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Frequently Asked Questions: Administrative Leave

Q: What family members are covered by bereavement leave?
A: The loss of a family member may require time away from work. If there is a death in the family, employees may take up to three working days off as leave with pay. The family is defined as spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, grandparent or grandchild. This policy would also include step-parent, step-sibling, or stepchild.

Q: What is the procedure for bereavement leave?
A: All regular and term full-time and part-time employees are eligible. Bereavement leave is to be utilized within fourteen (14) days of the date of death. Exceptions for unusual circumstances (i.e., remains must be transported from overseas) must be coordinated with Human Resources. Supervisors may ask the employee to provide a certification of the death, such as a death certificate or a published death notice, before bereavement pay will be authorized.

Q: What happens when an employee is on jury duty?
A: The regular or term employee will receive his/her regular Vanderbilt paycheck while on approved jury duty and does not have to return the jury duty payment. Time spent on jury duty will count towards the scheduled work week. Hourly-paid temporary employees are only paid for actual hours worked at Vanderbilt, and the temporary employees will not be paid for the time they are on jury duty.

  • NOTE: When called as a juror or a witness, the employee should immediately notify his/her supervisor. If the jury obligation is less than three hours in a day, the employee must report for the rest of his/her work shift. Employees who work an evening or night shift and are scheduled to report to jury duty the next morning, will be excused from, and paid for, that shift. If the employee spends more than three hours in jury duty, he/she will be excused from his/her next shift if the shift occurs within twenty-four hours of jury duty service.

Q: What happens when an employee is subpoenaed or requested to testify as a witness in a case related to employment at Vanderbilt?
A: If the case is related to the employee's employment at Vanderbilt, he/she will be compensated for that time away from work.

  • NOTE: When called as a juror or a witness, the employee should immediately notify his/her supervisor. If the jury obligation is less than three hours in a day, the employee must report for the rest of his/her work shift.

Q: What happens when an employee is subpoenaed or requested to testify in a case unrelated to work?
A: Employees who appear in court on their own behalf, or who are subpoenaed for matters unrelated to the employee's employment at Vanderbilt, must use PTO. If PTO is not available, approved leave will be unpaid.

Q: What guidelines does Vanderbilt follow for military leave?
A: Vanderbilt follows the guidelines established by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) regarding military leave and endorses the "Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve" from the United States Department of Defense.

Q: What is the process for military leave?
A: Regular and term full-time employees who receive orders to report for training duty in the uniformed services of a State or of the United States shall be entitled to military leave without pay for up to fifteen working days per calendar year. However, employees may elect to use their PTO to cover the fifteen days.

Q: What reemployment rights does an employee have on military leave?
A: An employee on full active military duty is eligible for reemployment. For specific criteria, additional information, and/or conditions under which we can re- employ, the manager should consult with Human Resources.

Q: What happens to the employee's benefits while he/she is on military leave?
A: The University will activate the returning veteran's benefits based upon the length of service he/she would have had if he/she remained on the job. However, PTO does not accrue during the time spent in military service. The employee may, while in the service, elect to continue University health plan coverage and is required to pay only the employee's portion of the insurance premium when in the service for 30 days or less. Thereafter, the employee must pay the COBRA rate. If coverage is terminated at the employee's option, the University may not impose a waiting period for benefit reinstatement upon return to employment. A returning employee is considered as not having incurred a break-in-service.

Q: What happens when an employee on military leave fails to report?
A: USERRA defines the timeliness of an employee's return to work or application for re-employment. Contact Human Resources to discuss specific criteria and possible exceptions prior to denying reemployment. For additional information regarding military leave, please refer to

Q: What is "Other Administrative Leave?"
A: This is a general leave status, initiated by the supervisor, which is paid. Examples include, but are not limited to: an internal review or investigation or an investigation of an external event-such as a criminal arrest. Supervisors should consult with Human Resources before placing an individual on leave to determine the appropriate type of leave and to coordinate the appropriate payroll processing information.

Q: What is "Temporary Layoff Leave?"
A: Some departments' layoff employees on a temporary or seasonal basis in accordance with their staffing needs. Departments for which seasonable layoff is a recurring activity should share these policies with employees during the employment process. Questions about temporary or seasonal layoffs should be directed to Human Resources. The definition is "a layoff period of six months or less, where the department expects to recall the employee to active employment status." A seasonal or temporary layoff of less than one month is handled at the department level as an informal leave and is not processed through the payroll system as a temporary layoff leave option. A layoff of more than six months that is due to the elimination of an employee's position with no expectation for recall or rehire is considered a regular layoff. Please refer to the Reduction in Force policy for more information on this process.

Q: What is the process for Temporary Layoff Leave?
A: The temporary layoff leave process is outlined below:

  1. The effective start date of a layoff leave is the first missed workday.
  2. For a temporary layoff, employees may utilize PTO before the layoff moves into the unpaid status. Use of legacy sick time is not an option.
  3. For full-time employees who receive health care benefits, if PTO is available, benefits will continue. When paid time ends, the employee has the option to continue coverage by paying the employee portion of the expense.
  4. Employees on temporary layoff leave, who fail to return to work at the end of the designated leave period, must repay Vanderbilt for the employer's portion of the health coverage premiums paid while the employee was on unpaid leave.
  5. When the department is ready to recall employees from layoff leave status, the employee should be contacted by phone or registered or certified mail at least seven (7) days in advance to confirm the date when they are expected to return to work. Employees who do not return within seven days (7) of recall, and who do not have authorization to delay their return, will be terminated.

For questions regarding Chancellor Declared Administrative Leave Day, click here.