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Policy: Paid Leave for University Staff Employees 


Date: 01/26/10 Policy ID: HRM-031 Status: Final

Policy Type: University
   
Contact Office: Benefits and Leave Center (UHR)
   
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
   
Applies To: Academic Division and the College at Wise.
   
Table of Contents:  Policy Statement
  1. Eligibility
  2. Supervisor Approval
  3. Permissible Purposes
  4. Leave Availability
  5. Carry Forward
  6. Cashing-Out Unused Leave
  7. Specific Types of Paid Leave
  8. Paid Holidays
  9. Roles and Responsibilities

Procedures

   
Reason for Policy: The University recognizes the needs of University Staff employees for time away from work for personal, family, community, and other outside obligations. At the same time, the University has established guidelines for reasonable limits on employees’ paid time off, such that (1) each individual’s job responsibilities are properly sustained; and (2) all University staff employees are treated fairly and consistently in matters concerning leave and time away from work.
   
Policy Summary: 
   
Definition of Terms in Statement: 

Leave plan year: Begins with the first day of the pay period which includes January 1 (known as Pay Period 1) and ends on the last day of the pay period preceding Pay Period 1 of the following year. 

Paid Leave: There are two types of paid leave available to University Staff Employees:
  1. Leave time determined at a variable rate that is based on an employee’s years of service, the use of which usually is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor, and may be used for any purpose including but not limited to vacation, personal and family illness, attend to personal business, etc., but requiring no specific justification or explanation by the employee. This is referred to throughout the policy as Paid Leave.
  2. Leave time provided at a predetermined rate, the use of which is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor, and must be used for the specific purpose for which it was intended (e.g., Civil and Work Related Leave, School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave, etc.). This is discussed in more detail in the policy in Section 7 under Specific Types of Paid Leave.

University Staff Employees: Those salaried, non-faculty employees hired on or after July 1, 2006, and those salaried, non faculty employees and Administrative and Professional Faculty electing to participate in the University Human Resources System established by the Board of Visitors under the authority granted by the Restructuring Act, and the Management Agreement.

Restructuring Act: The Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act, Chapter 4.10 of Title 23 of the Code of Virginia.

Management Agreement: The agreement between the University and the Commonwealth required by Subsection D of §23-38.88 of the Restructuring Act.
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Policy Statement: 

The University has established a leave plan for University Staff employees for time away from work for a variety of reasons. Such leave must be approved and recorded in a manner that protects the interests of both the University and its employees.
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  1. Eligibility:
    All full-time and part-time salaried University Staff employees regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per workweek are eligible to receive paid leave at a rate determined by years of benefit-eligible employment with the University, the Medical Center, or any agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia up to the established maximum as indicated in the chart below.  (Years of service need not be continuous.)


    Table A - University Staff Paid Leave Plan
    Years of Service
    Days per Year
    Hours per Year
    Maximum Annual Leave Carry Forward at Year End**

