Earned Sick Time

Effective July 1, 2015, Massachusetts law requires that certain student employees be paid earned sick time for the hours they work.

As Vice President Pohl announced on June 26, 2015, most students are exempt from the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law. View the list of exemptions.

Departmentally paid student employees (both graduate and undergraduate) who are not enrolled at least half time for the current semester are eligible to accrue and use sick time. This will most often happen during the summer months when student employees are not required to be enrolled in order to work at Boston University.

  • Sick time for student employees is accrued on a Fiscal Year basis (July 1 through June 30).
  • Students accrue one (1) hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours (cumulative, not weekly) worked at Boston University and can earn up to 40 hours per year.
  • There is a 90 day waiting period from initial date of hire as an employee at Boston University before a student becomes eligible for paid sick pay.
  • Students may, at any time, request payment of accrued sick time from any department currently employing them.  Accrued sick time may be used by students even during periods of non-accrual,  i.e. the academic year.
  • During the academic year international students who choose to use accrued sick time must not exceed 20 hours total for the work week, in combination of sick hours and regular hours to pay.
  • Unused sick time can be carried over from one year to the next; however, no more than 40 hours of sick time may be paid out to an employee in any given year.
  • A weekly report will soon be available to Payroll Coordinators (PC) to identify sick time available to student employees. If you require information before this report is distributed, contact Student Payroll directly.

  1. The student notifies the department, according to individual departmental procedure (via phone, email, etc.), that he/she is sick and will not be in to work.
  2. The supervisor then contacts the payroll coordinator to inform him/her of the sick time request following established departmental procedures. The supervisor should instruct the student employee that sick time to be paid should not be included on the student’s weekly time entry.
  3. Once sick time availability is verified (through the Sick Time report produced weekly by Student Payroll), the Payroll Coordinator prepares a One-Time Payment to be processed. NO SICK TIME SHOULD BE ENTERED ON A STUDENT’S WEEKLY TIME ENTRY.
  4. The supervisor can confirm that a One-Time Payment has been approved to pay or has been paid by viewing the student’s Job Information located on the Student Employment section of the Business Link. The Job Number for all sick time pay should begin with S9STXX.

Feel free to contact Student Payroll at seo@bu.edu if you have any questions.