Sick Leave


Employees who are sick or have been directly exposed to COVID-19 should stay home. If you have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient, or you have symptoms of COVID-19, email or call your health care provider for advice and contact your supervisor.

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) issued expanded guidance regarding the use of San Francisco paid sick leave, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All USF employees may use their accrued sick time for these situations.

Visit the CDC website for more information about what to do if you are sick.

Visit the HR COVID-19 Resource page for up to date information and useful FAQs.

At this time, employees who are sick do not need to provide a doctor’s note to USF.

For any time away from work, employees must report their sick or other time off in USFWorks or other timekeeping system.

Accrual Rates 

Except for the Union classification included in the table, all other Union employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreement (or handbook, for law faculty and librarians) for specific information regarding sick leave accrual policies. For questions about the accrual and administration of sick leave, please contact

Employee Classification Sick leave Accrual Rate* Maximum Amount
Staff:  Part-Time, Hourly 2.86 hours per pay period, pro-rated 72 hours
Staff:  Full-Time, Hourly 7.5 hours per month, pro-rated 75 days
Staff:  Full-Time, Salaried 7.5 hours per month, pro-rated 75 days
Adjunct Faculty 3.75 hours per month 72 hours

*Pro-rated amount is based on hours worked or Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

Administrators in the executive job family will start their positions with a lump sum of 90 days of sick leave and accrue 1 day of sick leave per month up to the 90-day cap. Effective July 1, 2021, if a current employee balances drop below 90 days, they will be eligible to accrue 1 day per month up to the 90-day maximum.

Employees may accrue when eligible and request and use sick leave without fear of termination or retaliation and have the right to file a claim against the employer for any such action.

When can I use Sick Leave?

Sick leave may be used for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of an employee or an employee’s family member (self, child, parent, in loco parentis, spouse, registered domestic partner, or designated person, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, and legal guardians and wards)
  • Preventive care for an employee or an employee’s family member
  • Leave for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

The University prefers that all employees schedule medical appointments outside normal working hours. However, if it is impossible to do so, sick leave may be used for medical appointments and advance notice should be given to the employee’s supervisor.

Reporting Sick Leave

Only accrued time can be used and must be approved by the employee’s supervisor. If the need to use sick leave is foreseeable, employees must provide reasonable advance notice of absence to their supervisor. For unpredictable situations, such as emergencies, accidents, or sudden illnesses, employees must provide notice as soon as practicable. Specifically:

  • All staff should inform their supervisor if they cannot work due to illness and record the sick hours in USFWorks.
  • Staff can visit the USFWorks training web page for detailed instructions on reporting sick leave.
  • All faculty (full-time and adjunct) should inform their supervisor and department head if they cannot teach a class due to illness.

Sick leave of less than three days normally requires no verification; however, supervisors may ask Human Resources to request appropriate documentation from an employee, depending on the circumstances or absenteeism history.

Sick Leave Balances

Sick leave balances for employees will appear on their payslips, which are accessible in USFWorks.

Unlike vacation time, sick leave is not considered a form of earned wages; therefore, unused sick leave is not paid to employees upon separation from the University. Furthermore, upon termination, unused sick leave cannot be used as necessary notice for resignation.

If employees are rehired within one year from the date of separation, their previously accrued and unused paid sick hours will be reinstated upon rehire.

Using Sick Leave to Care for Family Members

Paid sick leave taken under this policy may run concurrently with other applicable leaves including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or Kin Care. For questions about using and reporting sick leave to care for an eligible family member who is ill, please contact the Leave Manager at