Sick Leave and Leave of Absence Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am sick, who should I call and what should I do?

If you are sick and unable to work, whether telecommuting or scheduled to be on campus, you should inform your supervisor no less than 10 minutes before the start of your scheduled work. Staff members are required to call their supervisor each and every day they are out sick, unless they have a doctor’s note covering the specific period of time.

If you are a member of the faculty, you should email your department chair and the dean of the college at least 10 minutes prior to the start of your class.

What if I’m so sick I cannot call, text, or email my supervisor?

You should contact your supervisor, department chair, dean of the college, or your HR business partner as soon as you can. Please note that if you do not contact your supervisor, then your supervisor or an HR business partner may call you. If you are unreachable, your HR business partner may call the emergency contact listed in Workday or in your personnel file.

What if I think the illness is due to COVID-19?

If you believe you are ill due to symptoms similar to COVID-19, please contact your supervisor or department chair to let them know you are ill. You do not need to tell your supervisor or your department chair that it may be COVID. Immediately contact your health care practitioner by telephone to discuss your symptoms. Pomona will soon be partnering with Hamilton Health Box (HHB), with a campus nurse who will be available to both discuss symptoms as well as provide COVID testing.

If I am ill for more than one day, what sick leave benefits are available to me?

Regular benefits-eligible staff accrue sick time from the beginning of employment at 8 hours (one day) per month of work. Staff members may take up to 12 sick days per year for their own illness or illness of an immediate family member. Temporary staff are granted 24 hours of sick leave under California statute.

Faculty members do not accrue sick time, however, paid sick time is granted to faculty by the Dean’s Office.

When does short-term disability begin?

For both faculty and staff, short-term disability (also known more commonly as voluntary disability insurance or VDI) begins seven days after the start of the illness. Or, VDI begins on the first day if hospitalized. Your HR business partner will send you the VDI packet to be completed by you and your doctor. Due to COVID, eligibility and waiting times have been relaxed for VDI claims to begin.

What if I run out of sick time?

Staff members may be granted emergency sick time once they exhaust all available benefit leave time: sick, vacation and personal.

Faculty do not have sick time accruals.

Please talk directly to your HR business partner, as each instance of illness is unique and HR wants to protect each employee with their rights under federal and state law.

What is VDI and why do I need to apply for it?

For both faculty and staff, VDI is the employer self-funded program, Voluntary Disability Insurance, which is available to everyone paid through payroll. The College participates in the VDI program, and not the state tax-rated SDI program, as a benefit to our employees.

All faculty and staff who have been off work due to their own illness are eligible and encouraged to apply for VDI after seven days of continuous illness.

What if my child or partner is ill, may I use my sick time?

Yes. Staff members may use up to 12 sick days per year for the care of an ill immediate family member.

Faculty members should discuss leave options with the Dean’s Office.

What is the FFCRA, and does Pomona College participate?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave or expanded family leaves due to COVID-19. Pomona does not participate because the FFCRA was put into place for employers of less than 500 employees. Additionally, Pomona provides higher benefits to faculty and staff than the FFCRA provides to small employers.

What other leaves are available to me?

Faculty members should consult the Faculty Handbook found of the Dean of the College’s web site.

Staff members should consult the Employee Handbook found on the Human Resources web site.

If after consulting those policies you may still have questions, please contact your HR business partner.