Sick Leave Eligibility

Employees in full-time equivalent (FTE) positions who are scheduled to work at least one-half of the workweek on a 12-month basis or the equivalent of one-half of the workweek during the full school or academic year of nine months or more are eligible to earn sick leave.

If the part-time employee is scheduled to work at least one-half of the workweek of the agency, the employee is eligible to earn sick leave on a pro-rata basis.

General Sick Leave Guidelines (.pdf)

Sick Leave Rate of Earnings (.pdf)

Maximum Sick Leave Carryover (.pdf)

Advancement of Sick Leave

  • An agency may advance up to 15 workdays of additional sick leave to an employee in extenuating circumstances. The agency must have reasonable assurance that the employee is expected to return to work within the specified period of time based upon written verification from the health care practitioner.

  • Upon return to work, the employee will have all earned sick leave applied to reduce the leave deficit at the rate of 1.25 days per month (or if part-time, the monthly earning rate) until the deficit has been reimbursed.

Treatment for Alcoholism

  • An employee can use sick leave for treatment for alcoholism, which is recognized in South Carolina as a treatable illness. Sick leave will be granted for the purpose of participating in public and private treatment and rehabilitation programs, which have been approved by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.

Family Sick Leave

  • An employee may earn a maximum of 15 days of sick leave each year, 10 days of which may be used as family sick leave.

  • The employee's "immediate family" means the employee's spouse and children and the following relations to the employee or the spouse of the employee: mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, legal guardian and grandchildren.

  • An employee may use the 10 days of family sick leave for family members' doctor appointments.


  • An employee who adopts a child may use up to six weeks of sick leave to care for the child after placement. To be approved for this leave, the employee must be the person who is primarily responsible for furnishing the care and nurture of the child. However, if both parents are employed by the state of South Carolina, only one parent may qualify for the adoption leave. Available only for adoptions which occur prior to October 1, 2022.  Refer to Parental Leave for information about leave available for adoptions that occur on or after October 1, 2022. 

Transferring Sick Leave Balances (.pdf)

Separation From Employment

  • Upon separation from employment, an employee forfeits all earned sick leave. Special circumstances may exist for an employee who is retiring, who has been affected by a reduction in force, or who has been granted a six-month exception to the break in service.