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Tennessee Leave Law


In addition to rights for all employees under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees of the State of Tennessee may be eligible to accrue sick leave and, in addition, may be eligible to enroll in the state Sick Leave Bank Program. Below is a brief summary of these state laws and regulations.

If you are considering taking leave, consult with your Human Resource Office for additional details.


Who Is Eligible To Accrue Sick Leave?

You are eligible to accrue sick leave if you are a state employee who is scheduled to work 1,600 hours or more in a fiscal year (whether you are compensated on a hourly, daily, monthly, or piecework basis). NOTE: Part-time employees, employees holding temporary positions for less than 6 months, seasonal employees and emergency employees in the career service are expressly excluded from these benefits.

Will I Continue to Receive Pay While On Sick Leave?

Yes, sick leave is compensated leave.

What Are Legitimate Reasons For Leave?

You may use sick leave due to your own illness or disability or because of illness or death in your immediate family (for the period during which your attendance to the family member is necessary).

Exception: Leave taken from the Sick Leave Bank Program (see below) may be used only for your own illness or injury.

What If I Need More Sick Leave Than I Have Accrued?

The State of Tennessee has established a Sick Leave Bank Program, which is a system for pooling voluntarily donated sick leave of state employees. Donated sick leave is collected for the purpose of providing sick leave to members of the program who have suffered a personal illness, surgery, disability or quarantine and who have exhausted their own accrued sick leave.

Who Is Eligible To Join The Sick Leave Bank Program?

You may join if:

  • You are a full-time state employee.
  • You have been employed by the state government for 12 consecutive months before November 1st of the year you join.
  • You enroll in the program between August 1 and October 31 of that year.
  • You have a sick leave balance of at least 6 days.
  • You initially donate 4 days of sick leave to the Sick Leave Bank (and voluntarily contribute 1 day of sick leave per year thereafter).

How Do I Withdraw Sick Leave From The Sick Leave Bank?

  • You become eligible to apply for withdrawal of sick leave on the 1st day of February following your enrollment in the Sick Leave Bank Program.
  • You must have exhausted all of your own accumulated sick leave.
  • You must wait until you have been in a "without pay" status for 5 consecutive days; and.
  • You must complete a Withdrawal Request Application.

How Much Leave Can I Withdraw From The Sick Leave Bank?

You may withdraw up to 90 days of sick leave during a 12-month period. However, you may not receive a sick leave grant for more than 20 consecutive days at one time. To receive additional leave, you must complete the Supplemental Documentation for Continuing Disability form and have it signed by your doctor.

To learn more

See: offsite link.

Researched and written by:

Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY 

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