The Personnel Policies Committee recommends that the Staff Senate consider and pass the following resolution:

Whereas, the ever-increasing cost of medical and nursing care is placing more responsibility on family members for the care of elderly or severely ill patients and;

Whereas, OU Staff members are from time to time required to use paid leave providing supplementary care for elderly or severely ill family members and;

Whereas, the ever-increasing cost of living prohibits staff members from using an unpaid leave of absence for such care, requiring them to choose between caring for their loved ones themselves or paying a third party to do so, adding additional financial stress to the OU Staff member and;

Whereas, most serious illnesses are temporary, but can be extremely stressful for the OU Staff member with a seriously ill loved one and;

Whereas, it is common for the care of parents-in-law to become the responsibility of OU Staff members and;

Whereas, a survey completed by the PPC ESL Subcommittee shows that OU Directors don’t consider ESL or FMLA Leave to be a significant budget item and;

Whereas, as of February, 2008, Norman Campus Employees had accumulated 1.5 million hours of Extended Sick Leave, with an approximate value of $50 million, most of which will go unused and;

Whereas, the ability of OU Staff members to use Extended Sick Leave for the care of elderly or seriously ill family members would be an enormous benefit to the University of Oklahoma by providing reassurance and confidence to OU Staff, therefore:

Be it resolved that the Staff Senate hereby requests of the President of the University of Oklahoma, the approval of the following changes to the Staff Handbook, amending present policy to allow the use of Extended Sick Leave to care for employees’ seriously ill immediate family members:

All changes are in bold.

Strikeouts indicate deletions.

Underlines indicate additions.

All changes to be incorporated into the Staff Handbook after final approval.

3.11.1 PAID LEAVE AND EXTENDED SICK LEAVE POLICY (Revised Sept 2009) - - Paid leave benefits are available to staff and 12-month faculty who hold benefits eligible appointments. Employees on limited appointments and student employees are not eligible for paid leave time. Paid leave time may be used for vacation, personal illness, funeral attendance, illness of a family member or other personal business. Monthly employees working at least half-time but less than full-time will receive paid leave accrual in proportion to their FTE appointment. Employees on the hourly payroll (Norman campus only) receive leave accrual on the basis of the number of hours paid. Accrual will be given for weeks during which at least 20 hours up to 40 hours are paid. Employees working at least half-time but less than full-time will accrue paid leave benefits on a pro-rata basis. The 40-hour work week will be the basis for the pro-rata computations. Earned paid leave time is accrued on a monthly basis according to the published schedule. Paid leave time can be accrued up to the maximum allowance listed in that schedule.

Time accrued beyond the maximum allowance will be deposited in an extended sick leave account. There is no maximum on the accrual of extended sick leave. Extended sick leave can be used for extended personal illness requiring more than five days of an employee or an employee’s seriously ill spouse, child, parent-in-law, parent, or other legally domiciled adult. The amount of extended leave an employee may use to care for a seriously ill family member is limited to 12 work weeks during a 12-month period. A serious illness is one that requires in-patient care or continuing treatment by a health-care provider.

An employee may transfer accrued paid leave time to the extended sick leave account. Time deposited in the extended sick leave account may not be transferred back to the paid leave time accrual. Time away from work because of vacation, illness of a family member, funeral attendance or other personal business is to be reported as paid leave time taken. Absence due to personal illness is to be reported as paid leave time taken for the first five consecutive working days per incident. When there is no accrued time in the paid leave account, the first five days per incident of illness must be leave without pay. Absence due to personal illness beyond five consecutive working days will be deducted from the extended sick leave account as long as accrued time is available. When there is no accrued time in the extended sick leave account, absence due to personal illness will be deducted from paid leave time. Scheduled paid leave time taken will be considered as time worked for the purpose of compliance with the university overtime policy. Unscheduled paid leave time taken and extended sick leave time taken will not be considered as time worked for overtime purposes. An employee returning to work part-time following an extended sick leave may continue to draw from the extended sick leave account for the time not worked until a full release is given by the physician. Recurrence of the same illness within 30 calendar days of returning to work from an extended sick leave may be considered a continuation of the incident and charged to extended sick leave.

Absences due to personal illness should be reported on the monthly payroll certification or hourly time records. A Personnel Action Form changing the employee's status to extended sick leave must be processed before any absence may be deducted from the extended sick leave account. The university will require acceptable medical documentation of illness or disability before allowing any charges to extended sick leave benefits whatsoever. Leave for personal illness should be taken in the following order: five days of paid leave time, extended sick leave, compensatory leave, remaining paid leave time, leave without pay. Duration of the disability is to be medically determined. No supervisor should compel an employee to return to work without a medical release. Pregnancy is to be treated as any other extended sick leave. An employee may continue normal duties through pregnancy or use available leave while unable to perform regular duties. Employees who utilize leave for pregnancy shall suffer no penalty, retaliation or other discrimination.