Personal Illness

 While we understand that an illness can create individual stress, it’s also important to note that excessive absences can have a negative effect on the continuity of instruction to the students and morale of other employees.

We are here to assist you with questions about personal illness leave and hope the information provided helps you understand the School District of Philadelphia’s personal illness leave policy and procedures.

 

PERSONAL ILLNESS ACCRUAL

  • Regular, full-time employees and Non-Represented employees below Director level and long-term substitutes: eligible for ten (10) days each year at full salary, for non-work related illness or injury.
  • Part-time regular employees: may be eligible for a prorated amount of sick leave accrual.
  • Non-Represented, Director level (or above) employees are granted one (1) year of sick leave in lieu of sick leave accrual.

APPROVAL REQUIRED

All employees are required to request approval for personal illness and illness in family absences on the appropriate form.

  • For absences of three (3) work days or less: complete a REQUEST FOR ABSENCE FORM (Form# SEH-86) and submit it to your location administrator.
  • For absences of more than three (3) consecutive work days: submit a REQUEST ABSENCE FOR PERSONAL ILLNESS/ILLNESS IN FAMILY FORM (Form# SEH-3) to the EHS office every 10 days during your leave. Failure to submit completed SEH-3 forms during an extended sick leave may be a basis for disciplinary action.

EXTENDED PERSONAL ILLNESS ABSENCE WITHOUT WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS

Non-Represented, Director level (or above) employees are granted one (1) year of sick leave in lieu of wage continuation benefits. You must submit the appropriate absence form and medical documentation during the leave. If you are not able to return to work at the end of the one year period, you will be given the option to resign or retire.

All other employees who either do not elect or are ineligible to enroll in the wage continuation benefit program are entitled to unpaid sick leave after exhausting all accrued sick days. The period of unpaid sick leave is equal to the difference between the number of accrued sick days and a full work year. You must submit the appropriate absence form and medical documentation during the leave. If you are not able to return to work at the end of the one year period, you will be given the option to resign or retire.

EXTENDED PERSONAL ILLNESS ABSENCE WITH WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS

PFT, CASA, SPAP, Local 634 and Non-Represented employees

You will receive 75% of your regular wages for a maximum of 26 weeks after the exhaustion of accrued sick days and the unpaid wage continuation waiting period.  The appropriate absence form and medical documentation must be submitted during the leave.

Local 1201 employees

You will receive 75% of your regular wages for a maximum of 52 weeks after the exhaustion of accrued sick days and the unpaid wage continuation waiting period.  The appropriate absence form and medical documentation must be submitted during the leave.

 

RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF FULL WAGE CONTINUATION BENEFITS

If you have been out on extended sick leave under wage continuation and return to work, the following applies to re-establishing your full wage continuation benefits:

PFT, CASA, SPAP, Local 634, and Non-Represented employees

  • If you are out on extended sick leave under wage continuation for 6 weeks to 3 months: you must return to work for three (3) consecutive months without more than 4 absences (personal leave, sick leave, and/or illness in family leave).
  • If you are out on extended sick leave under wage continuation for 3 to 6 months: you must return to work for six (6) consecutive months without more than 6 absences (personal leave, sick leave, and/or illness in family leave).

If you use more days than allotted during the re-establishment period, the re-establishment period will continue until you have successfully completed it. Your absences will be cumulative and include the initial period of your extended sick leave and all subsequent absences during the re-establishment period.

The bi-weekly deduction for the wage continuation program will continue until you have exhausted the full 26 weeks. If you exhaust the full 26 weeks,  your participation in the program will be suspended until you have successfully completed the re-establishment period.

Local 1201 employees

  • If you are out on extended sick leave under wage continuation for 3 to 5 months: you must return to work for three (3) consecutive months without more than three (3) sick leave absences and three (3) personal leave absences.
  • If you are out on extended sick leave under wage continuation for 6 or more months: you must return to work for five (5) consecutive months without more than five (5) sick leave absences and three (3) personal leave absences.

If you use more days than allotted during the re-establishment period, the re-establishment period will continue until you have completed it in full. Your absences will be cumulative and include the initial period of your extended sick leave and all subsequent absences during the re-establishment period.

The bi-weekly deduction for the wage continuation program will continue until you have exhausted the full 52 weeks. If you exhaust the full 52 weeks,  your participation in the program will be suspended until you have successfully completed the re-establishment period.

IF YOU MUST LEAVE THE CITY DURING AN EXTENDED PERSONAL ILLNESS LEAVE

If you are not well enough to perform your job duties and your physician advises you to leave the city for a continuous period of time, you must secure permission from the Director of Employee Health Services prior to leaving. You must submit a written statement that includes the length of your absence and temporary address.

During your leave you must submit completed SEH-3 absence forms every 10 days. The absence forms must be signed by a physician who resides in the same area where you have moved. Certifications secured by your local physician in advance of the absence will not be acceptable.

PARTICIPATING IN OTHER ACTIVITIES WHILE OUT ON EXTENDED PERSONAL ILLNESS LEAVE

All employees who are on approved sick leave and are being compensated by either sick leave or wage continuation benefits are not permitted to engage in any paid occupation for the duration of the sick leave. Non-compliance with this policy is significant grounds for dismissal from service.

Any School District of Philadelphia employee who is on an approved sick leave of more than 3 consecutive work days and deems him/herself able to perform other activities must obtain permission to perform such activities from the Chief Talent Officer who will consult with the Director of Employee Health Services. The activity (activities) include but are not limited to: engaging in non-paid occupation, assisting another or others in the conduct of a paying occupation, or undertaking educational or volunteer activities outside of the home.

This request must be submitted in writing in a timely manner and include a description of the nature of the activity, specific location, and duration of the activity and include a physician’s statement indicating the medical advisability and feasibility of such activity. Non-compliance with this policy may be a basis for disciplinary action.

APPROVAL FOR RETURN TO WORK

All employees who wish to return to work from an extended sick leave must receive approval from EHS prior to returning to work.