By Gwen Tuttle
TSEA Compensation and Benefits Manager
The state’s central government Sick Leave Bank (SLB), drafted and lobbied into legislation by TSEA on behalf of our members decades ago, grants paid sick leave to members who are medically certified as unable to perform the duties of their jobs as a result of a personal illness, injury, accident, disability, medical condition, or quarantine and who have exhausted all their personal sick, compensatory, and annual leave balances. While no benefit can guarantee to protect an employee from virtually all illnesses or injuries that could occur throughout their career, the SLB is one of the most significant protections available to employees. Those who join protect themselves and help protect their fellow state employees.
The SLB is a tremendous benefit. All state employees who are entitled to accrue sick leave pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-50-802, who have been employed by state government for 12 full months immediately preceding application for participation, who are currently accruing leave, and who have a sick leave balance of at least 6 days as of October 31 of the current enrollment year are eligible to enroll in the SLB.
Any employee who elects to join the SLB will initially have the equivalent of 4 days of sick leave deducted from his or her personal accumulation and donated to the SLB during November once enrollment ends on October 31st. Thereafter, 1 day of sick leave per year will be assessed each October 1. The SLB Board may waive the assessment in any year by written notice.
Have you ever stopped and taken a few moments to think what could happen to you and your family if some unexpected illness or injury occurred and you had little or no sick or annual leave to depend on? Even if you have many hours of sick and annual leave, or comp time but because of the extent of your illness or injury you exhaust your leave balances before you were able to recover and return to work. Such things can happen at any time to any of us. It is so important to be prepared before the need arises. The SLB provides the reassurance of knowing you will have your full salary and health insurance coverage for up to 90 work days, or about 4 ½ months, if sudden illness or injury temporarily prevented you from being able to work.
ANNUAL ENROLLMENT IN THE SICK LEAVE BANK EACH YEAR IS DURING THE MONTHS OF AUGUST, SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER so the beginning of the enrollment period is now less than a month away. Don’t miss the deadline this year and have to wait another year to join. Remember, your application cannot be submitted earlier than August 1 nor later than October 31.
Enrollment will be available online beginning August 1st at the DOHR website, https://dohrslb.tn.gov/slb/enroll/login.aspx. If you do not have access to the Internet, contact your agency’s Human Resource office for assistance. For complete information about SLB benefits, member responsibilities, eligibility and enrollment criteria, and forms required to access benefits, please visit http://www.tn.gov/dohr/employees/sickleave/sickleave.html