The University of Tennessee System

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General Guidelines Transfer To Another State Agency
Sick Leave Accrual Rates Reemployment By A State Agency
Childbirth And Adoption Termination Of Employment
Leaves Of Absence Retirement
Leave Adjustments Death Of Employee In Active Pay Status
Agricultural Production Laborers Related Policies
Transfers From A Leave Accruing Position Procedures


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To protect regular staff and 12-month faculty against loss of earnings due to personal or family (spouse, child, or parent) illness, injury, and/or incapacity to work due to childbirth or adoption.


General Guidelines[top]

  1. The following information applies to regular employees and 12-month faculty:

    1. With the exception of military leave, employees must be in an active status to accrue sick leave. ("Active status" does not include any period of unpaid leave of absence or any non-working period for a flex-year employee.)

    2. Employees will accrue sick leave on a monthly basis on the first day of each month. New hires will receive sick leave on the first day of employment subject to 1c.

    3. The amount of sick leave accrued will be based upon both the work schedule (planned working time) as recorded in IRIS and the number of workdays in the month the employee is eligible to accrue leave.

    4. Sick leave taken will be paid at the employee's current regular rate of pay at the time of payment.

    5. Sick leave may not be taken until accrued and may not be advanced. When possible, e.g., medical appointments, it must be approved in advance by the supervisor. Failure to follow departmental procedure in requesting leave may result in the use of leave being denied.

    6. The university may require a physician's statement of illness or injury before granting sick leave. A physician's statement of ability to work may be required before the employee is allowed to resume work. Abuse of sick leave by an employee may result in the withholding of payment for the sick leave and possible disciplinary action.

Sick Leave Accrual Rates[top]

  1. Eligible regular full-time employees accrue sick leave at the rate of eight hours per month.

  2. Eligible regular part-time employees accrue sick leave as follows:

    1 to 25 percent effort 25 percent of the full-time accrual, or two hours
    26 to 50 percent effort 50 percent of the full-time accrual, or four hours
    51 to 75 percent effort 75 percent of the full-time accrual, or six hours
    76 to 100 percent effort 100 percent of the full-time accrual, or eight hours

  3. The accrual rate in effect on the day the employee accrues leave determines the accrual for the month.

Childbirth and Adoption[top]

  1. Under Tennessee law, a regular full-time employee who has been employed by the university for at least 12 consecutive months is eligible for up to a maximum of four months leave for pregnancy, childbirth and nursing the infant, and adoption. The leave used may be accrued sick leave (up to a maximum of 30 days), accrued annual leave, personal leave day, or leave without pay.

    If both parents are university employees, the combined use of sick leave is limited to a total of 30 days, unless medical complications arise that fit the standard rules regarding the use of sick leave.

    With regard to adoption, the four months period begins at the time the employee receives custody of the child.

    Refer to POLICY HR0338, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE, for coordinating benefits.

Leaves of Absence[top]

  1. During employment, if an absence without pay exceeds any 15-day period, the employee should be placed on leave of absence wtihout pay. Any sick leave earned in the month in which they return to work will be accrued on the first day of the month they return to an active pay status and prorated according to 1c. If an employee fails to return from a leave of absence with or without pay, any unused sick leave will be held in an inactive status.

Leave Adjustments[top]

  1. Within the IRIS retroactivity period, adjustments can be entered in IRIS. Time evaluation will automatically re-evaluate the time for the prior pay periods.

    Adjustments for pay periods older than the retroactivity period are made by a quota correction processed by the campus human resources office. Requests and supporting documentation should be forwarded for these adjustments.

Agricultural Production Laborers[top]

  1. UTIA agricultural production laborers (FLSA 31) whose planned working time exceeds 40 hours will accrue and use leave based upon their workweek.

Transfers From a Leave Accruing Position[top]

  1. When an employee who has been accumulating annual and sick leave transfers to a position which does not accrue leave, the unused sick leave will be held in an inactive status. If the employee retires or later returns to a position with the university or another state agency for which annual and sick leave accrue, the sick leave balance will be restored to the employee.

Transfer to Another State Agency[top]

  1. If an employee terminates employment with the University of Tennessee without a break in service to accept employment with another state agency or state Board of Regents institution, all accumulated sick leave will be transferred to the employing agency.

Reemployment by a State Agency[top]

  1. If the former employee is reemployed by a higher education institution or a state agency in an eligible status and the sick leave balance is verifiable, it is restored to the employee.

Termination of Employment[top]

  1. At termination, any unused sick leave is held in an inactive status. Unused sick leave is not paid at termination.


  1. For Tennessee the Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), Joint Contributory Retirement System (JCRS), and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) members, all unused sick leave is credited toward retirement. However, unused sick leave is not included as creditable service for disability retirement. The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) does not allow unused sick leave to be counted as retirement credit. All university retirement plans include unused sick leave in years of service to determine the state's portion, if any, of retiree insurance premiums.

Death of Employee in Active Pay Status[top]

  1. See POLICY HR0307, BENEFIT IN THE EVENT OF AN EMPLOYEE DEATH, regarding payment for accrued sick leave.

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