11.02.03.07

.07 Sick Leave.

A. Types of Sick Leave.

(1) Definition. "Occurrence" means each period of sick leave, regardless of duration, used for the reasons set forth in §B(2) of this regulation.

(2) Sick leave is a form of earned leave with sick pay.

(3) Advanced and extended sick leave are forms of allotted leave with sick pay.

(4) Payment for sick leave, advanced sick leave, or extended sick leave taken for the employee's personal illness, injury, or medical disability constitutes a separate benefit on account of sickness, and is not a continuation of salary.

B. Eligibility.

(1) Rate of Earning and Accumulation.

(a) Upon employment, an employee shall earn 1.5 hours of sick leave for each 26 hours worked, and may accumulate up to 15 days of sick leave per calendar year.

(b) Periods of paid leave, except for extended sick leave, advanced sick leave, donated leave, and leave bank leave, are to be included in hours worked for the purpose of calculating sick leave earnings.

(2) Use. With appropriate notification, an employee may use accumulated sick leave for:

(a) Injury, illness, or other medical disability;

(b) A medical or dental appointment for the employee or immediate family member, that is, an employee's spouse, child, parent or a parent of an employee's spouse, others who took the place of parents, brothers and sisters of an employee or an employee's spouse, and other relatives living as members of the employee's household;

(c) Medical care and treatment of an employee's immediate family; or

(d) Any other use authorized by this regulation.

(3) Care of Newborn or Adoptive Child.

(a) An employee may use one occurrence of earned sick leave without the necessity for medical certification to care for the employee's newborn child or to care for a child placed with the employee for purposes of adoption.

(b) The sick leave taken:

(i) Shall be consecutive workdays;

(ii) May be used only within 1 year from the date of the birth or placement for purposes of adoption of a child; and

(iii) May not exceed 20 workdays.

(c) Additional time needed to care for a child requiring more than the 20 days of care allowed by §B(3)(b)(iii) of this regulation may be requested under other leave provisions.

(4) Death in an Employee's Immediate Family. A maximum of 5 days may be charged to sick leave in the event of a death in the immediate family of an employee or an employee's spouse. Immediate family includes an employee's spouse and the employee's or spouse's:

(a) Children, foster children, or stepchildren;

(b) Parents, stepparents, foster parents, others who took the place of parents, or legal guardians;

(c) Brothers or sisters;

(d) Grandparents or grandchildren; and

(e) Other relatives living as members of the employee's household.

(5) Bereavement Leave. An employee may elect to receive up to 3 days of bereavement leave instead of 3 of the 5 sick days in §B(4) of this regulation upon the death of certain members of the employee's family. Bereavement leave is allotted leave with pay that may be used on the death of the following members of the employee's family:

(a) Spouse of the employee;

(b) Children, including foster children and stepchildren of the employee;

(c) Parents, stepparents, or foster parents of the employee;

(d) Brothers and sisters of the employee; and

(e) Grandparents and grandchildren of the employee.

(6) Death of Employee's Other Relatives. A maximum of 1 day may be charged to sick leave in the event of the death of one of the following relatives:

(a) Aunts and uncles of an employee or spouse;

(b) Nephews and nieces of an employee or spouse;

(c) Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law of an employee or spouse; and

(d) Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law.

(7) If the sick leave required in connection with a death in a family is in excess of the limits specified in §B(4) and (5) of this regulation, an employee may, with appropriate approval, use accumulated annual, personal, or compensatory leave.

C. Limitation Applying to the Calculation of Sick Leave Earnings. Hours worked in excess of hours regularly scheduled in a normal workweek may not be applied in computing sick leave earnings.

D. There is no limitation on the amount of unused sick leave which an employee may carry forward from one calendar year to another.

E. Transferring Sick Leave. A Department employee converting into the Transportation Service, or an employee in State service who is hired into the Transportation Service from another State department or agency, shall transfer any advanced sick leave obligations, and may transfer any unused sick leave.

