Sick Time Off


You accrue paid sick time off if you are appointed to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 months. Students who are in positions where student status is a requirement do not earn sick time off. For more information, please see the university's Handbook of Operating Procedures.


You receive sick time off on your first day of employment and on the first day of every month after. If you're on any type of paid time off on the first the month, you will receive your accrual for that month.

If you are appointed to work full-time (40 hours per week), you earn eight hours of sick time off for each month or fraction of a month. If you are appointed to work part-time (20 hours or more but less than 40 hours per week), you earn sick time off in proportion to your appointment. The amount of sick time off is determined by the percent time of your appointment on the first day of each month.

Using Sick Time Off

Sick time off is not subject to the new employee probationary period. You are eligible to use sick time off after your first day of employment. To request sick time off, follow your department’s time off request procedures and HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave. Absences lasting longer than three days or that are expected to happen on an intermittent basis for the same reason over a period of time may be eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You may request an FMLA packet at any time and your department may request Leave Management to send you an FMLA packet based on your request to use sick leave. Unused sick time off carries forward into the next fiscal year. There is no limit to the number of hours you can carry from year to year.

Sick Time Off due to Incapacity Related to Pregnancy and Delivery

The university does not have a separate maternity leave policy. An employee's incapacity due to pregnancy, for purposes of using sick time off, means an inability to perform duties caused or contributed to pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or recovery. The employee seeking to use sick time off to cover the incapacity must provide a licensed practitioner's certification that the incapacity causes the employee to be unable to work. This sick time off may be eligible for coverage under the FMLA and if so, will run concurrently. Sick time off may not be used once an employee has recovered from the temporary incapacity related to pregnancy. Usually, what this means is that you may use sick time off for prenatal appointments, complications during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby for up to six weeks for vaginal delivery or up to eight weeks for cesarean delivery. If you have complications after delivery, then sick time off may be used for the time period to recover from those complications.

Return to Work Certification

When an absence from work is caused by your own medical condition, a return to work certification is required and should be submitted to your supervisor when you are out for more than three consecutive days. You should submit the certification either before or on your return to work date. A Return to Work Release form (PDF) is available to help you meet the certification requirements when the condition is your own. The form is designed to protect an employee's privacy and to help document for your department's consideration any relevant work limitations, if any. If an alternate return to work form is used, e.g. a doctor's note, please instruct your doctor not to include a diagnosis or treatment information. For absences less than 3 consecutive days, you may be required by your manager to provide a return to work certification. In some situations, instead of a return to work certification, your supervisor may allow you to provide a written or email statement of the facts that includes the dates of your incapacity due to illness or injury. You do not need to disclose your diagnosis to your supervisor.

When an absence from work is to care for a family member as defined in HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave, a certification from a licensed health care provider that includes the dates you were required to care for your family member should be submitted to your supervisor. You do not need to disclose the diagnosis of your family member’s condition to your supervisor.

When You Leave the University

Sick time off is paid out only in the event of your death. If you have at least six months of continuous state service, your estate will receive payment for half of your sick time off balance up to 336 hours.

If you return to state employment after 30 calendar days and within 12 months after the end of your termination month, you may keep your sick time off balance.

Sick time off will transfer with you if you transfer with no break in service to another position on campus.

Sick Time Off Donation Program

You may donate sick time off to another eligible employee working at UT Austin if the recipient has exhausted their own sick time off balance, including any time the employee may be eligible to withdraw from the Sick Leave Pool (SLP). The recipient may use the donated sick time off for permitted uses found in HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave. FMLA will run concurrently with donated sick time off as applicable.

A donor may choose whether to make their donation based on taxability.  If the donor chooses to donate "only if tax exempt," then their donation will only be processed if the recipient's need meets the requirements for tax exempt donation.  If the donor chooses to donate "regardless of whether the donation is tax exempt," then the donor's full donation will be processed, and they will be taxed on any portion of the donation that does not qualify for tax exemption, including hours donated in excess of the recipient's need.  Hours deemed taxable are multiplied by the donor's hourly wage and added to a future paycheck as taxable income. Please contact Payroll Services for more information on how taxes are calculated.

Donated sick time off may be tax exempt if the recipient is the donor's legally married spouse or if the need for sick time off qualifies as a medical emergency pursuant to IRS guidelines and the recipient has exhausted all of their paid time off. Medical emergency determination will not be known until the recipient's need has been assessed by Leave Management. An employee may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for donated sick time off.

Unlike accrued sick time off, donated sick time off is not eligible for transfer to another state agency or for payment to an estate upon death of the recipient.

To donate sick time off to an individual, submit a completed Sick Time Off Donation to an Individual - Donor (Online).

If you are the intended recipient of donated sick time off from an individual, you will be notified by Leave Management. Your use of donated sick time off will be assessed to determine the tax status to the donor and whether your circumstance(s) may qualify for SLP, FMLA and/or other time off or leave options.

To accept donated sick time off from an individual, submit a completed Sick Time Off Donation to an Individual – Recipient (Online).