Faculty Handbook: Policies Governing Faculty Service
3.13  Leave Policies for Academic and Other Non-classified Personnel

(Board Policy 420.1, revised May 27, 2021)
(UA System Policy 425.2, revised April 20, 2020)

Sick Leave Policy

All full-time appointed employees earn sick leave credit at the rate of eight hours per month with a maximum of 960 hours accrual. Sick leave accrues only when an employee is in a paid status and does not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay. Paid sick leave is not granted as vacation but is permissible only when illness or injury to the employee causes absence from their work or if conditions require appointment with a physician, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, or osteopath. Sick leave may also be granted to employees due to the death or serious illness of a member of the employee’s immediate family. Immediate family shall mean the father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, child, grandparents, in-laws, or any individual acting as a parent or guardian of an employee.

Sick leave applies only to a period when the employee is in an appointed status. If sick leave begins during the Spring Semester it shall not be extended into the Summer Session, but, if necessary, sick leave may be extended into or begun in the Fall Semester if the individual has received a Personnel Action Form for the Fall Semester, even though the illness may begin in the summer when the individual is not in appointed status for the summer.

Absence due to illness or disability, except in case of maternity leave, is charged in the following order:

  • Earned sick leave.
  • Earned annual leave.
  • Leave without pay.

Employees may continue to work during pregnancy provided they are able to do their normal jobs. Since pregnancy is considered as any temporary illness, an employee who is not able to work because of pregnancy may elect to take a leave of absence without pay without exhausting accumulated annual and sick leave. A modified work assignment is another possibility available to faculty. See 3.14 below. Upon return from pregnancy leave the employee will be given the same or comparable position to the one she occupied prior to the leave. The employee is expected to give her supervisor as much notice as possible prior to beginning maternity leave and at least two weeks’ notice prior to returning to work. Both notices should be in writing.

Annual Leave

Employees whose titles are listed in the appropriation acts as twelve-month non-classified positions, will receive 22.5 days of paid vacation from the on-set of employment, earned at a rate of 15 hours per month. While administrative duties cannot be limited to a five-day, forty-hour week, for purposes of annual leave the normal work week shall be considered Monday through Friday. Vacation shall not be taken before it is earned but must be taken within 12 months after the close of the calendar year in which it is earned. An exception may be made when a vacation is postponed for the convenience of the University.

Vacation benefits are granted to all non-classified and not-student employees on 12-month appointments of one-half time or more, with part-time employees earning leave in proportion to the time worked.

An employee whose appointment is scheduled to be changed from a 12-month basis to a nine-month basis must take all accrued, unused vacation before the end of the 12-month period. An employment period shall not be extended for the purpose of paying an employee for unused vacation, and neither shall lump-sum terminal payment be made unless an employee terminates employment with the University.

Annual leave is cumulative; however, no employee may have in excess of 30 days on December 31 of each year. During the calendar year accrued leave may exceed 30 days, but those days in excess of 30 or 240 hours will be lost if they are not used before December 31 of each year. Accrued annual leave may be requested by an employee at any time. The appropriate supervisor will grant the request when it will least interfere with the efficient operation of the department.

Annual leave may not be accumulated while an employee is on leave without pay.

Upon termination, resignation, retirement, death, or other action by which a person ceases to be an active employee of the University, the amount due the employee or their estate from accrued annual leave or holiday leave, not to exceed 30 working days inclusive of holidays, shall be included in the final pay to the employee. No employee receiving such additional compensation shall return to University employment until the number of days for which he received additional compensation has expired.

Military Leave

Twelve-month employees who are members of the National Guard or any of the reserve branches of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be granted a maximum of two weeks leave annually plus necessary travel time for annual training requirements. Such leave shall be granted without loss of pay and in addition to regular vacation

time. Nine-month academic and administrative employees are expected to take any two weeks military leave during the three months they are not under contract to the University. Each employee who requests military leave shall furnish a copy of their orders to the appropriate vice president or vice chancellor. An employee who is drafted or called to active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or who volunteers for military service shall be placed on extended military leave without pay and upon application within 90 days after the effective date of their release from active duty shall be reinstated to the position vacated or to an equivalent position at no loss of seniority or any of the other benefits and privileges of employment. An employee who enlists or reenlists for a second consecutive tour of military duty shall forfeit their reemployment rights.

Military personnel called to duty in emergencies by the Governor or by the President of the United States shall be granted leave with pay not to exceed 30 working days after which leave without pay will be granted. This leave shall be granted in addition to regular time.

Court and Jury Leave

Any employee serving as a witness, juror, or party litigant shall be entitled to regular University compensation in addition to any fees paid by the Court for such services and such absences shall not be counted as annual leave.

In cases where service as a witness can be handled by having the involved attorney take a deposition or statement, it is preferred. Depositions or statements which involve the University may be taken during duty hours. All others should be handled as off-duty time.

Employees who are accepted by the Court as expert witnesses and paid a fee in excess of the normal witness fee shall take annual leave for the time required for such testimony.

Where service on a jury would substantially interfere with the execution of the University work schedule, the chief administrative officer of the campus may petition the judge in writing for exemption from service. However, if exemption is denied or if no response is received prior to the date jury duty is to begin, the individual must report for jury duty.

An employee who is summoned to serve on jury duty shall not be subject to discharge from employment, loss of sick leave or vacation time, or any other form of penalty as a result of their absence from employment due to such jury duty, upon giving reasonable notice to their employer of such summons.

Leave of Absence Without Pay

The President of the University is authorized to grant leaves of absence without pay for a period not to exceed one year. (See also Family and Medical Leave below.)

Vacation Leave for Graduate Study

Vacation leave for graduate study may be granted to otherwise eligible employees under the following terms:

  • Accrued vacation with pay may, if used for graduate study, be accumulated for two calendar years preceding the date of the leave, if it is used by January 1 of the third year.
  • Permission to carry over such credit must be requested in writing by the employee and approved by the President in advance of the commencement of vacation accrual. The President may approve a modified application of the regulation where circumstances warrant, not to exceed the earned vacation allowance for two years.

Family and Medical Leave

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the university provides up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid leave and job protection per 12-month period per year for employees with qualifying life events, continuation of health benefits during leave, and reinstatement to the same or an equivalent job upon return.

In general, when an employee cannot report to work due to either a personal or family illness for greater than three consecutive working days, they may be eligible for unpaid leave under the FMLA. 

Qualifying events include:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Placement of a child in foster care
  • Spouse or an immediate family member with a serious health condition requiring care
  • Inability to work due to a serious health condition
  • Covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness requiring care if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin
  • Qualifying exigency rising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent is a military member on covered active duty

An employee's spouse, children and parents are immediate family members for the purposes of FMLA. Immediate family member includes a parent, but does not include a parent-in-law. The term son or daughter does not include individuals age 18 or over unless they are incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability limiting one or more major life activities as defined by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they:

  • Were employed by the university for 12 months (does not have to be continuous or consecutive)
  • Worked for the university at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months (paid leave and unpaid leave, including FMLA leave, is excluded)
  • Experienced an FMLA-qualifying event

For the complete text of the policy and procedures regarding Family and Medical Leave and employee and institution responsibilities, see the Human Resources web site https://hr.uark.edu/benefits/leave/fmla.php. For questions about the policy and procedures, contact an Absence Partner