Paid Leaves of Absence - Staff

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Vacation

Sick Leave

Short Term Disability/Maternity Leave

Sabbatical

Other Paid Leaves

  • Holidays
  • Christmas Closure
  • Jury Duty
  • Witness Duty

Vacation - Staff     [revised September 2013]

Purpose of Vacation Benefit

The vacation benefit provides a period for rest, relaxation and renewal away from work with no loss in compensation. Accordingly, staff  are expected to schedule vacations each year to use this accrued benefit.  Because of deadlines, work demands or special projects (as approved by a supervisor) staff may not always be able to schedule sufficient time to fully utilize their annual accrual of vacation leave.  In light of this, the unused accrual is allowed to be carried forward into a new fiscal year up to a maximum as described below.  The University expects supervisors and their staff to utilize vacation leave each year and that build-up of accrued vacation to maximum levels, without being reduced by vacation taken should be an exceptional case and not the norm in a department.

Vacation Benefit Eligibility

Regular full-time and regular part-time staff are eligible for the vacation benefit.

Description of Staff Vacation Benefit

 

Vacation accrues each month at a rate based on the number of days to be accrued for the year. Vacation accrual begins the first of the month following employment. Vacation accrual for regular part-time staff (between .5 and 1.00 FTE) is prorated based on FTE percentage.

All regular University employees may accrue vacation up to a maximum two times the annual accrual. Accrued vacation balances at any given time shall not exceed two times the individual's annual accrual.

If a staff member voluntarily leaves employment at the University with appropriate notice (30 days for Exempt staff and two weeks for Non-Exempt staff) any unused accrued vacation leave will be paid to the departing employee.  In the event an employee leaves the University and then returns, vacation accrual will pick up from the point it was when the employee left provided that the break in service was not longer than the span of time the employee originally worked

 

Vacation accrual is calculated in the following ways:

1. Nonexempt staff: Accrue two weeks of vacation per year for first five years and one additional day per year each year for the next ten years for a total maximum accrual of four weeks per year upon completion of fifteen years of employment with the University:

Years of employment
Accrued each year
1 -- 5
10 days (2 weeks)
6
11 days
7
12 days
8
13 days
9
14 days
10
15 days (3 weeks)
11
16 days
12
17 days
13
18 days
14
19 days
15 or more
20 days (4 weeks)

2. Exempt staff (other than the groups of exempt staff described in #3 and 4): Accrue two weeks of vacation per year for the first five years, three weeks per year from five to ten years of employment with the University, and four weeks per year after the completion of ten years of employment with the University.

Years of employment
Accrued each year
1 -- 5
2 weeks
6 -- 10
3 weeks
11+
4 weeks

3. Directors: Accrue three weeks of vacation per year for the first five years, and four weeks per year after the completion of five years of employment with the University.

Years of employment
Accrued each year
1 -- 5
3 weeks
6 -- 10+
4 weeks

4. Vice presidents, associate vice presidents, executive directors, and deans who report to vice presidents will accrue four weeks of vacation per year.

Vacation Usage Requirements

Regular full-time and regular part-time staff may schedule vacation leave at a time that is approved in advance by their  supervisor.  Similarly supervisors are expected to work with their staff to ensure appropriate vacation leave is scheduled, at least on annual basis (in short or long duration) as fits the circumstances

Vacation Reporting Requirements

All Exempt Staff must submit on the required electronic form, a monthly report of vacation leave taken.  Both Exempt and Non-exempt Staff are to report vacation leave in one-hour increments.

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Limitations & Exclusions

Vacations are scheduled and approved by the employee's supervisor. Although efforts will be made to accommodate any staff requests to take vacation at specific times, supervisors are required to consider the needs of the department when evaluating vacation requests. Therefore, vacation requests may be denied during peak activity periods within the department or when other related staff are scheduled to be away from the University.

Coaching Staff who work less than 12 months, Residence Life Coordinators, Temporary and short hour employees are not eligible for paid vacation benefits

 


Sick Leave - Staff    [revised September 2013]

Purpose of Sick Leave Benefit

In order to  provide a reasonable amount of coverage of a staff member’s salary during absences from work that result from a short-term illness or injury or incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the University provides paid sick/safe time leave to employees. Sick/safe time leave may be used for:

  • physical or mental illness, injury, or medical appointments of the employee;
  • physical or mental illness, injury or medical appointments of the employee's minor child, adult child who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent;
  • family bereavement;
  • closure of the University or the school or place of care of the employee’s child by order of a public official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material; or
  • reasons relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking involving the employee or a family member, which include seeking legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies, seeking treatment by a health care provider for mental or physical injuries, obtaining services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social services program, obtaining mental health counseling, or participating in safety planning or relocation.

