IV.1. Employee Health and Medical Issues

Some issues related to employee health concerns may be resolved at the department level. For example, a faculty member may simply notify the chair of a medical issue (personal or familial) that requires a temporary schedule adjustment that can be covered by other faculty. Eligible NIU employees receive two sick days per contract month. If these are used during a benefit period, they must be reported on the employee's monthly Benefit Usage Report or hourly timesheet. If they are not used, they will accumulate, with no expiration date.

More likely, however, a faculty or staff member’s reason for consulting with the department chair is to request a substantial reduced work load to accommodate the medical situation. At this point, the resolution will require the involvement of the college and human resource services and the application of the Family Medical Leave Act. (See next section for more FMLA details.) No chair can make work-reduction promises to faculty or staff members that are not consistent with NIU’s FMLA policy; therefore, it is a chair’s responsibility to involve the college promptly to ensure proper procedural action. The chair needs to be familiar with NIU’s Sick Bank Policy and Form, which is designed to alleviate hardship caused if an employee exhausts all paid leave time due to a qualifying illness or injury. Employees can only enroll in the sick leave bank during the annual CMS Benefits Choice Period.