F. Restoration of Sick Leave.

(1) Upon reinstatement within 2 years, a former Department employee is entitled to restoration of unused sick leave.

(2) A previous State employee who is hired into the Transportation Service within 2 years from the date of separation from State service is entitled to restoration of unused sick leave.

G. Sick Leave Certificates.

(1) Definition. In this section, "sick leave certificate" means a written certification from individuals specified in §G(6) of this regulation which verifies any illness of an employee or illness of a member of the employee's immediate family which necessitates the employee's absence from work for a specified period of time.

(2) 5-Day Sick Leave Certificates.

(a) An employee shall submit an original 5-day sick leave certificate signed as specified in §G(6) of this regulation for any illness requiring an absence from work for 5 or more consecutive workdays. The certificate shall specify the period covered by the illness and the prognosis regarding the employee's ability to return to work.

(b) An employee shall submit an original 5-day sick leave certificate verifying the necessity for an absence of 5 or more consecutive workdays from work when the absence is required in connection with the care and treatment of an employee's immediate family member.

(3) 1-Occurrence Sick Leave Certificates.

(a) If an employee has been absent from work for 6 or more undocumented occurrences within a 12-month period for causes requiring the use of earned sick leave, the appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee may require an employee to submit a 1-occurrence sick leave certificate to verify any subsequent use of earned sick leave for 1 or more occurrences.

(b) The requirement to submit a 1-occurrence sick leave certificate applies for a period of at least 6 months.

(c) An employee shall be provided with a written notice stating the starting and ending dates for the period during which 1-occurrence sick leave certificates are required.

(4) Other Sick Leave Certificate Submission Requirements. When an illness of 1 day or more occurs during a period of previously approved annual, personal, or compensatory leave, the use of sick leave to cover the period of illness may be authorized, if the employee presents a sick leave certificate.

(5) Limitations on Requiring 1-Occurrence Sick Leave Certificates. Use of sick leave in connection with a medical appointment for an employee, a death in an employee's family, a birth of an employee's child, or an adoption may not be included as a sick leave occurrence for the purpose of establishing a 1-occurrence sick leave certificate requirement.

(6) Sick Leave Certificate Authentication. Original sick leave certificates shall be signed or certified by one of the following or their designee:

(a) Licensed physician;

(b) Accredited Christian Science practitioner;

(c) Physical therapist;

(d) Clinical psychologist;

(e) Dentist;

(f) Oral surgeon;

(g) Chiropractor;

(h) Podiatrist;

(i) Certified nurse practitioner;

(j) Certified nurse midwife;

(k) Licensed clinical social worker; or

(l) Optometrist.

H. Advanced Sick Leave.

(1) Advanced sick leave is a form of allotted leave with pay, and shall be repaid.

(2) Eligibility.

(a) An employee with a minimum of 1 year of continuous State service at the time of the request who has exhausted all accumulated annual, personal, sick, and compensatory leave available may request an allotment and use of up to 60 working days of advanced sick leave within a 24-month period for a serious health condition, as defined in COMAR 11.02.13.02B(14).

(b) The initial 24-month period begins with the first allotment of advanced sick leave while employed in the Transportation Service.

(c) An employee's total advanced sick leave debt may not exceed 60 days at any one time.

(d) A minimum of 10 working days of advanced sick leave shall be granted to an employee.

(e) An employee who will be unable to return to work at any time is no longer eligible for advanced sick leave.

(f) An employee who has been advanced the maximum 60 days of advanced sick leave may not be allotted more until the 60 days has been repaid.

(g) An employee may not be allotted an amount of advanced sick leave which would bring the employee's total time out to 1 year or more. For purposes of the 1-year maximum time out, an employee shall return to work for a continuous period of 160 hours, not counting holidays, leave, or scheduled time off.

(3) An employee on advanced sick leave may not earn annual leave.