Please see the Family Care policy for further information relative to using sick/safe time leave to care for family members.  This sick/safe leave policy’s intent is to provide income protection during qualifying absences only and does not accrue to become a cash benefit obligation of the University to the employee if the leave is not utilized during the staff member’s employment period at the University (i.e., unused leave is not paid out to terminating employees.)

Sick Leave Eligibility

All employees are eligible for sick/safe time leave and may take accrued sick/safe time leave up to the amount accrued.

Regular full-time and regular part-time (regardless of FTE status) employees are eligible to use sick/safe time leave immediately as it accrues. Temporary employees  are not eligible to use sick/safe time leave until the 180th day following the commencement of their employment with the University.

Individuals performing services under a work study agreement are not eligible for sick/safe time leave

Description of Sick Leave Benefit

Sick/safe time leave accrues for all employees from the commencement of employment, at the rate of 1.25 days (10 hours) per month for a regular full-time employee (1.0 FTE) up to a maximum of 15 days per year. The monthly accumulation of hours for staff who work less than 1.0 FTE is prorated based on FTE percentage.

Temporary employees (regardless of FTE status) accrue sick/safe time leave at the rate of 1 hour leave per 30 hours worked.

Unused sick/safe time leave accumulates from year to year, up to the following maximums:

  • 65 days (13 weeks) for 1.0 FTE regular full-time employees;
  • 65 days prorated based on FTE percentage for regular part-time employees who work at least 0.5 but less than 1.0 FTE;
  • 72 hours for part-time employees who work less than 0.5 FTE; and
  • 72 hours for temporary employees (regardless of FTE status).

The University will reinstate previously accrued but unused sick/safe time for staff who separate from employment with the University and are rehired within seven months.

Sick Leave Usage Requirements

Staff who are unable to report to work due to a personal illness, a dependent child's, spouse's, or parent's illness or injury, or an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking affecting an employee or employee’s family member must contact their supervisor as soon as possible but no later than one hour after the employee expected start of the work day.  If a situation requiring sick/safe time leave occurs during the work day, the supervisor must be notified before the employee leaves the campus unless emergency medical treatment is needed and the supervisor is not readily accessible.

When the need to use sick/safe leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide his or her supervisor with a written request at least 10 days in advance.

Absences in excess of five working days, whether for the illness or injury of an employee, the employee's dependent child, spouse, or parent, or for an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking must also be reported to the Office of Human Resources.

The absence will be evaluated in light of the University's Family and Medical Leave policy and the sick/safe time leave used by the employee may be designated as Family and Medical Leave. The evaluation may include a request by the University for physician certification of the necessity for sick leave and, in the case of an absence to care for an employee's spouse or parent, certification that the employee's presence is necessary for the care of the spouse or parent. The University reserves the right, at the University's expense, to require a second medical opinion. The University may also request documentation to support a request for safe time leave involving an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Use of Sick Leave for Maternity Leave

Please see Staff Short Term Disability/Maternity Leave Policy.

Use of Sick Pay for Paternity Leave

Up to five days of sick pay may be taken by the father of a newborn child within the first two weeks of birth.

If, through childbirth, the employee's spouse experiences a serious or emergency health condition, or if the child has a health condition that requires supervision, the employee may be eligible for sick leave use above the five days (see Family Care policy for further information).

Family medical leave allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid time off for specified family and medical reasons including the birth of a son or daughter or to care for the child after birth. Family medical leave may run concurrent with paid time off that is taken for paternity leave. Please see the University's Family Medical Leave policy for further information.

Use of Sick Pay to Care for a Newly Adopted Child

Based on an employee's years of service as indicated below, accrued sick leave may be used by an employee who is the *primary caregiver of a newly adopted child within the first two weeks following the adoption, or placement in the home:

Years of Employment
Accrued Sick Leave Usage
Less than one year:
Up to five days of sick leave (or maximum accrued sick leave, if less).
One year or greater:
Up to six weeks of sick leave (or maximum accrued sick leave, if less).

Limitations and Exclusions

*When a mother and father of a newly adopted child are both employees of the University and eligible for this benefit, only one employee is entitled to use this benefit.

If the newly adopted child has a health condition that requires supervision, the employee may be eligible for additional sick leave use (see Family Care policy for further information).

