605: Sick Leave

Updated July 1, 2022


Georgetown University provides eligible administrative employees (including both Staff and AAP positions) with paid sick leave to care for one’s own (or a family member’s) illness, medical treatment or medical care.


The University recognizes the importance of every employee taking care of their own health, safety, and wellbeing, along with those of their family. Therefore, sick leave is provided to employees as outlined in this policy, and in compliance with the D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008 (“Sick and Safe Act”) and other applicable state laws. 


All full-time administrative employees (Staff and AAP) are eligible for sick leave.

Use of Sick Leave 
Administrative employees will request and record all sick leave in the Georgetown Management System (GMS).

Eligible administrative employees may use accrued sick leave hours for:

  • Absence due to personal illness or injury, including the unpaid waiting period for Short Term Disability and absence covered by the Family and Medical Leave policy;
  • Absence due to the illness or injury of an employee’s immediate family member, including absence covered by the Family and Medical Leave policy;
  • Health maintenance;
  • The first three days of absence related to a workers’ compensation injury;
  • If an employee or an employee’s family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, to obtain assistance for or with medical services (including psychological or other counseling), victim’s services, legal proceedings associated with the offense, or other reasonable actions related to the victim or their recovery.

To use sick leave, an employee must follow their department’s established call-in procedure or scheduling procedure for health maintenance appointments.

Sick leave may not be used while an employee is on other approved paid leave or on an approved, unpaid leave of absence for education or personal reasons.

For the purpose of this policy, immediate family is defined as an employee’s spouse, parents, legal guardian, children, grandparents, siblings, or any person who stands in the same relationship. 

Sick Time Accrual
Sick leave provides eligible employees with 5 days per year of paid time off for the reasons outlined above. Employees receive 5 days in their sick leave bank upon hire and each year thereafter on their work anniversary*. Unused sick days can roll over from year to year, up to a maximum accrual of 30 days. Unused sick time is not payable to the employee upon termination of employment.  

*Employees who were hired prior to July 1, 2022, will have five days of sick leave placed into their new sick leave bank and receive five days on each subsequent work anniversary.

Increments of Use
In accordance with federal law requirements (per HR Policy 804) and consistent with the increments of use for PTO, partial day absences are not permitted for employees in exempt positions (i.e., salaried positions) when using sick leave. Employees in non-exempt positions (i.e., hourly positions) may use sick leave in full day or 15-minute increments.

Departments will monitor leave records to prevent abuse of the sick leave policy and procedure.

If an employee uses more than three consecutive days of sick leave, their supervisor may require the employee to present a physician’s certificate. If a supervisor identifies a pattern of sick leave use, then they may require the employee to present a physician’s certificate  for absences of less than three days. If an employee fails to provide a required physician’s certificate, then the employee will not be paid for sick leave and may receive corrective or disciplinary action. Once a sick leave bank is exhausted, an employee may use accrued PTO or take unpaid leave while applying for Short Term Disability. 


• The Department of Human Resources is responsible for administering this policy, in addition to communicating with and advising supervisors and employees in compliance with DC law.

• Supervisors are responsible for explaining this policy to employees, approving requests for sick leave, and monitoring the use of such leave.

• Employees are responsible for requesting sick leave as far in advance as possible and

following the appropriate leave request procedures established by their departments.

• Employees are also responsible for providing medical documentation or reasonable certification upon the request of their supervisor.

Transfer, Termination, and Reinstatement

  • When an employee transfers to another department within the organization, all unused sick leave transfers to the new department. 
  • Sick leave is not a termination benefit and no payment for unused sick leave will be made upon termination of employment or retirement.
  • Following termination, if an employee returns to work within one year to an employment status other than special or temporary, any unused sick leave will be reinstated.

D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act

In compliance with the D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008 (“Sick and Safe Act”) and amendments thereto, staff employees may use unscheduled paid leave for absences due to the employee’s, or a family member’s, illness or to seek legal protection from domestic violence or sexual abuse, as required by law.  Managers may not deny requests for leave when the leave is being used consistent with the Sick and Safe Act.  Unscheduled leave will be paid if the need for leave is unforeseeable and an employee has given verbal notice at the start of the work shift for which paid leave is requested, or if an employee has an emergency, within twenty four hours of the onset of the emergency. Departmental call in procedures must allow for notification of this type.   Questions regarding the scope of the law should be directed to Human Resources.

For Employees Hired Prior to September 1, 1990

Prior to September 1, 1990 Georgetown University granted paid sick leave to eligible employees to use for personal illness or injury. In certain circumstances, such sick leave may also be used to care for ill or injured family members. Staff employees hired before September 1, 1990, who retained accrued sick leave hours may use such hours for covered reasons. 


Contact your Client Service Partner, found here, in the Department of Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy.