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All Medical Center Employees: effective January 2, 2014 refer to the flexPTO policy.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 2, 2014


It is the policy of Vanderbilt to provide a vacation program for its employees. The approval of vacation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

Effective January 2, 2014, this policy only applies to employees in University Central. Medical Center employees refer to the flexPTO Policy.



All full and part-time regular and term employees are eligible for paid vacation time. Employees are eligible for annual paid vacation based upon their length of service as follows:



Hourly-Paid Full-Time Employees
40 Hours per Week

Exempt Full-time Employees*


80 hrs

15 days


88 hrs

15 days


96 hrs

15 days


104 hrs

15 days


112 hrs

15 days


120 hrs

20 days


128 hrs

20 days


136 hrs

20 days


144 hrs

20 days


152 hrs

20 days

More than 10

160 hrs

20 days

Non-exempt (hourly paid) employees accrue vacation based on actual hours paid up to 40 hours per week (prorated if less than 40 hours per week), excluding overtime, on-call hours, and unpaid leaves of absence.

*Exempt employee accruals occur in days; however, these are tracked in equivalent hours for record-keeping purposes (e.g., 15 days equals 120 hours for a standard 5-day/40-hour workweek). Accrual rates are prorated based on a percentage of full-time for exempt employees.


A. Approval: Employees must obtain prior approval from their supervisors in order to use their vacation time. Under certain circumstances, such as business necessity, it may be appropriate for a supervisor to deny an employee’s request for vacation; however, the supervisor must plan for an alternative time with the employee. In such case, the supervisor should explain the reason for the denial. For this reason, supervisors and employees are encouraged to plan vacation time with as much advance notice as possible.

B. FMLA: If an employee is eligible and requests vacation time for a reason covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), he/she should give at least 30 days written notice when foreseeable. If not, employees must give as much notice as is practicable as soon as possible. When such notice is given, such verifiable requests to use vacation time under the FMLA will be approved. (See FMLA and TMLA policy)


A. Non-exempt employees: Hourly-paid employees should report vacation time on their timesheet. Vacation time may only be used to compensate for regularly scheduled work time, including fractions of an hour. Employees may not supplement their schedule with vacation time in excess of their regularly scheduled days or hours.

B. Exempt employees: The normal workday is defined by the department in terms of hours that the employee is expected to be at work. Time away from the normal workday, as defined by the supervisor, is tracked to the appropriate accrual bank and is to be reported in whole-day increments. Vacation balances and usage are reflected in hours on the following month's paycheck. Time missed that equals less than one day of the regularly scheduled workday is not reported.

  • NOTE: Approval to change the normal workday schedule must meet the needs of the institution and be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor. (Please refer to Alternative Work Schedule Policy). Managers are charged to use their best judgment in monitoring vacation leave reporting for exempt employees.
  • NOTE: Vacation time should be used within 12 months of being accrued. However, when this is not practical, the section on carry over will apply.

C. Carry Over Vacation: A supervisor may require employees to use vacation within a year of its accrual; however, vacation time cannot be used before it is accrued. With supervisor approval, employees can accumulate a vacation balance including up to one year's accrual carryover, but the balance should never exceed two times the annual accrual rate. Beginning July 1, 2000, employees with a balance of two times the annual accrual rate or more will not accrue additional vacation. Vacation balances may only be reduced by usage. Supervisors have the responsibility of ensuring that employees take the necessary time off, and cannot deny reasonable vacation usage by employees who reach the maximum.

D. Pay out of Vacation Time: In keeping with the purpose of vacation, employees are not paid in lieu of using accrued vacation time, except for pay out of unused vacation time at the end of employment. Any accrued vacation time will be paid in the last paycheck, except accrued vacation time may not be paid when employment is ended immediately for serious misconduct under the Progressive Discipline policy. Ending employment for serious misconduct and any decision regarding accrued time must be determined by Human Resources. Pay out of accrued vacation time does not extend any benefit coverage beyond the last day worked.


A. If a designated holiday falls within an employee’s approved vacation it will be counted as a holiday, not as a vacation day.

B. If an individual gets sick while on vacation that time will be counted as vacation time, not as sick time.

C. To be eligible for vacation pay, employees must follow their approved schedule the week of the vacation.

D. Senior exempt employees earn 22 days of vacation per year.

E. The accrual of vacation time, including the rate at which vacation time is accrued, can be suspended or modified at any time in the discretion of the University.


For time reporting, see Hours of Work policy.

This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for employees. The policy does not create a contract, implied or expressed, with Vanderbilt employees, who are employees at will; this status cannot be modified except by authorized University officers. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.