Family medical leave allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid time off for specified family and medical reasons, including the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care, and may run concurrent with paid time off to care for a newly adopted child. Please see the University's Family Medical Leave policy for further information.

Use of Sick Leave for Bereavement

Up to five days of sick pay may be taken upon the death of the employee's spouse, parent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.

Limitations & Exclusions

A physician's release authorizing an employee's return to work may be required by the University in cases of surgery, prolonged illness, or excessive absenteeism.

Since the purpose of sick/safe time leave is to minimize economic hardship resulting from illness or injury, unused sick/safe time leave will not be paid out at termination

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Other Information

Illnesses in excess of 3 working days may be covered under the provisions of the Family Medical Leave of Absence Policy. Disabilities and maternity leaves are covered under the Short Term Disability and Extended Short Term Disability leave policies. Disabilities with a duration in excess of six months are covered under the Long Term Disability Insurance Policy.

Exempt and Nonexempt staff utilize sick leave on a day basis or portion thereof.  Leave is to be reported on a monthly basis on the University form that is provided and each report is to be approved by the staff member’s supervisor.  Leave will be reported in one-hour increments  For regular staff whose FTE is below 1.0 they will receive paid leave for the actual leave for any sick/safe absences up to a maximum time of their FTE times 8 hours.  For instance, a staff member whose current FTE is .5 and is absence from work due to eligible sick/safe conditions will be paid for that day up to a maximum of 4 hours or .5 day.  Staff members who change FTE during their employment will be paid for sick/safe leave absences based on their FTE when they are absent

Short Term Disability Leave / Maternity Leave - Staff   [revised September 2013]

Benefit Purpose

Disability leave offers protection from economic hardship caused by short or long term illnesses or disabilities. Paid maternity leave allows for economic protection during a pregnancy related disability or for recuperation from delivery. Through these leaves, employees are assured of replacement of a substantial portion of their income, based on years of service, in the event of such disability or maternity.

Short Term Disability Benefit Eligibility

Employees are eligible for the short term disability or maternity benefit after one year of continuous employment in a regularly budgeted position in which the employee works a minimum of 20 hours per week (.50 FTE). Continuous employment is defined as employment of one year which is not interrupted by termination and reinstatement. For any type of disability, with the exception of maternity leave, a physician's certification of the disability is required. Physician's certification should include information regarding the length of disability and prognosis for recovery

Description of Short Term Disability Benefit

This benefit is provided by the University at no cost to the employee. "Short term disability" is defined as an employee's inability to perform some or all of the functions of their job for at least 8 days.

A physician's certification of the disability is required. The University reserves the right to require a second medical opinion at the University's expense.

After a waiting period of 1 day for an accident or 8 days for an illness, the University will pay 60% of the employee's pre-disability salary for a length of time based on years of service, as shown below. Pre-disability salary is defined as the regular monthly salary a staff member is paid in the month prior to the date a disability occurs.

Years of Service
Benefit Duration
1 -- 3 years
1 month
3 -- 6 years
2 months
7 + years
3 months

Accrued sick leave must be used during the waiting period. Remaining accrued sick/safe leave or vacation leave will be used incrementally to offset or "boost" the 40% of salary not paid under the short term disability leave.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is paid by the University at 60% of salary for six (6) weeks. Six weeks is the typical maternity recovery time recommended by physicians. In the instance where a physician recommends additional time off from work, either before or after the delivery date, maternity leave will be coordinated with sick leave and/or short term disability leave.

The University reserves the right to request physician certification prior to extending paid leave beyond six weeks for reasons in conjunction with maternity.

In instances where Short Term Disability and Maternity Leave are combined, the staff member will receive the greater of six weeks or the length of short term disability leave to which the staff member is qualified by years of service.

An individual's accrued sick and/or vacation leave will be utilized to "boost" or offset the 40% of salary not paid by the University.

Maternity leave also falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and will be designated by the University and coordinated as FMLA leave. Please see Unpaid Leaves of Absence - FMLA for more information.

Extended Short Term Disability

When an eligible employee has applied for long term disability insurance and coverage by the long term disability insurance company is confirmed, and after the Short Term Disability benefit is exhausted, Seattle Pacific University will pay the disabled employee's salary at 60% of the pre-disability salary, up to the current maximum allowed, for the remainder of the six months prior to the commencement of long term disability payments. Any remaining accrued sick leave or vacation leave may be used incrementally to "boost" or offset the 40% of salary not paid during the 6 month waiting period only. The continued pay during this six-month period is taxable by both FIT and FICA. During these six months, an employee will be eligible for limited benefits, as described in the Employee Medical Leave of Absence Policy.

