51 Leave and Holidays

Policy Statement (Board Approval Date:  03/22/11)

Leave of absence from active employment may be granted to full-time employees for reasons stated in the Request for Leave of Absence form (MSC Commons/MSC Forms).  The Request for Leave of Absence form must be completed prior to annul leave and as quickly as possible after returning from sick leave, bereavement leave, etc.


  1. Holidays:  The College provides annual holidays according to the College Calendar.  Faculty on nine-month appointment are entitled to regular college holidays.
  2. Leave: The College provides certain types of leave for full-time employees, as noted below:
    1. Annual Leave:  Full-time, 12-month employees and all non-faculty 9-month, 10-month and 11-month full-time employees accrue annual leave based upon months of appointment.  During the first 5 years of employment, annual leave accrues at a rate of 10 hours per month; from 6-10 years of employment, annual leave accrues at 12 hours per month; after 10 years of   employment, annual leave accrues at 14 hours per month. An employee may accumulate a maximum of 160 hours of annual leave during the first 5years of employment.  Beginning with the 6th through the 10th year of employment, annual leave may accumulate to a maximum of 184 hours. After 10 years of service, an employee may accumulate up to 200 hours of annual leave.  Annual leave should be scheduled at times convenient for both the employee and the department and that will not interfere with any critical needs of the institution.  Annual leave will not be “capped” at the maximum during the year (i.e., no days lost during the year due to reaching the cap); however, only the maximum allowed for length of service may be carried over to the next fiscal year. Leave will not be reset until August each year. All leave will accrue at the end of the following month after the hiring anniversary. Grant Programs:  Personnel employed in such a program will accrue annual leave at the same rate as other college employees.  Annual leave may also accumulate to the limit established by MSC Leave and Holiday Policy and Procedure.  Grant employees requesting leave in the last month of the grant must have prior approval from the grant director.  Leave which is accrued, but not taken, may not extend beyond the termination date of the program.  Also, an individual terminating from the grant program will not be paid for any leave balance that remains at the termination of the program.   As a result of this procedure, personnel employed in the sponsored programs are encouraged to use annual leave in a reasonable manner and avoid accumulating a large balance, which may eventually be lost.
    2. Sick Leave:  Sick leave can be accumulated by all full-time employees at a rate of 10 hours per month of appointment not to exceed 1,120 hours per year.  Compensation for accrued sick leave is not provided upon termination of employment.  If the employee leaves the service of the College after having used more sick leave than has been earned, a deduction for such excess sick leave will be made from his/her final salary payment.
      1. The Leave of Absence form is signed by any person absent because of illness, and a statement from a physician may be required at the discretion of the institution for absences of three days (24 work hours) or more in a row.
      2. In case of a brief illness, an employee’s work may be absorbed by other members of the faculty or staff. In case of extended illness, a substitute may be employed by the appropriate administrator.   In this case, the employee’s regular pay would be continued for a period of time in keeping with his/her accrued sick leave time.
      3. In case of a family member’s illness, an employee may take two days (16 hours) per year to be charged to his/her accrued sick leave time.
    3. Flex Leave: All full-time employees accrue 8 hours of flex leave each month. After three months all un-used will be reset. Flex leave is to be used when an employee is unable to work on location, but is capable of completing work from home or an alternate location. Grant Programs:  Personnel in sponsored grant programs will accrue sick leave at the same rate as other college employees.  Also, sick leave may accumulate to a maximum established by the MSC Leave and Holiday Policy and Procedure.  Sick leave benefits may not extend beyond the termination date of the program.
  3. Employee Leave Bank and Shared Leave Program:
    1. Purpose: An Employee Leave Bank has been established for MSC full-time employees.  According to eligibility criteria, employees can bank Sick Leave (including Sick Leave that is accrued over the maximum 140 days/1,120 hours now allowed).  In the case of a serious health condition as defined, an employee who has exhausted all accrued paid leave can withdraw his/her own banked leave. The Shared Leave Program is a means for a College employee to donate paid leave to a fellow College employee who is eligible for and requires leave while experiencing a serious health condition as defined, and which has caused or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay.
    2. Definitions:
      1. Serious Health Condition: A serious, extreme, catastrophic, or life-threatening medical condition is a period of incapacity requiring the employee to be medically unable to work for a prolonged period of 30 days or more.  The medical condition includes continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider or continuing treatment of a chronic or long-term health condition.  The employee must be suffering from an extraordinary or severe illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay.
