.

Cash Payment for Accrued Sick Leave Benefits at Retirement

A cash payment for accrued sick leave may be made at retirement. The amount of payout is determined by the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA), which is responsible for administering the RASL program. RASL benefits must be applied for the through the Office of Human Resources. An employee has 180 days from the retirement date to ensure that the completed application is received by ADOA.

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For information on leave without pay after use of all sick leave, see SPP 705–01, “Extended Leave of Absence.”

For related information, see SPP 504–02, “Workers’ Compensation.”

For a reference on employees who work alternate work schedules and the proper recording of time worked and not worked, see SPP 306, “Work Schedules.”

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