(4) Before applying for advanced sick leave, an employee shall apply to the Employee-to-Employee Leave Donation Program and the State Employees' Leave Bank.

(5) Advanced sick leave shall be counted against an employee's FMLA entitlement, as set forth in COMAR 11.02.13.

(6) Personal Leave.

(a) Personal leave shall be allotted to an employee on advanced sick leave, but may not be used by the employee.

(b) Personal leave allotted during an employee's advanced sick leave shall be deducted from the employee's advanced sick leave debt.

(7) Approval of a request for an allotment and use of advanced sick leave is at the discretion of the Secretary or the Secretary's designee. The Secretary or Secretary's designee may request the Department Medical Advisor to determine the medical necessity and duration of the advanced sick leave.

(8) The Department Medical Advisor may require the employee to submit to a medical examination. Requests for advanced sick leave may not be granted if the employee refuses to submit to a medical examination.

(9) Repayment.

(a) Employee acceptance of an allotment of advanced sick leave constitutes an agreement to repay the Department for compensation received while using this leave, which remains binding even if the employee terminates employment with the Department.

(b) Reimbursement to the Department shall be made at the minimum rate of 1/2 of the rate of sick leave and annual leave earned. In addition, the employee may apply credited annual leave, personal leave, sick leave, compensatory leave, or cash to the amount owed.

(c) Leave earned or allotted during periods of advanced sick leave is to be deducted from the advanced sick leave debt of the employee.

(d) Repayed advanced sick leave is not credited to the 60-day maximum entitlement.

(10) Waiver of Repayment. Repayment is not required:

(a) From an employee's estate; or

(b) On separation from the Department for any part of an advanced sick leave debt that was incurred under the State Personal Management System before June 5, 1995.

I. Extended Sick Leave.

(1) Extended sick leave is a form of allotted leave with pay.

(2) Specific Illness.

(a) At the discretion of the appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee, an employee with at least 5 years of service may be granted extended sick leave for a period of up to 90 days to bridge the time necessary to process an application for retirement necessitated by a medical disability.

(b) The employee shall provide medical documentation that the previous earned sick leave used was for the illness or related conditions necessitating the request for extended sick leave.

(3) In order to be eligible for extended sick leave, an employee shall exhaust all other leave, except advanced sick leave.

(4) The employee shall file a written request to the appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee on a form prescribed by the Secretary.

(5) All medical information shall be sent directly to the Department Medical Advisor by the employee's physician.

(6) If requested by the appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee, the Department Medical Advisor shall determine the medical necessity and the duration of the extended sick leave, not to exceed the limits set forth in §I(2) of this regulation. In making this determination, the Department Medical Advisor may require the employee to submit to a medical examination.

(7) Requests for extended sick leave may not be granted if the employee refuses to submit to a medical examination.

(8) An employee on extended sick leave may not earn annual leave.

(9) An employee on extended sick leave may not be allotted personal leave.

(10) Before applying for extended sick leave, an employee shall apply to the Employee-to-Employee Leave Donation Program and the State Employees' Leave Bank, and any leave received under these programs shall be deducted from the 90-day maximum allowance of extended sick leave.

(11) Extended sick leave shall be counted against an employee's FMLA entitlement, as set forth in COMAR 11.02.13.

(12) An employee may not be allotted an amount of extended sick leave which would bring the employee's total time out to 1 year or more. For purposes of the 1-year maximum time out, an employee shall return to work for a continuous period of 160 hours, not counting holidays, leave, or scheduled time off.

(13) An employee applying for extended sick leave under this section may not return to work and shall present evidence of application for retirement.

(14) Review of Requests for Extended Sick Leave.

(a) The appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee, or a board established by the Secretary, shall review all requests for extended sick leave.

(b) Requests may be denied for medical reasons only upon the recommendation of the Department Medical Advisor.

(c) Requests may also be denied for job performance-related reasons as documented by the appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee.