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Sick Leave for Family Purposes

There are several instances when employees may use sick leave for family care, bereavement, and adoption.  Click on one of the following links for more information:

Who is a Family Member?

A family member is defined as:

  • a spouse and his or her parents;
  • children (including adopted, foster or step children) and their spouses;
  • parents;
  • brothers and sisters, and their spouses; or
  • any individual related by blood or affinity, whose close personal relationship with the employee is the equivalent of a family member.

Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member

Employees may use a total of up to 104 hours a year to:

  • Provide care for a family member who is incapactitated as a result of physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth;

  • Provide care for a family member as a result of medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment; or

  • Make needed arrangements after the death of a family member or attend the family member's funeral.

If you are a part-time employee or on an uncommon tour of duty, the amount you can use will be prorated.

Your supervisor may advance you sick leave up to 104 hours in any leave year if you are a full-time employee.  Part-time employees or employees with an uncommon tour of duty may be advanced sick leave equal to their basic entitlement.

Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition

Employees are entitled to use a total of up to 12 workweeks (480 hours) of sick leave each leave year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.  Note that there are limitations on the amount of sick leave for this purpose if you have already used sick leave for other family care purposes.  You are entitled to use a total of 12 weeks of sick leave each year for all family care purposes.

You have the same limitations on the amount of sick leave you can use to care for a family member that apply to the use of sick leave for general family care or bereavement purposes; that is, you may use up to 104 hours of sick leave (including advanced sick leave) for this purpose.

Sick Leave for Adoption

You may use sick leave for pusposes related to the adoption of a child which may include appointments with adoption agencies, social workers, and attorneys; court proceedings; required travel; and any other activities necesary to allow the adoption to proceed.

You may not use sick leave for custody hearings.  You cannot use sick leave if you voluntarily choose to be absent from work to bond with or care for an adopted child.  You may request annual leave or leave without pay.

The amount of sick leave you may use for adoption purposes is limited only by the amount of accrued sick leave available to you, and the hours that you can support as adoption-related.  Your supervisor has the discretion to advance you up to 30 days (240 hours) of sick leave for this purpose if you are a full-time employee (less for those not on a full-time work schedule).  He or she may also require you to submit evidence of eligibility before approving sick leave for this purpose.