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Paid Time Off

Last Modified: 2017-01-19

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
SUBJECT: PAID TIME OFF
EFFECTIVE DATE: Oct. 1, 2016


POLICY

Paid Time Off (PTO) gives employees paid time for vacations, personal time, and sick time (for the employee’s own illness, injury, or for caring for eligible family members).

Eligibility

Regular full time, part-time and term staff begin to accrue PTO immediately upon employment (prorated based on FTE < 1.0 / regular hours <40). They may use PTO as it is accrued. Staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement, faculty, and post-docs should refer to their departments for time off policies and practices.

Accruals

An employee’s PTO bank will accrue each pay period at a rate based on the employee's years of service and FTE. Employees accrue a prorated amount of hours per pay period based upon the yearly maximum accrual shown below:

 

Year Non-Exempt Employees  1 Exempt Employees  2
  Days Hours Days Hours
1 (date of hire to first anniversary) 20 days 160 hours 24 days 192 hours
2 20 days 160 hours 24 days 192 hours
3* 22 days 176 hours 24 days 192 hours
4 22 days 176 hours 24 days 192 hours
5 24 days 192 hours 24 days 192 hours
6 24 days 192 hours 28 days 224 hours
7 26 days 208 hours 28 days 224 hours
8 26 days 208 hours 28 days 224 hours
More than 8 28 days 224 hours 28 days 224 hours

Accruals are displayed in days but are earned/tracked in hours (e.g., 20 days equals 160 hours for a standard 5-day/40-hour workweek). A "day" of PTO time is equal to 1/5 of the regularly-scheduled hours per week.

Non-exempt employees accrue PTO 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 accrual rates are prorated based on a percentage of full-time equivalency.

*The higher rate becomes effective during the pay period in which the employee’s service anniversary falls. For example, a non-exempt employee who begins their 3rd year of service on March 15, 2017, will begin accruing PTO at the higher rate as of March 12, 2017 (the beginning of that pay period).  

PROCESS

Requesting PTO

Employees should follow their department procedures when requesting time off. Approval to change the normal work schedule must meet the needs of the institution and be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.

Using PTO

Except in some cases of extended short-term disability, all PTO must be used before time may be taken without pay. In some circumstances, and at the supervisor’s discretion, employees may go into a negative balance, up to a maximum of 40 hours. If an employee separates from employment with a negative PTO balance, the negative balance is deducted from the final paycheck.  
  • Non-exempt employees: Employees use PTO to cover time off from work. PTO must be used before taking unpaid time off.
  • Exempt employees: Employees are required to work time that is consistent with the standard FTE for their position. Until Jan. 1, 2018, PTO should be reported in whole day increments, since Vanderbilt’s Exempt Time Off system only allows time to be recorded in full days. If an exempt employee takes off less than the full day, tracking and reporting should be managed at the unit level. It is recommended that time be tracked at the unit level in no less than half-day increments. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, exempt staff should be able to record time off in half-day increments in the Oracle/SkyVU system.

Coordinating PTO and Short-Term Disability Insurance/Workers’ Compensation

  1. PTO is not paid in addition to Short-Term Disability Insurance (STDI). If employees have multi-day illnesses or injuries, they must use either PTO or other accrued paid time off (i.e., Grandfathered Sick, Parental Leave, etc.) during the two-week (14 calendar day) waiting period before STDI begins to pay any benefits. Employees do not accrue PTO while on STDI leave, and do not lose any remaining accrued, unused time.

  2. Employees receiving benefits under workers' compensation cannot be paid from both PTO and workers' compensation for the same hours. However, employees can supplement workers' compensation pay with PTO to meet their full salary. (see the Return to Work program policy for more info).

Banking Unused PTO


Employees can accumulate PTO up to the following maximum amounts and schedules. PTO time does not expire and is not lost.

Year Non-Exempt Employees  1 Exempt Employees  2
  Maximum Days Maximum Hours Maximum Days Maximum Hours
1 (date of hire to first anniversary) 20 days 160 hours 25 days 200 hours
2 20 days 160 hours 25 days 200 hours
3 22 days 176 hours 25 days 200 hours
4 22 days 176 hours 25 days 200 hours
5 24 days 192 hours 25 days 200 hours
6 25 days 200 hours 30 days 240 hours
7 25 days 200 hours 30 days 240 hours
8 25 days 200 hours 30 days 240 hours
More than 8 30 days 240 hours 30 days 240 hours

 Non-exempt employees accrue PTO 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 accrual rates are prorated based on a percentage of full-time equivalency.

Office Closing 

If a department operates with a "skeletal staff" or closes for a reason other than a University holiday or Chancellor-declared administrative leave day, employees who do not work must use PTO time (or take time off without pay if no PTO is available).

Procedure to call out on a scheduled work day

Departments are responsible for establishing call-out processes, communicating procedures to all employees, and monitoring PTO usage and accruals. Non-exempt employees must use PTO for any time missed due to arriving late or leaving early in their work day. 

Payout of PTO

Accrued, unused PTO will be paid out at an employee’s current pay rate upon separation from employment at Vanderbilt, typically with the last regular paycheck, unless employment is terminated for cause, such as financial malfeasance, serious misconduct or other reasons, at the discretion of the University, as endorsed by Human Resources and the Office of General Counsel. 

Resources


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 any Vanderbilt employees, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.

Approved by Barbara Carroll, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor 

Approved by Eric Kopstain, Vice Chancellor for Administration


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