Sick Leave and the Family and Medical Leave Act

Detailed information governing these leaves is available in Article XIII of the Policies of the Board of Trustees and Article 23 in the 2016-2022 NYS/UUP Agreement.

Faculty members are required to report their sick leave on a monthly basis, using the SUNY electronic time-and-attendance system (TAS). Please refer to Employee Attendance Records for related information.

  • Academic-year faculty members accrue credits for sick leave for each month, or major fraction thereof, during the term of their professional obligation. They are not required to charge sick leave during academic-year recess periods and do not accrue (or charge) sick leave during June, July, and August, or while on sabbatical or Title F leave. (Calendar-year faculty members accrue and charge both sick and vacation leave on a 12-month basis.
  • Sick leave may be used for medical, dental, or vision care appointments.
  • Because a full-time professional obligation assumes a five-day workweek (Monday through Friday) and sick-leave credits are accrued on the basis of five days per week, sick leave must also be charged on that basis.
  • If you retire from state service and meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the state, your sick-leave credit may reduce the cost of your retiree health insurance premiums. For eligibility and further information, please call the Benefits Office in Human Resources, (914) 251-6091.

Sick leave would need to be charged by a faculty member on the following legal holidays if the college is open and classes are in session:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day

A letter from a physician or medical provider is required when a faculty member needs to be out on an extended sick leave and when the faculty member wishes to return from sick leave. In addition, an employee may be required at any time to furnish suitable medical evidence from a physician to substantiate a claimed temporary disability. (Article XIII, Title C, Policies of the Board of Trustees)

Related Information
Please refer to “Faculty Absence and Appropriate Coverage” under Faculty Professional Obligation for related information. For more detailed information on sick leave, refer to Article 23.1 and 23.4 in the NYS/UUP Agreement. Additional information, including sick-leave accruals for calendar-year faculty, is also available in the Payroll section of the Human Resources site.

Full-time, academic-year faculty members accrue sick leave as follows:
During the (nth) number years of employment: Days per month accrued:
1st year 1.25
2nd year 1.33
3rd, 4th, and 5th years 1.50
6th year 1.66
7th and subsequent years 1.75
The maximum sick-leave accrual allowable is 200 days.
Part-time faculty members accrue sick leave as follows:
Number of courses taught: Days per month accrued:
1 course 0.25
2 courses 0.50
3 courses 1.00
The maximum sick-leave accrual allowable is 200 days.

Faculty members may use up to 30 days per year of accrued sick leave for absences necessitated by an illness or a death in the immediate family (Article 23, §4, NYS/UUP Agreement). Immediate family includes any relative or relative-in-law, or any person(s) with whom an employee makes his or her home.

Faculty members may use up to 15 days per year of accrued sick leave for absences to remain at home immediately following the arrival of a newly adopted child or new foster-care child in the family home (Article 23, §5, NYS/UUP Agreement).

Appendix A-42 (Family Leave) in the NYS/UUP Agreement encourages campuses to be flexible in accommodating family needs and provides options for such accommodations. Please visit the UUP website,, to download the updated Family Leave/Work-Life Service Guide, available as a PDF under the Reports/Guides tab. This guide covers the following general areas:
  • Options for using leave accruals for birth, adoption, foster care, care of sick relatives and domestic partners, elder care, and death of family members
  • Possibilities for flexible work arrangements
  • Options for addressing the “tenure clock” timeline (continuing and permanent appointments)
  • New York State Work-Life Services programs
  • Support services from New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)

Faculty members are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, which requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the purposes of caring for a child after birth, adoption, or foster care; caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job. Medical documentation is required and must be submitted directly to the Benefits Office in Human Resources. Please do not submit any medical documentation to anyone other than the Benefits Office or Human Resources representative.

Faculty members are eligible if they have worked at the university for one year and for 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. While on FMLA leave, SUNY must maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage at the same employee contribution rate that the employee pays while working.

FMLA Military Family Leave Entitlements allow an eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a current member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) with a serious injury or illness up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for the service member.

An employee is required to provide at least 30 days advance notice and medical documentation for a foreseeable leave, including planned medical treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered service member, unless not practical.

Please call the Benefits Office in Human Resources, (914) 251-6448 to learn more about FMLA coverage. Information is also available online on the Human Resources site.