Vacation Leave

I.     Policy

The University of Puget Sound (the “university”) encourages time off from work for rest, relaxation, and change of pace. The university provides vacation leave benefits for this purpose. In keeping with the purpose of vacation, full-time staff members will not receive additional pay in lieu of vacation leave except when terminating from university employment.

II.    Eligibility and Scope

Staff members in regular positions accumulate vacation leave hours from their date of hire. Temporary staff members are not eligible for vacation leave benefits except when stipulated in a written agreement for a long-term temporary appointment which has been authorized by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or his/her designee.

A staff member in a non-exempt position will be paid at his or her regular hourly rate for all hours recorded as vacation leave. Hours recorded as vacation leave will not be included in the calculation of overtime.

Unless on an approved FMLA leave, a staff member in an exempt position must report vacation leave in full day increments. If the staff member works any part of a day, then accrued leave should not be used that day. A staff member on an approved FMLA leave may report sick leave in less than full-day increments.

III.   Vacation Leave Accumulation

Staff Members in Non-exempt Positions - Vacation leave is earned according to the following schedule for staff members in non-exempt positions:

  • Through the 4th anniversary of continuous employment - .038462 hour x number of hours worked and/or paid leave hours per pay period
  • From the 4th to the 9th anniversary of continuous employment - .057692 hour x number of hours worked and/or paid leave hours per pay period
  • From the 9th to the 14th anniversary of continuous employment - .069231 hour x number of hours worked and/or paid leave hours per pay period
  • From the 14th anniversary of continuous employment on - .076923 hour x number of hours worked and/or paid leave hours per pay period

Vacation leave does not accrue on overtime hours worked.

Staff Members in Exempt Positions - Full-time staff members in exempt positions accrue vacation leave each pay period, equivalent to 20 days per year.  Staff members in exempt positions with leave without pay in a month earn vacation leave on a prorated basis.

Vacation leave will not be advanced, and must be earned prior to the pay period in which it is used. Vacation leave accumulated from the prior pay period will be applied to time off during the current pay period. If, after the prior pay period’s leave hours are applied there is leave without pay, then the current pay period’s leave accumulation will be calculated on a prorated basis and will be available for use during the following pay period.

A staff member who transfers from one department to another takes along unused, accumulated vacation leave hours which are available for immediate use. Staff members who are terminating and have unused accumulated vacation leave hours will receive vacation leave compensation upon termination.

The final pay period’s vacation leave earnings for staff members in non-exempt positions who leave university employment before the end of the pay period will be calculated based on the total number of hours worked in the final pay period exclusive of overtime hours worked. The final pay period’s vacation leave earnings for staff members in exempt positions who leave university employment before the end of the pay period will be calculated on a prorated basis.

IV.    Vacation Leave Use

No staff member may take vacation leave unless such leave is approved by the supervisor. The staff member’s preferred vacation date requests will be considered whenever practical. However, the university reserves the right to deny vacation leave which may hinder the normal or continuous operation of the department. If scheduling conflicts arise due to multiple requests for the same vacation time off, requests will be granted based on the staff members’ length of service with the university (i.e., the longest service staff member being granted first preference for the vacation time), within the constraints of efficient departmental operation.

Supervisors of individuals employed in nine-, ten- or eleven-month positions should ensure that earned vacation hours are used during a staff member's scheduled work months. Vacation leave for a part-time staff member is not intended to extend the number of approved workdays/workweeks or to provide monetary compensation in lieu of time off at the conclusion of the nine-, ten- or eleven-month period.

For the well-being of staff members and the university, all staff members are expected to use their vacation leave hours on an annual basis in recognition of the regenerative value of a periodic change of routine. However, a staff member may carry over unused vacation hours from one calendar year (January 1 through December 31) to the next, not to exceed 160 hours (20 working days). Staff members who have more than the allowable vacation leave accumulated at the end of the calendar year will lose unused hours that exceed the maximum carryover balances.

Illness or injury occurring during a staff member’s vacation leave will not be changed to sick leave unless the staff member or an immediate family member (see Sick Leave policy) is hospitalized. Documentation of hospitalization may be requested by the supervisor.

Holidays or bonus days recognized by the university which occur during a staff member’s vacation leave are not deducted from earned vacation hours.

Staff members applying for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leaves will be required to use accumulated vacation leave before unpaid FMLA leave begins. The paid vacation leave will be counted in determining the staff member’s FMLA leave entitlement of 12 weeks (see Family and Medical Leave Act policy).

V.  Workers Compensation Time Loss Benefits and Vacation Leave Supplementation 

Regular staff members who are injured on the job and who are released from work for over three days following the date of injury are eligible to supplement their time-loss benefits with sick or vacation leave payments. The authorization for release from work must be approved by the third-party administrator for Workers Compensation and be identified as a time loss injury. The staff member will receive Workers Compensation time loss benefits for time away from work and will be given the opportunity to supplement time loss benefits with sick or vacation leave, as follows: for every seven-day period for which the staff member receives non-taxable time loss benefits, the staff member may choose to supplement the time loss benefits with ten hours of sick leave pay (or vacation leave pay if sick leave has been exhausted).

Supplementation will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Generally supplementation will be addressed at the point when the injured staff member returns to work because most injured staff members return to work within a month. In situations when it is clear that the staff members will be on time loss benefits for longer than a month, Human Resources will apprise the staff member of the supplementation option while the staff member is off work so that supplementation payments can be made in a timely manner.

The staff member must have sick and/or vacation leave accrued at the time of injury. Supplementation will not be offered until the injury has been clearly determined to be a Workers Compensation claim. Supplementation will not be available to staff members who return to work on a reduced work schedule.

VI. Responsibilities

All requests to use accumulated vacation leave hours will be acted on by a staff member’s supervisor or department head.

The leave system of record maintains records of vacation leave earned and used. Individual vacation leave balances for the pay period are displayed on a staff member’s direct deposit advice.

Origination date: 9/1958

Revised: 2007, 1/2012, 1/2013, 4/2013

Want to estimate your year-end vacation balance? Learn how below.

The vacation policy allows a staff member to carry over up to 160 hours of unused vacation from December 31 to January 1. Unused vacation hours in excess of 160 hours will not be carried over on January 1. Follow these instructions to estimate your year-end vacation balance and determine the minimum number of vacation hours you need to schedule between now and December 31.