Part time staff members who regularly work less than 30 hours per week (less than .75 FTE) are not eligible for Extended Short Term.

Partial Disability

When an employee who is eligible for long term disability insurance has applied for partial disability insurance and coverage by the long term disability insurance company is confirmed, benefits are also provided as outlined under "Extended Short Term Disability." The University will replace 60% of the employee's lost pre-disability salary, after Short Term Disability benefits are exhausted, until the end of the six month LTD waiting period. "Partial disability" is defined within the long term disability insurance plan booklet and contract.

Part time staff members who regularly work less than 30 hours per week (less than .75 FTE) are not eligible for Partial Short Term Disability

 

Short Term Disability Limitations and Exclusions

Temporary employees, short hour employees, employees scheduled to work fewer than 20 hours per week and those employed less than one year are not eligible for this disability benefit.

Disabilities of a shorter duration are covered under the provisions of the Sick Pay Policy.

Disabilities which recur, for the same condition, within six months from the date the original disability leave ended will not be considered a new disability. The time period of the recurrent disability will be combined with the original disability leave and short term disability salary replacement will be limited to the length of time for which an employee is qualified based on years of service.

Disabilities which recur after 6 months from the date the original disability leave ended will be considered a new disability and Short Term Disability salary replacement will start over again.

Seattle Pacific University would like to ensure that employees who become pregnant while employed receive appropriate  maternity related salary replacement and at the same time would like to encourage full disclosure between employees and their supervisors about their intentions for returning to work at the conclusion of maternity leave, so that supervisors and departments can plan appropriately.

The salary replacement offered through the Maternity Leave and Short-Term Disability policies is available in all Maternity Leave circumstances.  This continued salary replacement will be in place for employees who do not plan to return to work at the conclusion of the maternity leave, as well as for those who do plan to return or those who change their plans during the maternity leave

The following paragraph applies to non-Maternity Short-Term Disability leave.  Employees who terminate employment at the beginning of a Short-Term Disability  leave will not receive salary replacement.  Should an employee decide to terminate employment while using a paid Short-Term Disability leave, the employee must reimburse the University for the salary received during the leave. Employees on Short-Term Disability leave who intend to return to work and later change their plans must return to their jobs for one month, giving at least one month's notice. Employees  who return to work after a Short-Term Disability leave and fail to give this notice must reimburse the University for the salary received during the leave. These requirements for notice and repayment of salary will not apply if the employee is unable to return to work due to their ongoing medically verified serious health condition.  

 

Since benefits for short term disability and maternity leave are designed to provide reasonable salary protection to staff members for the length of the disability (based on years of service) or recovery from childbirth, payment for short term disability or maternity leave will not be extended in length when holidays or Christmas closure occurs between the designated start and end of the leave. For example, if a staff member begins a 12 week leave of absence in the first week of December for childbirth, recovery, and care of the newborn they would receive six weeks of paid maternity leave through the second week of January regardless of closure or encompassing holidays and the remaining six weeks would be counted as unpaid FMLA leave and either paid through use of accrued vacation or will be unpaid if no accrued vacation time is available.


Sabbatical - Staff

Purpose

In order to allow certain staff members the opportunity to perform research and writing regarding topics related to the staff member's employment, pursue a professional interest, or otherwise improve her/himself professionally, the University provides sabbatical leave to eligible staff members. This opportunity for sabbatical leave is a granted privilege and not a guaranteed right or accrued benefit. Upon returning to the University, the staff member shall submit a written report to the President of the University through the appropriate vice president (if applicable) describing his/her activities and accomplishments during the sabbatical period.

Description of Benefit

This benefit allows a staff member, meeting the eligibility requirements, a 13-week or 26-week paid absence from work in order to pursue professional research and growth. The applicant may apply to receive full salary for a leave of one quarter in duration or one-half salary for a leave of two quarters in duration. All fringe benefits regularly applying to the applicant will continue during the sabbatical leave, with the exception of vacation accrual. The recipient of a sabbatical leave is under obligation to return to SPU for at least one full academic year subsequent to the leave or the entire amount of salary received for the sabbatical leave is to be repaid to the University. This obligation on the part of the staff member does not guarantee continued employment by the University.

Eligibility Requirements

A staff person at the vice president level and above may apply for a sabbatical after five years of full-time employment with Seattle Pacific University. Staff members at or above a director level may apply after seven years of full-time employment with Seattle Pacific University. Application for sabbatical leave is to be made to the President through the individual area managers.