Sick Leave and Supplemental Sick Leave for Staff

Responsible office
Human Resources
Responsible party
Vice President for People and Workplace Culture
Last revision
May 2022
Approved by
Board of Trustees
Approval date
August 2013
Effective date
August 2023
Last review
August 2023
Additional references
Colorado House Bill 09-1057, Federal Family Medical Leave Act, Colorado Family Care Act, Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act


All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus, including volunteers are within the scope of this policy. If there is a variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community, including volunteers to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy. Unless specifically mentioned in a college policy, the college’s Board of Trustees are governed by their Bylaws.


Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is available for faculty, staff, and student employees who are unable to work due to one of these reasons:

  1. a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition that prevents work, including diagnosis or preventive care;
  2. domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment that requires an employee to seek medical attention, seek services from a victim services organization, obtain mental health or other counseling, seek relocation due to the abuse, sexual assault or harassment, or seek legal advice, including preparation for a civil or criminal proceeding related to the abuse, assault or harassment;
  3. has a family member for whom the employee must provide care who experienced a condition described in category (a) or (b);
  4. has a family member for whom the employee must provide care whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the closure of the family member’s school or place of care;
  5. to grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a family member; or,
  6. to evacuate the employee’s place of residence due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the need to evacuate the employee’s residence; or,
  7. in a public health emergency, a public official closed the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of the employee’s child and the employee must care for the child.

Under this policy, staff who have completed 90 calendar days of employment may use up to three days of their sick leave accrual in each fiscal year for absences unrelated to illnesses. Staff must request and receive approval for this time off. This time is recorded on the timesheet or leave report as personal leave.

Accrual, Requesting, and Recording

Full- and part-time benefit eligible hourly staff accrue sick leave upon hire at the rate of .0462 hours for each hour worked. Accrual for full- and part-time benefit eligible exempt staff is based on their FTE using .0462 as the multiplier. The maximum accrual is 480 hours. 

Non-benefit-eligible staff and student employees accrue sick leave upon hire at the rate of .0333 hours for each hour worked.  The maximum accrual is 48 hours.

Staff and student employees shall report their need for an absence due to one of the reasons noted above to their immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Staff who anticipate being absent or who have been absent for four or more consecutive workdays must also notify the Benefits Specialist. The Benefits Specialist will determine if the leave taken is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Hourly staff and student employees report sick leave in 15-minute increments on their time sheets. Exempt staff report sick leave in ½-day increments and record time taken on their leave report.   

Sick leave balances are not paid out upon termination of employment or retirement.

Previous employees who are rehired within six months of termination will have their previous sick leave balances reinstated.

The college reserves the right to request medical certification of absenteeism due to circumstances that necessitate missing 4 or more consecutive shifts. This request will be coordinated by Human Resources.

Supplemental Sick Leave

Supplemental sick leave (SSL) is available for full- and part-time, benefit eligible, exempt and hourly staff who have completed one year of continuous service and have exhausted all sick and vacation accrual. SSL may only be used for the staff member’s non-work-related medical condition, which renders the staff member unable to perform their job duties. SSL benefits may commence once written medical certification from a physician is provided and approved by Human Resources. SSL benefits are paid at 100 percent of base salary for a period, combined with other accrued benefits (sick and vacation) not to exceed a total of six months.

Vacation and sick leave do not accrue during the period a staff member is on SSL.

Length of service and SSL benefit available

  • Less than one year: No SSL available
  • One year: Up to one month
  • Two years: Up to two months
  • Three years: Up to three months
  • Four years: Up to four months
  • Five years: Up to five months

Six-plus years: Up to six months

SSL benefits end when the staff member is able to return to work, when the approved leave expires, or when the staff member has been approved for long-term disability, whichever comes first.

Eligible staff may receive SSL benefits only once in a 12-month period measured backward from the date SSL was last used.  Once SSL is used, the SSL measurement period starts over at 1 month of leave for 1 year of employment after the leave was last used. 

SSL benefits are paid entirely by the college.  Staff do not contribute to this plan and unused benefits will not be paid upon termination of employment or retirement.  Staff returning from SSL may be restored to their previous position or to an equivalent position with the same benefits and pay, if available.

Requesting SSL:

Eligible staff must apply for paid medical leave (including SSL) through Human Resources and must provide a physician’s statement. The college may request a second medical opinion from a physician of the college's choosing, at the college's expense. Employees on paid medical leave will keep Human Resources informed of their medical status and of the date they expect to be released to return to work.

Paid Medical Leave for Faculty

Faculty manage their own sick leave in consultation with their Department Chair and Dean of the Faculty.  On a case-by-case basis, the College provides full-time and adjunct faculty members leaves of absence necessitated by health problems. Upon consultation with the department chair, the Dean of the Faculty may approve the continuation of the faculty member’s salary for a period not to exceed 180 days for full- time faculty, the number of days pro-rated for adjunct faculty. Paid medical leaves are counted toward the twelve weeks of unpaid leave provided under the Family Medical Leave Act. The State of Colorado requires that all employees accrue sick leave upon hire (or beginning 1/1/21) at least at the rate of .0333 hours for each hour worked.  The maximum accrual required by the State is 48 hours.  The official accrual of sick leave does not impact how faculty paid and unpaid medical leave is handled as faculty aren’t constrained to the 48 hours required by the State.

Unpaid Medical Leave for Faculty

A faculty member who has been granted a paid medical leave is eligible for an unpaid leave only after the termination of the paid leave and approval by Dean of the Faculty. 

Under provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act, the College provides up to 12 weeks of leave to faculty who have been employed at the College for at least one academic year during which they worked at least 1,250 hours. Legitimate grounds for such leaves are included in the FMLA policy.   Up to 12-weeks of FML will run concurrently with all paid/unpaid medical leaves. 

Public Health Emergency Leave

When a public health emergency is declared (and four weeks after its end) employees may take up to two weeks of paid leave for one of these reasons:

  1. self-isolating or work exclusion due to exposure, symptoms, or diagnosis of the communicable illness in the public health emergency;
  2. seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or care (including preventive care) of such an illness;
  3. being unable to work due to a health condition that may increase susceptibility to or risk of such an illness; or,
  4. caring for a child or other family in category (a)-(c), or whose school or child care is unavailable due to the public health emergency.

During a public health emergency, employees will have public health emergency leave as an option on their timesheets and leave reports.  Faculty may access Public Health Emergency Leave by notice to their Department Chair and the Benefits Manager.

Employee Rights Protected

Colorado College will not take retaliatory personnel actions or discriminate against an employee or former employee because the person exercised, attempted to exercise, or supported the exercise of rights protected under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act. 


A student or staff employee must notify their supervisor as soon as possible of their need to use sick leave.  Check with your supervisor on how they want to be notified.  The employee notes sick leave used on their timesheet or leave report.

Faculty manage their own sick leave in consultation with their Department Chair and the Dean of the Faculty.

If the sick leave extends beyond 4 consecutive days the supervisor/Department Chair/Dean of the Faculty must contact HR so it can be reviewed for Family Medical Leave applicability.

Personal leave for staff (which comes from sick leave balances) should be requested and approved by the supervisor prior to taking the time off.


Family member – a person who is related by blood, marriage, civil union, or adoption; a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis or a person who stood in loco parentis for the employee when the employee was a minor; or a person for whom the employee is responsible for providing or arranging health or safety related care.

Report an issue - Last updated: 07/19/2023