5.2 Traditional Leave Program (University General Division only)

This section of  the  Staff  Employee  Handbook  is  divided  into  three parts. Section 5.1 includes policies and practices applicable for all benefits- eligible staff employees.  Section  5.2  includes  specifics  about the University’s traditional leave program for time off. Section 5.3 includes specifics about the USA Health’s Paid Time Off (PTO) Program for staff employees in hospital and designated clinical positions.

Applicable only to benefits-eligible staff employees in the University General Division.

Sick leave is provided to protect you against loss of income during illness when you are unable to perform work duties because of illness or injury, when you must obtain health related professional services which cannot be scheduled outside regular work hours, when you must care for a seriously ill member of your immediate family. 

For details, refer to the University’s Sick Leave policy.

A regular employee appointed to work 20 hours or more per week (.50 FTE or greater) will accrue vacation benefits from the initial date of employment. A regular employee appointed to work less than 20 hours per week (less than .50 FTE) is not eligible to accrue vacation benefits.

Vacation benefits are earned for all active status hours worked up to 40 hours per work week and includes but is not limited to:

  • Normal work hours
  • Paid vacation
  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid jury duty
  • Other paid Administrative Leave

The accrual rate for vacation benefits is computed based on continuous and uninterrupted active service beginning with the date of employment.

Vacation benefits will be computed as follows:

  1. All regular, full-time employees with less than 37 months continuous service with the University will be entitled to earn up to 10 (8-hour) vacation days per year, based on the following formula:

    Hours worked in a work week (max 40) x .0385 = hours per work week x 52 weeks = 80 vacation hours.

  2. Regular full-time employees accrue vacation at the following rate:

    Years of Continuous Service Months of Continuous Service Vacation Days Accrued Per Year Accrual Rate
    0-3 0-36 10 .0385
    4-5 37-60 12 .0462
    6-7 61-84 13 .0500
    8-9 85 - 108 14 .0539
    10-11 109-132 15 .0577
    12-13 133-156 16 .0616
    14-15 157-180 17 .0654
    16-17 181-204 18 .0693
    17+ 205+ 20 .0770
  3. The maximum amount of reimbursable vacation that an eligible employee may accrue is two times the annual rate. Once two times the annual rate has been accrued, the employee may continue to accrue non-reimbursable annual leave which will be converted and transferred to sick leave if not taken by the last day of the last pay period of the fiscal year in which accrued. Accrued annual leave in excess of two times the annual accrual amount will not be reimbursed by the institution upon termination of employment.

  4. For regular, part-time employees appointed to an FTE of at least .50 (20 hours per week) vacation benefits will be earned based on hours worked not to exceed 40 hours per work week.

Accrued vacation must be used, if available, before time off is taken without pay. You may not borrow vacation time in advance; however, with the approval of your supervisor, you may take time off without pay if no vacation time is available.

Should you be on vacation during an official paid holiday, this time will not be charged as vacation. If you request it, your supervisor may agree to extend your vacation by the time equivalent to that of the holiday.

Vacation requests are to be submitted to your supervisor and approved in advance to ensure that your absence will not interfere with the work of your department or unit. Supervisors will attempt to schedule/approve vacation requests in a manner which balances the operational and service delivery needs of the department with the time off preferences of employees. Supervisors may deny vacation requests which could have an adverse effect on operations or if unexpected circumstances arise which require the employee’s attendance at work. This may include vacation requests during the two-week resignation notice period.

Vacation days are not counted as “hours worked” when calculating overtime pay.

Separation includes resignations, terminations, and retirements. 

If you were hired before January 1, 2012, and you are a regular, full-time or eligible, regular, part-time employee and you leave the University, you may receive vacation pay for all unused accrued vacation hours up to two times your annual accrual rate.

An employee hired on or after January 1, 2012, is not eligible for payment of unused accrued vacation hours upon separation of employment.

An exception may be made for employees hired after January 1, 2012, who are laid off.

Staff employees in the University General Division generally observe the following nine paid holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Lundi Gras Day
  • Mardi Gras Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Special holidays may also be designated. If you are a nonexempt employee and are scheduled to work on a designated holiday you will be given an alternate day off during the same fiscal year or holiday pay in addition to pay for hours worked. 

You must be at work, on approved paid leave of absence, or on an approved absence both the scheduled day before and the scheduled day after the holiday or substitute holiday to be eligible for holiday pay. If you are in an unpaid status during a leave of absence, you will not be paid for a holiday which occurs during your absence. If you are a regular full-time employee, your holiday pay is computed at your base rate of pay for eight hours. 

If you are a regular part-time employee, who normally works a regular schedule of less than 40 hours (1.0 FTE) per work week but more than 20 hours (.50 FTE) per work week, you are entitled to holiday pay at your base rate of pay based on FTE. 

If you are a regular part-time employee who normally works less than 20 hours (less than .50 FTE) per work week, you are not entitled to holiday pay. If you are a temporary employee, you are not entitled to holiday pay. 

Your holiday pay is not counted as “hours worked” and will not be included in overtime calculations for any work week. 

Should your annual vacation include a holiday period, you will receive holiday pay in lieu of annual vacation on a day-to-day basis. The holiday time will not be charged against your vacation accrual. 

If you are receiving sick pay benefits when a holiday occurs, you will be paid holiday pay in lieu of sick pay on a day-to-day basis. Sick pay will not be charged on holidays. 

If you are a non-exempt employee and are required to work on a holiday, at the discretion of your supervisor, you may be paid for the hours worked on the holiday, in addition to the holiday pay; or you may be paid for the hours worked, and be allowed to use the unused holiday hours at a later time.  

If you are an exempt employee and are required to work a holiday, you will be paid for the day worked and will have the holiday to use at a later time.

Holidays must be used by the last day of the last pay period of the fiscal year in which it was accrued.

Your safety is the University’s concern, and should a situation arise which prevents you from performing your normal duties, or other substituted duties, you may be excused as determined by Administration or an official representative of the University. 

In an emergency closing, the University will post instructions and updates to the web site.

If it is determined that you are performing an essential service, you will be so designated and notified. If you are considered essential during an emergency, contact your supervisor promptly by phone. You will be paid for an excused absence only if your supervisor has advised you not to report to work because of an emergency closing. This excused absence will be charged as administrative leave with pay.

If the University is closed for emergency purposes during the time an employee is using vacation, sick leave, administrative leave or holiday time, those days will still be charged as vacation, sick leave, administrative leave, or holiday time.

Under normal circumstances, employees are expected to perform their duties on the job site. However, during emergency closings, some employees may be required to work remotely as determined by their supervisor and department head, and approved by their division head, to ensure continuation of vital business operations.