The University of Memphis

Sick Leave


Issued: April 11, 2017
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University to protect regular employees against loss of earnings due to illness, injury, or incapacity to work; and to provide time off in the event of serious illness or death of specified family members. 



The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for administering the accrual and use of sick leave.




Regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible to accrue sick leave from the date of employment. Temporary employees are not eligible to accrue sick leave.

Employees are eligible to accrue sick leave if they are in an active status.  Active status does not include any period of unpaid leave of absence or any non-working period.

Temporary clerical/support and administrative/professional employees subsequently appointed as regular employees with no break in service, are eligible to accrue and shall receive sick leave retroactively as of the date of temporary employment.

Accrual Rates

Regular full-time employees employed on a twelve-month or nine-month basis accrue sick leave at the rate of 7.5 hours per month of actual service.  A regular full-time employee may not earn more than 90 hours of sick leave per year.

Full-time, nine-month academic personnel may accrue sick leave for periods of employment during the summer based on the number of credit hours taught during the summer sessions.

Regular nine-month academic personnel accrue 67.5 hours of sick leave for full-time employment for the full academic year, and no more than 22.5 hours of sick leave for full-time employment during summer sessions.

Accrued hours of sick leave are cumulative for all hours not used.  There is no maximum accumulation.

Eligible employees accrue sick leave after working the major portion of the month, i.e., more than 50%.; however, the leave will not be available for use until the following pay period.

Part-time Employee Accruals

Regular part-time employees, whether employed on a twelve-month or nine-month basis, accrue sick leave according to the following table.                               

Twelve-month Employees
Hours Worked per week   

Nine-month Employees   
Semester hours worked  

   Accrual rate

  9-18 hours per week

   3 - 5 semester hours

   .25 of full- time

 19-26 hours per week

   6 - 9 semester hours

   .50 of full-time

  27 but less than full-time

 10-14 semester hours

   .75 of full-time


Use of Sick Leave

Sick leave is applicable to absences due to illness or injury of an employee, including illness or incapacity to work due to pregnancy, medical examinations, and dental appointments.  In addition, sick leave may be used for maternity leave, paternity leave, and for a serious illness of an immediate family member. For purposes of this section, immediate family shall include: spouse; children, stepchildren, foster children; parents, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents parents-in-law; siblings, and other members of the family who reside within the home of the employee.

If eligible for qualifying events an employee also receives protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.  In those cases, sick leave and FMLA will run concurrently.

Sick leave hours shall not be advanced.

Sick Leave may be used by nine-month academic personnel who become ill during a summer session only if the employee has actually commenced employment for the specified term.

When an employee retires under the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, a defined benefit plan, accumulated sick leave counts as creditable service. Every twenty days of accumulated sick leave is equal to one (1) month of creditable service in this system. However, unused sick leave is not included as creditable service for disability retirement.    

Medical Certification

Medical certification and a release to return to work is required under UM1572-Leave of Absence Policy  Sick leave may not be denied when an employee notifies the supervisor or department head of her/his absence and furnishes an acceptable statement from a licensed health care provider. Employees should not submit statements which include medical diagnosis.  In the event additional medical information is required, the request will be managed by the University Benefits Administration.  

Exhaustion of Sick Leave

When the illness, injury or disability of an employee continues beyond the period of accumulated sick leave, the employee shall use any accumulated annual leave during the continued absence. However, in a workers' compensation case, an employee may choose to be placed on unpaid leave of absence while receiving lost time pay and retain sick and/or annual leave.

When an employee has exhausted all accumulated sick and annual leave, the employee is placed on a leave without pay status.   

In addition, the Sick Leave Banks provide emergency sick leave hours to members of the programs who have suffered an illness, injury, or disability and exhausted their personal sick and annual leave. Refer to University policy UM1609 Sick Leave Bank-Faculty and Staff for additional information.


Reporting Usage of Leave

.  Leave shall be reported on the appropriate timesheet for non-exempt employees and on leave reports for exempt exactly as taken.  

Separation of Employees with Accrued Sick Leave

Employees separating from the University will not be paid for accrued unused sick leave hours. However, if an employee is transferring to another Tennessee state agency or any Tennessee public institution of higher learning, sick leave hours will be transferred to that agency. At termination, any unused sick leave is held in an inactive status. When an employee terminates employment, accumulated sick leave shall not be paid in the form of a terminal or lump sum payment. However, sick leave will be applied as creditable service in the event of retirement.  


Death of Employee with Accumulated Sick Leave

In the event of an employee’s death, the estate or designated beneficiary of an employee shall be paid for unused and accrued sick leave.  


How do I find out more information?Please visit the Benefits website at or email us at  


University Policies

Sick leave Transfer Between Employees

Faculty and Staff Sick Leave Banks

Family Medical Leave

Bereavement Leave of Absence Policy

Leave of Absence Policy



Revision Dates

 UM1544 -- Revised April 11, 2017
UM1544 Rev.1 -- updated August 26, 2008
UM1544 - Issued: February 9, 2004 - supercedes procedure number 2D:05:01C

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyResearchStudent Affairs