Forms, Policies, & Guides

509 - Vacation

Subject: Vacation

Section: U509

Date: October, 2016


Purpose:

To provide eligible staff employees with paid vacation time and to establish guidelines for vacation time accrual and use.

Policy:

Benefits-eligible staff employees begin accruing vacation time at their most recent date of benefits eligibility.

It is intended that eligible staff employees take the annual vacation to which they are entitled each year.

Definitions:

Term Definition
HR Partner Department/division personnel who serves as the representative for the department in all human resource issues and processes staff transactions in campus HR systems (i.e. Workday and UChicago Jobs) on behalf of their department/division.
University HR

The central human resource body for the university made up of Centers for Expertise (COE).

HR-Talent Acquisition The COE responsible for oversight of the university's staff talent acquisition policy and processes.
Hiring Unit Campus unit to which a new or vacant position reports.
Hiring Manager The individual requesting the new or vacant position be filled. Generally, the position being filled will report to the hiring manager.
Regular Staff Position A position that is classified as staff and does not serve in a temporary or seasonal capacity.
Benefits Eligible Position A regular staff position that is scheduled to work an average of 20 hours or more per week and is therefore eligible for benefits.
Non-benefits Eligible Position Positions that are expected to continue for at least twelve consecutive months at 19.5 hours or less per week.
Time Approver Individual responsible for approving submitted employee time in the University's time and attendance system.

procedures:

A.  General Vacation Guidelines
  1. A benefits-eligible staff employee begins accruing vacation time at his/her most recent date of benefits eligibility.
  2. Each unit is responsible for maintaining and communicating to each eligible employee his/her record of accrued and used vacation time. Each unit should establish and communicate to employees the guidelines for requesting vacation time. All vacation leave is subject to supervisory approval.
  3. An eligible staff employee should request vacation leave in advance, following unit guidelines for requesting vacation time. An eligible, exempt staff employee (monthly-paid employee) must record vacation time taken on his/her monthly absence report. An eligible, non-exempt staff employee (bi-weekly-paid employee) must record vacation time taken on his/her timecard.

    For units that use the University's time and attendance system, UChicago Time, vacation accruals and usage for employees are maintained within the system. UChicago Time allows non-exempt employees to report time worked and absences, and to track their accruals. UChicago Time allows exempt employees to report absences and to track their accruals. An employee's supervisor will review and approve vacation time usage through the system.

    Non-exempt employees are expected to report time worked and/or to record and submit absences daily via UChicago Time. Non-exempt employees who fail to report time worked and/or to record and submit absences daily could forfeit an accrual award when the employee is either close to or at the allowable vacation maximum.

    Exempt employees are expected to record and submit absences on the last working day of each month via UChicago Time. Exempt employees who fail to submit their absences on the last working day of the month could forfeit an accrual award when the employee is either close to or at the allowable vacation maximum.

B.  Accruing Vacation
  1. An eligible employee accrues three (3) standard workweeks of vacation per year for the first eight (8) years of continuous service.
  2. Upon completion of eight (8) years of continuous service, an additional standard workweek of vacation will be added to the employee's vacation balance and vacation is accrued, thereafter, at the rate of four (4) standard workweeks per year through the twentieth (20th) year of continuous service.
  3. Upon completion of twenty (20) years of continuous service, an additional standard workweek of vacation will be added to the employee's vacation balance and vacation is accrued, thereafter, at the rate of five (5) standard workweeks per year.
  4. An eligible employee is credited with accrued vacation time after each completed month of service to the University.
  5. Vacation is accrued monthly at the rate of one-twelfth (1/12) the employee's annual accrual. Monthly vacation accruals for an eligible full-time and part-time staff employee are calculated by multiplying the number of the employee's standard workweek hours by the number of annual accrued standard workweeks of vacation and then dividing by twelve (12).

    For example, an eligible staff employee with a standard workweek of 37.5 hours per week accrues three (3) standard workweeks of vacation per year: 37.5 hours per week x 3 weeks per year ÷ 12 months per year = 9:23 hours per month.

    The most common vacation accruals for eligible employees are as follows:

    Years of Service

    Standard Workweek

    (Hours per Week)

    Monthly Accrual

    (Hours/Minutes)

    1-8 20 5:00
    1-8 25 6:15
    1-8 30 7:30
    1-8 37.5 9:23
    1-8 40 10:00
    After 8 20 6:40
    After 8 25 8:20
    After 8 30 10:00
    After 8 37.5 12:30
    After 8 40 13:20
    After 20 20 8:20
    After 20 25 10:25
    After 20 30 12:30
    After 20 37.5 15:37
    After 20 40 16:40
  6. An eligible employee scheduled to work irregular hours each week will accrue at a rate based on the average weekly hours scheduled per month.
  7. An eligible staff employee cannot accrue more than one and one-half (1.5) times his/her annual vacation accrual. For example, an employee with a standard workweek of 37.5 hours accrues three (3) standard workweeks of vacation per year; he/she cannot maintain an accrual balance of more than 168.5 hours of vacation, the equivalent of four and one-half (4.5) standard workweeks.