    < 3

    22

    176

    176

    3-6

    24

    192

    192

    7-9

    26

    208

    208

    10-19

    28

    224

    224

    20+

    30

    240

    240

    ** This represents the maximum amount to be cashed-out upon termination.

    New hires or re-hires will receive leave for the leave plan year in which they are (re)hired at a pro-rated rate based on the date of hire or re-hire. Part-time salaried employees earn leave at a rate proportionate to their part-time status.
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  2. Supervisor Approval:
    Use of leave must be approved in advance by an employee’s supervisor and recorded in the human resources system. Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. Employees and supervisors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that services are maintained during an employee’s leave period. In the event of an unexpected personal or family illness or other unexpected event that requires immediate leave, the employee must promptly notify the supervisor on the first day of the absence, or, if that is not possible, as soon as practical thereafter.
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  3. Permissible Purposes:
    With supervisor approval, paid leave may be used for any purpose, including but not limited to vacation, personal illnesses, family illnesses, bereavement, community service, to attend to personal business, etc. Use of paid leave requires no specific justification or explanation by the employee. However, for specific types of paid leave as outlined in Section 7 below, employees are required to use the leave for the purposes intended.
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  4. Leave Availability:
    For each University Staff employee, the entire amount of paid leave will be available for use at the start of each leave plan year providing employees with maximum flexibility in their use of leave time. However, because the leave is earned on a per-pay-period basis, if an employee leaves the University during the course of the year, the time used and the time earned are reconciled. Leave earned, but not used, is paid to the employee, while leave used but not earned is subtracted from the final paycheck.
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  5. Carry Forward:
    All earned leave is available for carry forward. The maximum number of hours that can be carried forward is established by the University (See Table A). The carry-forward hours serve as the beginning balance on which the next year's leave time is added.
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  6. Cashing-Out Unused Leave:
    University Human Resources will at the conclusion of the leave plan year automatically determine the cash-out of unused leave hours at 50 percent of their value once the amount of leave goes beyond the maximum hours allowed for carry forward (See Table A above). To receive this cash-out, employees must have used a minimum of 10 days of leave (including compensatory and comp special, overtime, recognition, University leave and time from the University leave annual bank) during the leave plan year. Employees may not use the paid leave types listed in Section 7 below except for compensatory and comp special leave and recogniton leave. Employees not using the required minimum 10 days of leave, will lose the balance above the maximum carry forward amount (see Section 5 above). The cash-out payment may be received as taxable income or it may be deposited into a tax-deferred savings plan.

    Example: In the first year of employment, a new employee has 22 days of leave and does not use any leave. In the second year of employment, the employee has an additional 22 days of leave, and uses 10 days of leave.
    Year 1 Ending Balance:
    22 days
    Year 2 Addition:
    12 days (22 days of leave, 10 used)
    Year 2 Ending Balance:
    34 days
    Maximum Carry forward:
    22 days
    Cash-out Balance:
    12 days
    12 days will automatically be cashed-out at 50% of their value.


    1. Classified Staff who are Converting to University Staff:
      In order to receive cash-out for unused leave, employees must have used a minimum 10 days of leave which includes annual, comp, comp special, family personal, overtime, and recognition leave during the leave plan year.
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  7. Specific Types of Paid Leave:
    In addition to paid leave that can be used for any purpose as discussed above, the University Staff Leave Plan also includes the following types of paid leave based on a leave plan year except where noted:
    (More detailed information on each type of leave noted above may be found by clicking on the link.)

    These types of leave are available for use as needed when approved by a supervisor. These specific types of leave may not be carried forward or cashed-out. 

    Example: An employee volunteers for school assistance and uses 8 hours of Volunteer Service Leave for the leave plan year. That time is allowed in addition to the hours earned in the University Staff Leave Plan and is not deducted from the employee’s leave balance. However, the remaining 8 hours of Volunteer Service Leave, if not used, are not carried forward or cashed-out.

    Note: Leave Without Pay is available as another option for University Staff Employees.
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  1. Paid Holidays:
    Holidays are awarded separately and are not included in the employee’s leave balance. Official University holidays are posted on the Human Resources website.
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  2. Roles and Responsibilities:

    The Employee is responsible for:

    • Seeking approval for leave from the supervisor with reasonable advance notice;
    • Planning for continuation of important tasks during the absence;
    • Monitoring leave usage; and
    • Accurately accounting for leave taken through the human resources system.

The Supervisor is responsible for:

    • Communicating the provisions of this policy to staff;
    • Approving all reasonable requests for leave in a timely manner; and
    • Ensuring continuation of important tasks in the employee’s absence.

University Human Resources is responsible for:

  • Providing employee and supervisory training on the leave process;
  • Monitoring and administering the leave process;
  • Maintaining records and providing reports as necessary; and
  • Ensuring compliance with all federal and state law and University policies.
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Procedures: Requesting University Leave
   
Related Information: 

Family, Medical and Military Leave (includes paternity leave)
Standards of Conduct, Attachment A (examples of offenses)
Short Term Disability Benefits (includes maternity leave)

   
Policy Background: 
   
Major Category: Human Resource Management
   
Category Cross Reference: 
   
   
Process: 
   
Next Scheduled Review: 01/26/13
   
Approved By, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 01/26/10
   
Revision History: Updated 12/27/13; Revised 2/20/12, 1/28/10.
   
Supersedes (previous policy):