Personnel Manual

Vacation

Vacation Policy

Revised March 2009; Revised October 2009

Purpose

The university encourages time off from work for change of pace and relaxation. For this purpose only, the university provides eligible employees with vacation leave benefits. Accumulated vacation time is not a form of wages or other cash compensation.

Eligibility

All administrators and staff members in regular "with benefits" appointments of half-time (.5 FTE) or more begin accumulating vacation time on their first day of work and may take accrued vacation following satisfactory completion of their introductory period. Temporary employees are typically not eligible for benefits, and therefore do not generally accumulate vacation time.

Vacation Accrual
Staff Employees in Nonexempt Positions-

Full-time staff accumulate vacation at the following rates:

Completed Full Years of Employment
Standard Vacation Days per 12-Month Period
Standard Monthly Accrual Rate*
Maximum Vacation Accrual
New hire to 4th anniversary
10
6.67 hours
90 hours
During 5th year to 9th anniversary
15
10 hours
135 hours
During 10th year and beyond
20
13.33 hours
180 hours

Part-time staff members who are eligible for benefits (regularly scheduled to work .5 FTE or more) accrue vacation on a prorated basis using the above schedule.

*The actual vacation accrual will vary from month to month for part-time staff working irregular schedules (i.e. fewer or zero hours in the summer months; variable hours from one month to the next). See "Accrual Calculation" section.

Administrative Employees in Exempt Positions -

Full-time administrators accrue vacation at the rate of 14.67 hours per month, equivalent to 22 days per year. The maximum vacation accrual is 200 hours. Part-time administrators who are eligible for benefits (regularly scheduled to work .5 FTE or more) accrue vacation on a prorated basis. The more liberal vacation plan for administrators is granted in recognition that administrators work beyond regularly scheduled hours and are ineligible for overtime pay.

Accrual Calculation -

Vacation time is accrued on most paid hours such as regular work hours, paid sick time, and paid vacation and holiday time. The standard annual and monthly vacation amounts noted above are guidelines; the actual accrual amounts will be determined by each person's eligibility status and his/her actual eligible paid hours as calculated each month by the university's payroll system.

Vacation time is not accrued on unpaid hours, including personal time without pay and sick time without pay. Vacation time is also not accrued on any hours worked over forty (40) within a workweek. New employees starting after the first of the month will receive a prorated accrual the first month.

Vacation Usage -

Vacations are a time for renewal and rest, and employees are strongly encouraged to take their earned vacation time each year. Employees may accumulate up to the maximum vacation accrual amount appropriate for their position and length of service. However, once that maximum vacation accrual is reached, the employee will forfeit additional vacation leave accrual until such time as his/her vacation balance is under the maximum accrual cap.

Vacation time will not be advanced, but must be accrued prior to the month in which it is used. Vacation leave accrues on the last day of the month and is available for use the first day of the next month subject to the eligibility requirements listed in this policy.

Negative vacation balances are not allowed. Only that vacation time which has been earned and accrued by the end of the preceding month, will be considered eligible vacation pay in any given month. Other time off will be considered personal leave without pay, requiring the standard supervisory approvals.

The supervisor must approve all vacation usage in advance. Employees are encouraged to give as much advance notice as possible when planning vacation time, preferably two weeks notice or more. Employees are also encouraged to take vacation during periods that are less busy in their offices. The vacation date requests preferred by the employee will be considered whenever practical. However, the university reserves the right to deny vacation that may hinder the normal or continuous operation of the department. Supervisors will be reasonable in allowing the use of vacation and may not unreasonably deny vacation requests where the result would be forfeiture of accrued vacation.

If scheduling conflicts arise due to multiple requests for the same vacation time off, requests will typically be granted based on length of service with the university (i.e., the longest service employee being granted first preference for the vacation time), within the constraints of efficient departmental operation.

Administrators and staff members are responsible for reporting all vacation taken in an accurate and timely manner using the monthly staff time sheet. Supervisors and budget heads are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all vacation and time reporting.

The Payroll Office maintains records of vacation accrued and used. Vacation accrual balances are reported to eligible employees on their monthly payroll deposit advices or paychecks.

Holidays recognized by the university that occur during a scheduled vacation are considered holiday pay and are not counted as vacation time.

Illness or injury occurring during a scheduled vacation will not be charged to sick leave unless the employee or an immediate family member (see Sick Leave policy in the Personnel Manual) is hospitalized. The supervisor may request documentation of hospitalization.

Employees applying for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves will generally be required to use accrued vacation and sick time before unpaid FMLA leave begins. Paid vacation and sick leave will be included in the calculation of the employee's FMLA leave entitlement of twelve (12) weeks (see Family Medical Leave Act in the Personnel Manual).

The transfer of vacation time for use by another employee is not permitted.

Vacation - Transfer

An employee transferring from one department to another takes along unused, accrued vacation. If the transfer involves a change of employment status (i.e. staff to administrator) the new accrual rate will become effective the day the new position begins.

Vacation - Termination

Employees are not entitled to receive additional pay in lieu of accumulated vacation leave upon separation of employment. Depending on the specific facts of an individual situation and subject to such documentation as the University may require, PLU generally follows these guidelines:

  • An amount equal to the amount of accumulated but unused vacation leave, up to a maximum of 80 hours of accumulated vacation, will be paid upon an employee's separation of employment.
  • An employee with fewer than 80 hours of accumulated but unused vacation will receive a payment equal to the amount of accrued vacation.
  • The final pay period's vacation accrual (if any) will be calculated on a prorated basis (see Vacation Accrual above).
  • All accumulated vacation in excess of 80 hours will be forfeited and lost upon separation of employment. This applies even in the case of an employee who is rehired within 12 months of leaving employment with PLU.
  • Terminating employees who have not completed their introductory period will receive no payment for unused vacation time.
Last Modified: September 19, 2012 at 02:21 PM