    The following table indicates the maximum vacation accrual balances for eligible employees:

    Years of Service Standard Workweek

    (Hours per Week)
    Maximum Accrual

    (Hours/Minutes)
    1-8 20 90:00
    1-8 25 112:30
    1-8 30 135:00
    1-8 37.5 168:45
    1-8 40 180:00
    After 8 20 120:00
    After 8 25 150:00
    After 8 30 180:00
    After 8 37.5 225:00
    After 8 40 240:00
    After 20 20 150:00
    After 20 25 187:30
    After 20 30 225:00
    After 20 37.5 281:15
    After 20 40 300:00
  8. An eligible employee will not accrue vacation during any month for which he/she is in an out-of-pay status (i.e., on leave of absence including FMLA), on sick leave, on Workers' Compensation or on Short-Term/Long-Term disability for more than one-half (1/2) the standard working hours for that month. [See U512 Sick Leave, U513 Short-Term Disability, U514 Long-Term Disability, U522 FMLA]
  9. An employee may take no more vacation at any one time than is earned in one year, even if the number of vacation hours accrued exceeds this amount.
  10. An eligible employee who is newly hired or terminated but works at least one-half (1/2) the standard working hours during his/her first or last month of service will accrue vacation time for that month. An eligible employee who is newly hired or terminated but works less than one-half (1/2) the standard working hours during his/her first or last month of service will not accrue vacation time for that month.
  11. Pay for vacation time shall be at the eligible employee's regular base rate of pay when vacation time is used. Bonuses and other variable compensation are not included in calculating vacation pay. Vacation hours are not considered "hours worked" in calculating overtime.
  12. Vacation accrual records for an eligible, exempt employee may be maintained in hourly increments. Vacation usage for an eligible, exempt employee is based on the employee's average scheduled hours per day. An eligible, exempt employee who takes a full-day absence will have accruals deducted at a rate equal to the employee’s average scheduled hours per day for each day of vacation taken.

    Example #1: An eligible, exempt employee who works a five-day, 37.5-hour standard workweek will have 7:30 hours deducted from his/her vacation accrual balance for each day of vacation taken. To calculate: 37.5 hours per week ÷ 5 days per week = 7:30 hours per vacation day.

    Example #2: An eligible, exempt employee who works a four-day, 20-hour standard workweek will have 5.0 hours deducted from his/her vacation accrual balance for each day of vacation taken. To calculate: 20 hours per week ÷ 4 days per week = 5.0 hours per vacation day.

C.  Utilizing Accrued Vacation
  1. For an eligible, exempt staff employee, absences of less than one full day are neither to be charged to accumulated vacation time, nor deducted from pay. An eligible, non-exempt (hourly paid) employee will have accruals deducted in hourly increments.
  2. Accrued paid time off cannot be used for time off of less than 30 minutes.
  3. If an authorized University holiday falls within an employee's vacation period, and the employee is eligible for paid holiday allowance for that particular day, it shall be counted as a holiday rather than a vacation day.
  4. It is intended that each eligible employee take the annual vacation to which he/she is entitled each year. An employee may be reimbursed in lieu of vacation time if the unit requests the employee to forego all or any part of his/her accrued vacation and the employee has requested vacation time according to unit rules and procedures. An eligible employee's vacation accrual balances must be reduced by the amount of vacation accruals paid out. The payment request must be submitted during the pay period the vacation was cancelled.
  5. At an eligible employee's request, and upon the exhaustion of all sick leave, absence due to non-work-related illness or injury may be taken as vacation time. [See U512 Sick Leave]
  6. Units may grant paid or unpaid time-off as part of a newly hired employee's job offer. This time-off can only be for a one-time arrangement within the first year of employment (for example, if the employee has predetermined travel plans prior to accepting the position), it cannot be made into an on-going arrangement, and it may be recorded as an excused absence in lieu of vacation time.
  7. Otherwise, when an eligible employee is absent due to personal reasons and vacation accruals are exhausted, the employee is in out-of-pay status unless he/she elects to use accrued personal holiday time and has received supervisory approval to do so. [See 508 Personal Leave of Absence]
  8. Paid vacation must not be used as compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay. [See U304 Compensable Time and Compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (Overtime)]
  9. When an eligible employee transfers between University departments, his/her vacation accrual dollars must be transferred using Comptroller Form 60, Journal Voucher. The form should be forwarded to the Payroll Department for processing.
  10. Vacation accrual balances for employee transfers from the University of Chicago Hospitals are governed by Personnel Policy U209 Staff Employee Hires to the University of Chicago from the University of Chicago Hospitals.
  11. When a reduction of work hours, the vacation accrual rate and corresponding balance will be reduced to align with the new scheduled weekly hours. Any vacation time that exceeds the new balance, plus two full months' worth of accruals (based on the new accrual rate) will be paid out to the employee upon reduction of hours. Upon termination of employment, an eligible employee is to be paid for any accrued and unused vacation.

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.