      2. Employee Recipient: Recipients of leave donations must have been employed by MSC for a minimum of one full year and must accrue one half of their earned Sick Leave annually with a maximum accrued leave of 30 days.  Recipients must hold benefits-eligible positions that accrue Sick Leave, must have completed a Shared Leave enrollment form, have received no disciplinary actions for abuse of time, have exhausted all earned paid leave and have shared leave recommended by their supervisor and approved by the Employee Benefits Committee.
      3. Employee Donor: To bank Sick Leave or donate leave to the Shared Leave program, an employee must be full-time, have one year of continuous service, must complete a Shared Leave enrollment form, and maintain a leave balance of no less than 80 hours and be subject to approval by the Director of Human Resources.  Total annual donations may be made in amounts no greater than half of the paid leave accrual rate in any fiscal year.  Unused leave at the cessation of employment cannot be donated.
      4. Employee Benefits Committee: The Employee Benefits Committee monitors the Shared Leave program, makes policy recommendations to administration and employee assemblies, and approves employee leave share requests.  One member, by position, is the Director of Human Resources.  There will be one elected member each from the respective MSC employee assemblies and one member of administration appointed by the President.
      5. General Guidelines:
        1. Shared leave is meant to cover only the duration of the serious health condition for which it was approved.
        2. Sixty days is the maximum number of days any member may receive in any 12-month period and the maximum number of leave days any participant may receive during the life of their employment is 180 days.
        3. All donated leave must be donated voluntarily. No employee will be coerced, threatened, intimidated, or financially induced into donating paid leave for purposes of the Shared Leave Program.
        4. Employees who are receiving shared leave will not accrue additional paid leave.
        5. Persons involved in the administration of the Shared Leave Program are responsible for guarding the privacy of leave recipients and donors, and HIPPA rules and regulations will apply.
        6. Donations to the Shared Leave program will be in one-day increments, and all leave donated to the Shared Leave Program remains in the program and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
        7. An employee’s eligibility to receive donated leave through the Shared Leave Program ends upon their return to full-time or part-time employment or when they begin to receive income from other benefits, i.e. Long-term Disability Benefits, Worker’s Compensation Benefits, etc.
        8. Employees do not have expectation of entitlement to Leave Sharing. Receipt of shared leave is a gift from fellow employees and is not intended to constitute or obligate debt or reciprocity.
        9. Shared leave donations can be made from the Employee Leave Bank or from accrued Sick Leave.
        10. The decision of the Employee Benefits Committee is final and not subject to the grievance procedure.
  4. Bereavement or Medical Emergency Leave: Five days (40 hours) per year without loss of pay are allowable for leave of absence due to death or critical illness of a person other than the employee.  This leave is discretionary and does not accrue.  Additional absences of this type require personal leave (for less than 12-month faculty) or annual leave.  Proof to validate the Bereavement or Medical Emergency Leave will be required by Human Resources.
  5. Jury Duty or Required Court Appearance: No deduction in salary is made if an employee must appear in court when subpoenaed as a witness or required to serve jury duty.  This privilege does not apply to court cases involving an employee’s personal business.  When an employee is granted a leave of absence for jury duty, such leave will be without loss of pay.
  6. Maternity/Paternity Leave:  Female employees are eligible for 40 days  of maternity leave of absence in addition to that provided through sick and/or annual leave policies.  Male employees are eligible for 20 days of paternity leave to be taken at appropriate times during the pre-and post-delivery period of his spouse. To be eligible for paid parental leave, the employee must be employed for 60 days.
  7. Personal Leave for Full-Time 9-, 10-, and 11-Month Employees Not Eligible for Annual Leave: Personal leave is limited to five days per year.  Requests for leave for personal reasons (i.e., any activity which is not of official College nature and which is not covered by other leave) must be submitted in writing on a Leave of Absence form through proper channels.  If approved, a substitute for whom the employee has arranged with approval of the appropriate vice president/area supervisor will be engaged to assume responsibilities.  If the substitute is not a College employee, the individual requesting personal leave is responsible for compensating the substitute.  Except in personal emergency, personal leave should be scheduled at times convenient for both the employee and the department and that will not interfere with any critical needs of the institution and student instruction.  Additional days taken for personal leave will be considered leave without pay.
