Section 1. Allowance. It is the policy of Union County to provide protection for its full-time officers against loss of income because of illness. All eligible officers are encouraged to save as much sick leave as possible to meet serious illness situations. Sick leave is not intended for a one (1) day vacation nor to be used to extend vacation periods or holidays. Any officer contracting or incurring any non-service connected sickness or disability, which renders such officer unable to perform the duties of his employment, shall receive sick leave with pay in accordance with this Agreement. In accordance with past practice, sick leave may be used for the case of members of the employee’s immediate family.
Section 2. Accumulation. Sick leave will be granted at the rate of one (1) sick day per month of service. Sick leave may be accumulated and carried over from year to year indefinitely. Upon layoff, retirement, or resignation, no more than ninety (90) days accumulated sick leave shall be paid to the employee. Any sick leave paid at retirement cannot be used for calculating service credit in accordance with Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund guidelines.
Section 3. Qualification Periods. Sick leave payments will begin only after the third day of illness, except in the case of hospitalization or in the case where the officer has accumulated more than fifteen (15) sick days.
Section 4. Procedures. No officer will be permitted to take leave if it has not yet been earned. Sick leave shall be paid at full pay at the current rate of compensation. Sick leave may be utilized by officers when they are sufficiently ill so that good judgment would determine it best not to report to work or in the event of injury not arising out of or in the course of their employment and for routine medical and dental appointments. All foreseeable leave for such purposes shall require a specific prior approval of the Sheriff; in the event of sick leave for any purpose, the Sheriff may require the certificate of a physician giving information as to the circumstances involved. Officers who are unable to return to work upon expiration of sick leave benefits and all other authorized benefit time must request a leave of absence without pay. Non-paid sick leave shall be equivalent to the total accumulated sick leave available on the first day of illness, or thirty (30) calendar days, whichever is greater. Failure to apply for a leave of absence for extended illness upon expiration of all such benefits will result in automatic termination.
Any absence of three (3) working days or longer may require a physician’s statement of release and verification substantiating that he may return to work. In addition, the Sheriff may request a physician’s statement of verification of absence of shorter periods of time. The Sheriff may also require the officer to be examined by a physician of the Sheriff’s choice and at the expense of the Employer. Notice of an officer’s desire to return to work after an extended illness must be given to the Sheriff no less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance. The Sheriff or any authorized supervisor may direct an officer who appears ill to leave work to protect the health of other officers. Compliance with such an order will not be charged to sick leave for the first day. An officer shall be paid sick leave equivalent to the normally scheduled straight time day.
The Sheriff shall maintain a record of sick leave accrual, sick leave taken, and the balance of sick leave allowance available for the individual officers.
Section 5. Sick Leave Abuse Sanctions. For the purposes of the provisions contained in this Article, “abuse” of sick leave is the utilization of such for reasons other than those stated in Section 1 of this Article. Upon sufficient evidence of the abuse of such sick leave, the officer shall not be paid for such leave taken nor shall the officer accrue any rights such as seniority or other rights. Sufficient evidence of abuse shall be presumed if the officer is found not to be at home or the officer cannot establish that he has sought medical treatment. Continued “abuse” of sick leave shall subject the officer to disciplinary action pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. All officers agree to cooperate fully with the Department in verifying illness.