Sick Leave

Sick leave is accrued paid leave that may be used for:

  • Illness/injury;
  • Doctor appointments;
  • Disability of an employee or employee's family member;
  • Legal quarantine of the employee;
  • Initial placement of a foster child in the home of an employee;
  • When the adoption or initial placement reasonably requires the employee to be absent from work.

Note: Employee’s family includes persons related to the employee by blood, marriage or adoption, and any minor residing in the employee’s residence as a result of court proceedings pursuant to the Kansas code for care of children or the Kansas juvenile offender’s code.

Sick leave may be used for any of the reasons outlined above. Sick leave may not be used for any other unqualified reason (i.e. to extend employment).

The amount of sick leave accrued by an employee is based on several factors including the amount of time the employee works during a pay period and whether the employee is considered exempt or non-exempt.

In certain circumstances, other applicable University procedures may also apply:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); or,

FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for qualifying family or medical-related reasons lasting more than three (3) consecutive days or on an ongoing basis (e.g. intermittent or reduced/part-time schedule).

Paid Parental Leave (PPL); or,

PPL provides paid leave for a designated period of time for employees requesting parental leave related to birth or adoption of a child (up to six (6) years old).

Personal Leave of Absence; or,

This procedure should be used in instances when an employee is requesting leave for more than two (2) consecutive weeks and they are not eligible, do not qualify for or have exhausted the above programs.

Shared Leave; or,

Shared Leave provides paid leave for the employee or for the care of a family member with a serious, extreme or life-threatening illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition

Workplace Accommodations (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA))

This procedure should be used when an employee has a limitation and needs an accommodation to meet the essential functions of the employee’s job.


All employees in a benefit-eligible position are eligible to accrue and utilize sick leave. 

Sick Leave Accrual

Sick leave is earned each pay period beginning with the first day of employment. Leave earned during a pay period cannot be used until the first day of the following pay period.

Full-time benefits-eligible employees accrue 3.7 hours of sick leave per pay period with no maximum accrual. No sick leave will be earned for periods when an employee is on leave without pay.

Non-Exempt Employees

For non-exempt benefit-eligible employees, accrued sick leave may be used and recorded in quarter-hour (0.25) increments. Sick leave accrual is based on the number of hours worked in pay status during the pay period.  The number of hours in pay status includes all hours worked, paid leaves and holidays, but does not include overtime hours worked and additional payments for holidays worked.  For an employee who is not in pay status for an entire period or an employee who is part-time, sick leave is calculated on a pro-rata basis as outlined in the chart below. 

Non-Exempt Benefit-Eligible Sick Leave Earnings

Hours in Pay Status per Pay Period Hours Earned per Pay Period
0 - 7 0.0
8 - 15 0.4
16 - 23 0.8
24 - 31 1.2
32 - 39 1.6
40 - 47 2.0
48 - 55 2.4
56 - 63 2.8
64 - 71 3.2
72 - 79 3.6
80+ 3.7
Exempt Employees

For exempt benefit-eligible employees, accrued sick leave may be used and recorded in four (4) or eight (8)-hour increments. The exception to this policy is when sick leave is being used in conjunction with an approved Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence. In this instance, sick leave may be taken in as little as quarter-hour (0.25) increments. Sick leave accrual is based on the percentage of the employee’s appointment (Full-Time Equivalency – FTE) as outlined in the below chart.  Employees will not receive sick leave accrual for any pay period in which they are on leave without pay (i.e., any pay period in which an employee does not receive any pay).  This includes 9/10 month faculty who do not have a summer appointment, including those who are receiving pay during the summer months because they have opted for salary spread.

Exempt Benefit-Eligible Sick Leave Accrual

Appointment FTE Hours Earned per Pay Period
Less than 0.25 0.90
0.25 - 0.49 1.9
0.50 - 0.74 2.8
0.75 - 1.00 3.7
Eligibility for Sick Leave Payout

Employees leaving employment at the University who are eligible for retirement may be eligible to be paid out for sick leave. Eligibility for retirement is determined by the guidelines of the employee’s retirement plan (KPERS or KBOR) based on the employees age and years of service upon leaving employment. For more information about eligibility for retirement, please review the Retirement Eligibility webpage.

Employees Not Eligible for Retirement:

If the employee leaves the University and is not eligible for retirement, the employee’s sick leave hours will be forfeited. Those forfeited hours can be reinstated if the employee returns to a State of Kansas regular position within one year, unless the employee has elected to donate them to the Shared Leave program.

Employees Eligible for Retirement:

If employee leaves the University with a sick leave balance of 800 hours or more, and is eligible for retirement, the employee will be paid for a portion of the hours accrued as follows: 

Number of Years You Have Worked for the State of Kansas Minimum Balance Sick Leave Hours Hours Paid When You Are Eligible to Retire
8 or more years 800 hours 240 hours
15 or more years 1,000 hours 360 hours
25 or more years 1,200 hours 480 hours

Any sick leave hours not paid out may not be used for an unqualified reason (i.e. to prolong employment) and are forfeited, including any sick leave balances for retiring employees who are not eligible for a sick leave retirement payout. Unused sick leave balances are not reinstated if a retiree is rehired. 

Reviewing Your Sick Leave Balance

Employees can review their sick leave balance online by signing in to MyWSU and clicking on the Leave Balances link under Employee Self-Service (top middle section of page).

On the Leave Balances page, employees can view their earned accrued leave balances (sick leave, vacation leave, etc.) as of the end date of the last signed off pay period. Any leave used during an active, unsigned off pay period will not be reflected in the balance totals until after the period is signed off.

Screenshot of leave entry in MyWSU



Who to Contact

HR Total Rewards Team

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Revised: 10/29/2020 CT