  8. Professional Leave: Professional Leave may be taken as outlined in the Request for Release Time procedure. The Request for Leave of Absence form should be completed indicating Professional Leave for advanced studies.  This form must be completed for each class for which release time is being requested.  When completed, the Request for Leave of Absence must be approved through the appropriate supervisor/administrative chain before such release time may be taken.  This form is available on the MSC Commons/MSC Forms.
  9. Sabbatical Leave and Non-Sabbatical Leave:
    1. Sabbatical Leave: Sabbatical leave may be requested by qualified faculty, professional, and administrative staff having a minimum of six years’ service to MSC for the purpose of engaging in study or research to improve his/her professional competence and increase his/her usefulness to MSC.  The employee will receive full pay for a one-semester sabbatical, or one-half pay for a two-semester sabbatical.  Such leave, if granted, commits the employee to three years of subsequent service to MSC or repayment of the sabbatical salary.  Each employee receiving authorization for a sabbatical leave must give, prior to the granting of the leave, a security for his/her return to employment.  This is to be accomplished by the recipient obtaining a sabbatical leave bond issued by a surety company recognized by the State Insurance Commissioner doing business in the state in the amount of the salary that the employee is to receive.  Under no circumstances will signature bonds be accepted.
    2. Non-Sabbatical Leave:
      1. After a faculty, professional, or administrative staff member has serviced the College for five years, leave without pay may be approved for a period of one year to allow the employee to do further graduate study if it is in the best interest of the College.
      2. Any employee with proper approval may be granted leave time up to four hours per week to pursue additional studies without loss of pay.
      3. Unpaid Leave of Absence:  Unpaid leave may be requested by qualified employees for just cause (e.g., extenuating personal circumstances, pursuit of education beneficial to the College, etc.).  Allowance of such leave is subject to the ability of the College to find qualified temporary replacement staff.
      4. Administrative Leave: Administrative Leave with pay is sometimes given when it is determined    to be in the best interest of the College that an employee not return to work for a specified period   of time or a designated emergency closings of the College.  Time approved as Administrative Leave is not to be charged to paid leave.
      5. Birthday Benefit: Full-time employees are entitled to (8) eight hours leave as a Birthday Benefit.   This leave can be taken by initiating the Request for Leave of Absence Form and selecting  Birthday Benefit.  As an additional benefit full-time employees are given a Birthday Benefit Discount of 25% on any one (1) purchase.  This benefit will be taken after the Employee Discount   has been applied. This discount is available for all retail merchandise with the exception of books.  A letter will be sent to each employee acknowledging his/her Birthday Benefit Discount.  The notification letter must be presented at the time of purchase to utilize the discount. Birthday Benefits will expire each calendar year if unused.
      6. Disciplinary Leave (Suspension): An employee may be placed on Disciplinary Leave (Suspension) with or without pay when it is in the best interest of the College to do so.      Disciplinary Leave (Suspension) will be paid for a period of time not to exceed any accrued Annual Leave.  Disciplinary Leave (Suspension) will automatically become leave without pay when no accrued Annual Leave is available.
      7. Family and Medical Leave:  Employees may use the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), which gives certain job protections to employees when balancing work responsibilities with the demands of personal illness or injury or in caring for family members.  For details on the current law, consult the Human Resources Director. (Certifications will be required).  Any leave taken which would fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act automatically qualifies under the Act after the 10th collective day of absence and may be paid or unpaid dependent upon current leave policies/procedures and the amount of accrued leave available to you.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FRFCRA or Act) (Added 06.03.2020) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specific reasons related to COVID-19.  These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.


Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:

  • 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
  • 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
  • Up to 10 weeks more of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reasons #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.

A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.


In general employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below).  Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.


An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  • is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  • is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  • is caring for his/her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  • is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA.  Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act.  Employers in violation of the provision of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforced by WHD.



Murray State College Institutional Policies and Procedures Copyright © by Murray State College. All Rights Reserved.

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