The Sick Leave Pool was designated by the Texas Legislature for catastrophic illness or injury (System Policy 31.06.01). The maximum amount an employee can receive from the Sick Leave Pool is 720 hours per illness. Leave requests are made through the Leave Traq system which is accessed through Single Sign-On.
To be eligible the employee or a member of his or her family must be suffering from a catastrophic illness or injury. A catastrophic illness or injury is a severe condition or combination of conditions affecting physical or mental health and which requires treatment by a licensed practitioner for a prolonged period and forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned and therefore results in the loss of compensation from the State. A severe condition or combination of conditions is one that will:
Result in death if not treated promptly, or
Requires hospitalization for more than 72 consecutive hours, or
Causes a person to be legally declared a danger to him/herself or others.
Note: Pregnancy and elective service are not considered severe conditions except when life-threatening complications arise from them.
An employee is eligible to apply for the Sick Leave Pool when all of the following conditions are satisfied:
The employee or employee's immediate family has a severe condition or combination of conditions that requires the prolonged care of a licensed practitioner.
The employee has exhausted all paid leave time including compensatory time.
The employee has met or anticipates meeting the 160 hour requirement.
The employee has not exhausted the maximum amount of Sick Leave Pool allowed per catastrophic illness or injury.
The employee's condition is not an on-the-job injury covered by Worker's Compensation Insurance.
The employee or immediate family member of the employee will contact the Office of Human Resources.
The department will contact the Office of Human Resources if the employee is unable to do so themselves.
The Office of Human Resources will forward all the necessary paperwork to the employee:
The employee will then be responsible for submitting a physicians statement by their doctor on a monthly basis for the continuance of the sick leave pool (if approved).
The employee will be responsible for submitting a Medical Certification Form by each treating physician and every two months afterward.
Granting Sick Leave Pool
The Office of Human Resources Sick Leave Pool Committee will review the completed Medical Certification Form.
The Committee will determine if additional Medical Certification forms are needed to make a decision.
The Committee will review the Medical Certification form to see if the employee has met all of the criteria:
Non Catastrophic - Employee only granted time they have donated. Catastrophic - Employee will be granted time on a monthly basis.
The Committee will decide if a second opinion is needed to make a determination based on the information supplied.
The number of hours will be granted on a monthly basis.
Once a determination has been made, the department will receive a courtesy call/email. The call/email provides the opportunity for a question and answer session, if desired, concerning the case.
The Sick Leave pool approval letter (or denial letter, if appropriate) is sent to the employee with copies to the Department Head and the departmental leave administrator. Upon approval sick leave pool begins.
The entire application process is completed within three to five working days after the Sick Leave pool administrator receives the completed paperwork.
Awaiting a Sick Leave Pool Decision
Employees who have exhausted all accrued and available leave time must be placed on Leave Without Pay pending the decision of Sick Leave Pool. In other words, employees are not allowed to carry a negative leave balance. departments are responsible for placing the employee on Leave Without Pay when it becomes necessary, by completing a form 500 (EPA Document).
Withdrawal from Sick Leave Pool
Employees who are awarded Sick Leave Pool are eligible for up to 720 hours or 1/3 of the Sick Leave Pool balance, whichever is less. Part-time employees who are awarded Sick Leave Pool are eligible for an amount of hours that is proportionate to their appointment.
Employees will be awarded Sick Leave Pool on a monthly basis.
Employees awarded time from the Sick Leave Pool must submit their documents in the Leave Traq System.
The employees awarded time will receive a paycheck in the same manner as when receiving Sick Leave.
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