208 – Sick Leave
This policy provides directives on the use of sick leave for Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees.
Regular employees earn sick leave credit at the rate of four hours per pay period to a maximum of 720 hours (90 days). Sick leave will begin on the first day of an illness or injury. Sick leave may be used in increments of one-half hour for personal illness, injury, or physician’s appointments.
A. When an employee intends to be off duty due to illness or other reason, he or she will notify his or her supervisor prior to or immediately at the beginning of his or her regularly scheduled duty hours.
B. A supervisor may inquire about the nature of the employee’s illness or other circumstances of the absence in order to determine if the event is qualified for FMLA or other benefits.
C. While absent from duty because of sickness, workers’ compensation, or disability, the employee will remain at his or her residence or place of confinement unless otherwise authorized by a physician.
D. If the employee will not be at his or her residence as directed by a physician, the employee will inform his or her supervisor of a contact location and telephone number.
E. If an employee is unable to report for duty and does not have sick leave benefits available, his or her payroll may be docked. The use of compensatory or vacation time in lieu of sick leave will be at the discretion of the employee’s watch commander.
F. If the employee had previously been issued an exhaustion of benefits letter, the bureau commander may authorize placing the employee on leave of absence.
G. No employee will feign sickness or injury or deceive a HCSO representative as to his or her real condition. Doing so will subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
H. In order to substantiate sick leave requests, any supervisor may require an employee to submit a physician’s statement for any period of sick leave absence.
1. In the event an employee requests sick leave for an absence of four or more consecutive work days, the request will be supported by an original signed physician’s statement indicating date of onset and duration of illness.
2. The statement will be attached to the appropriate payroll documentation (Authorized Time Off from Duty form). If the employee’s bureau or division uses the TeleStaff system, the statement will be attached to the HCSO Time and Attendance Record (Auditor’s Form #1084D).
3. If a physician’s statement is requested but not provided, the employee may be docked or required to use compensatory or vacation time for the unexcused absence.
I. Newly-hired employees may accrue sick leave but may not use it during the first three full months of employment.
J. Employees will be allowed to use a maximum of 120 hours per year from their sick leave to take care of immediate family illness or to seek preventative or routine health care for themselves or an immediate family member. When requesting to use personal leave to care for an immediate family member, the employee will inform his or her supervisor which family member is ill.
K. Employees must submit a completed Authorized Time Off from Duty form to their supervisor within 24 hours of returning to duty. If the employee’s bureau or division uses the TeleStaff system, employees must enter a sick leave notation on their personal calendar within 24 hours of returning to duty.
This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:
April 21, 2009
June 24, 2014
June 8, 2021