This section provides an overview of many benefits available to faculty and staff. In the event of conflict between the overview provided in this handbook and the plan document or insurance plan, the plan document or insurance plan will govern. Complete descriptions are not possible in the handbook; employees should contact Human Resources for specific plan details. The Labor Agreement governs in the case of Union employees in all aspects of this section. Regular non-union employees who have a schedule involving a (.46) FTE or above, and Union employees who have a (.50) FTE or above are eligible to participate in the College’s benefit programs.

Carleton College will comply with all applicable laws such as ACA, FMLA, federal, state, and any applicable regulations.

Employment & Benefits

Sick Leave

Sick Leave for Benefit-Eligible Staff


All regular, benefit-eligible staff are entitled to sick leave with pay. The amount of sick leave is pro-rated for all staff members working less than full-time or less than 12 months in the year.


Sick Leave Eligibility and Maximums by Employee Group Accrual Rate Total Annual Sick Leave Accrual for Full-Time Employee Maximum Balances for Full-Time Employee
Bi-Weekly (Non-Exempt, Union) .0462 hour per hour paid 96 hours No maximum
Monthly (Exempt) 8 hours per month 96 hours No maximum

Benefits begin accruing on the first day of employment. Sick leave hours are accrued at the end of each pay period based on the employee’s current accrual rate, the number of hours worked (excluding over-time) and/or the employee’s budgeted FTE. Employees do not accrue sick hours during an unpaid leave or a Paid Parental Leave.

Staff will request absences using ”Request Absence” in Workday. When requesting absences, non-exempt staff should record time utilized in ¼ hour increments (i.e. .25, .50, and .75) and exempt staff should record time utilized in one-hour increments. Employees who are unable to work their scheduled weekly hours are expected to record approved absence accruals to cover all time missed. Employees must record absences in the pay period in which they occurred and failure to do so may result in negative absence plan adjustments and/or disciplinary action.


Accumulated sick leave may be used for temporary disabilities caused by illness, injury, obtaining a medical diagnosis, treatment, preventative care, pregnancy, and childbirth.

Absences that extend beyond three days may require a physician’s written statement confirming the inability to return to work. The College may also request from the employee’s physician or other authorized medical authority, evidence of proper recovery from an injury or illness before allowing the employee to resume full or part-time duties or medically restricted work activities. The College reserves the right to have employees examined by a doctor of its choice and to require a second opinion in cases of illness or disability. This policy is to protect both the employee and their co-workers.

Medical Appointments

When it is not possible to schedule a doctor, dentist, or human services appointment for the employee during non-duty hours, time for such appointments may be charged against sick leave accruals.

Sick Child

An employee may use accrued sick leave for absences due to an illness or injury for the employee’s child for such reasonable periods as the employee’s attendance with the child may be necessary, just as if personally ill. The amount of paid sick leave available is determined by the amount each staff member has accrued. A child is defined as a person younger than 18 years of age or younger than 20 years of age if still attending school.

Earned Sick and Safe Time

Carleton’s sick leave plan for benefits-eligible staff (FTE of .46 or greater) exceeds the state requirements. Benefits-eligible employees will accrue sick leave hours as outlined above. However, benefits-eligible staff may designate up to 48 hours of sick accruals per fiscal year as Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) as outlined in the policy.

Sick Adult Children, Parents, Spouse, Domestic Partner, Grandparents, Siblings, Mother or Father-in-law, Grandchildren — this program expires on 12/31/2023

An employee may use up to 160 hours maximum of accrued sick leave within a 12 month rolling period for illnesses for any combination of adult children, parents, stepparents, grandparents, siblings, spouse or domestic partner, mother or father-in-law, and grandchildren. The right to use sick leave for relatives other than minor aged children applies only for such reasonable periods as the employee’s attendance [with the injured or sick person] may be necessary. Absence time used for this purpose must be requested in advance of the time off as practically possible. Sick leave used for this purpose must be approved by an individual’s supervisor and Human Resources if FMLA related.

Unpaid Leave

Employees may, with supervisor approval, take the option of unpaid leave in lieu of vacation or sick pay for hours not worked in cases where the employee does not have a substantial amount of leave accrued. This option is intended for absences not covered under FMLA, and should be of limited duration. To ensure compliance with labor laws, unpaid leaves in excess of three days for non-exempt staff and all unpaid leaves for exempt staff require prior approval from Human Resources.

If the employee’s paycheck is diminished by unpaid leave such that the total is not sufficient for standard benefit deductions, it is the responsibility of the employee to make payment arrangements.

Separation of Employment and Accruals

Upon termination, bi-weekly employees with 15 or more years of service will be paid 20% of their accrued sick leave balance. Monthly employees are not eligible for sick leave payout.

See also: Earned Sick and Safe Time

Last Revised: December 31, 2023

For: Staff

Last Reviewed: December 11, 2023

Maintained by: Human Resources