Sick Time – Onondaga County

Union Officials met with the County Executive and his staff on March 6th to discuss initial steps toward protecting Employees, Members and the Community.  After conference with CSEA, multiple other Unions and consultation with the State and County Health Departments, the County Executive, effective immediately, implemented the following temporary adjustments to sick leave policies and procedures:

  1. The requirement of a physician’s statement verifying an employee’s or family member’s illness after 3 consecutive work days of absence will be extended to 5 consecutive work days of absence. This only applies to those displaying symptoms typically associated with a cold, flu, or seasonal illness which present similarly to COVID-19. For all other medical absences (ex. previously known chronic illness, injuries to body parts, etc.), Department Heads may still require verification after 3 consecutive work days of absence.
  2. If you need to stay home due to your own illness or a family member’s illness as described in #1 above, and do not have enough sick leave accruals standing to your credit at the time of illness to cover the absence,  you will be allowed to borrow sick time from future earned sick leave accruals.  Your sick leave balance will be allowed to go negative, will be tracked in Kronos by your Payroll Clerk, and this negative balance will be reduced as you accrue sick time upon your return to work. This will allow you to continue receiving pay by utilizing future sick leave accruals and not have to take an unpaid leave.
  3. However, if you choose to take an unpaid leave instead of borrowing from future sick accruals, you may do so only with the approval of your Department Head.
  4. Lastly, as is currently available now, you may still use other paid leave time (vacation, personal, comp) in lieu of sick to avoid borrowing from future sick accruals. This can be done without Department Head approval.

The express purpose of these adjustments is to provide employees with the reassurance that, if you are ill, you can stay home without the worry of loss of pay or of having to immediately obtain a note from your physician to justify your absence(s). These temporary adjustments to the County’s sick leave time administration are being put into effect retroactive to Saturday, March 7, 2020 and will continue for up to 60 calendar days. The adjustments will be closely monitored by County Executive’s office and the Personnel Department, and if modifications are necessary they will be communicated to you immediately.
(As taken from the statement issued by J. Ryan McMahon III, Onondaga County Executive March 10, 2020)