Staff Time Off Policies



Regular, benefits-eligible employees accrue vacation based on hours paid up to a maximum of 22 working days per year. Vacation does not accrue during unpaid time off.

Vacation may be taken after the 6-month orientation period concludes. The scheduling of vacation time requires the prior approval of the supervisor. Departments may have additional requirements.

An employee with six (6) or more months of continuous regular service whose employment is terminated for any reason will be paid for accrued unused vacation time up to the maximum accrual (22 days for full-time employees). Terminating employees may not use vacation in lieu of providing notice of their intention to resign.

Sick Time

Sick time provides paid time off for employees who are unable to work for any of the following reasons:

  1. For their own physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition (inclusive of FMLA qualifying conditions);
  2. To obtain diagnosis, care, or preventative care, including dental care; or
  3. To care for a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner (as defined under the Family and Medical Leave Act) who has an illness, injury, medical condition, or needs to obtain diagnosis, care or preventive care.

Eligibility — Regular full-time employees and part-time benefits-eligible employees (those regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week but less than 37.5 hours per week) are eligible to accrue sick time. Sick time for new employees will accumulate but may not be used during the first six (6) months of employment (orientation period).

Accrual — Regular benefits-eligible employees accrue sick time per hour paid. The maximum annual accrual is 12 days.  Hours paid include regular, sick, vacation, holiday, personal holidays, funeral leave, and jury duty, but do not include overtime. Biweekly employees do not accrue sick time on more than 80 hours in a pay period in any case. Sick time does not accrue during unpaid time off. Accrued sick time is available for use as of the end of the pay period.

Sick time cannot accrue in excess of the maximum 120 days (prorated as stated below for part-time status). As sick time is used, time is again accrued at the normal rate until the maximum is reached. If the employee becomes ill or incapacitated during his or her scheduled vacation, the time will be reported as vacation time.

Part-Time Employees — Part-time benefits-eligible employees (employees regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week, but less than 37.5 hours per week) are eligible to accrue prorated sick time. This prorated benefit is a percentage of the full-time benefit, and is based upon the number of hours paid per pay period, including any paid vacation and/or sick time. The maximum balance that can be held is set by the employee’s standard hours in effect each pay period (e.g., 20 hours per week equals a maximum annual accrual of 480 hours).

Change in Employment Status — If a full-time employee becomes part-time benefits-eligible, the balance available remains and may be taken while in part-time status. Additional sick time will not accrue until the employee’s sick time balance falls below the new part-time maximum balance available.  Accrual for the current fiscal year is limited to the new part-time maximum balance possible given the standard hours. Once an employee reaches the  new maximum balance, no additional time will accrue until the available time is taken.

Physician’s Statement — The University reserves the right to request a doctor’s verification of treatment in cases of repeated absences or suspected abuse. In some cases, an employee may be required to provide a return to work note from a physician.

Personal Holidays — If an employee has 12 or more sick days at the beginning of a fiscal year and does not use a sick day (other than time off covered by FMLA) during the entire fiscal year, he or she will be given one paid personal holiday on July 1.

If an employee has 60 or more accumulated sick days at the beginning of the fiscal year and does not use a sick day (other than illness covered by the Family Medical Leave Act) during the fiscal year, he or she will be given two paid personal holidays on July 1.

Personal holidays cannot be accumulated, carried over from one year to the next and are not paid out when the employee leaves the University.

Example: If an employee has 12 sick days on July 1, 2016, and does not use a sick day from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, he or she will receive one personal holiday on July 1, 2017. If the employee fails to use this personal holiday, it will disappear on July 1, 2018.

Abuse of Sick Time — Paid sick time is a privilege extended by the University. Employees who abuse this privilege may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Employee Notification — Employees who will be absent from work due to illness or injury are to notify their supervisor prior to the start of their regular scheduled workday and be in compliance with any departmental attendance policy. Employees are expected to return to work as soon as medically possible. Not meeting required standards may result in the loss of sick pay benefits and or  disciplinary action.

Termination of Employment — Terminating employees are not compensated for unused sick time or unused personal holidays.

Long Term Disability/Buy-Up Option:
Questions regarding use of sick leave  during Long Term Disability or the waiting period should be directed to the HR Benefits team.


The official holidays for which time off with pay is granted are as follows:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

See Holiday Schedule »

In order to receive holiday pay, full-time benefit-eligible employees must have worked their last scheduled day before the holiday and their first scheduled day after the holiday, unless otherwise excused by their supervisor for vacation, sick time or FMLA leave (paid or unpaid). A supervisor/manager may request a physician's statement if the circumstances or situation warrants such.

If asked to work on a regular University holiday, an employee will receive equal compensatory time off in lieu of the time worked or be compensated for the holiday and, at straight time, for hours worked on the holiday. If the regular paid holiday occurs during paid vacation, the holiday is not counted as a vacation day. An employee on an unpaid leave of absence, with the exception of unpaid FMLA, is not eligible for paid holidays.

Part-time employees scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week receive pay if the holiday occurs during their regularly scheduled work period. If the holiday occurs on a day the employee is not scheduled to work, the employee does not receive holiday pay.

The maximum holiday pay is 8 hours per day.

When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as the holiday. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be observed as the holiday.

Leaves of Absence

The following types of leaves are available:

Military Leave


Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)


General Medical Leave

Benefit-eligible employees may request a general medical leave if they do not meet the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirements due to years of service, job status, number of hours worked in the preceding twelve months, or have exhausted the twelve-week entitlement. This leave may be granted with the approval and at the discretion of department/program management. Employees must submit medical verification that supports the need for the medical leave.

Departments will review all requests on an individual basis, in consideration of the job requirements, the availability of temporary replacement and the department’s/program’s ability to reinstate the employee after the leave. While the department/program will base its decisions on the above factors, employees should understand that their jobs are not protected and may be filled during their leave. The maximum amount of General Medical Leave available is 12 weeks within a rolling 12-month period (similar to FMLA).

During this leave status, employees are expected to exhaust their available accrued unused sick or vacation balances and are responsible for payment of insurance premiums.

An employee cannot be engaged in alternate employment during a general medical leave.

Personal Leave

Benefit-eligible employees in good standing who are regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible to request personal leave time. At the discretion of the supervisor and department head, an employee may be granted time off, without pay, up to a maximum of 12 months. Factors that will be reviewed when considering a request for personal leave include job requirements, business need, and the employee's performance.

Benefits will continue during a personal leave and the employee will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of the premium. Sick and vacation time do not accrue. Employees on personal leave are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

An employee on a personal leave is not provided any guarantee of reemployment. Should the employee desire a return to active employment with the School of Medicine he or she is encouraged to use the resources available in the WUSM Office of Human Resources.

An employee cannot be engaged in alternate employment during a personal leave.

Funeral Leave

Full-time and part-time employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week may be allowed up to three days at the time of a funeral, without loss of pay, for a death occurring in the immediate family. Funeral leave is to be requested when time off is required during scheduled work hours. The immediate family includes a spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother, sister, grandchild, half brother or sister.

In the case of the death of the employee's own stepbrother or stepsister, grandparent, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece or first cousin, only the day of the funeral may be granted as a day without loss of pay. If this event occurs during a scheduled vacation, the time is reported as vacation.

Jury Duty

Full-time and part-time employees working 20 standard hours or more per week on a regularly scheduled basis who are called for jury duty will be excused from work without loss of pay during the time spent as a juror. Employees may also keep any compensation from the Court while on jury duty. The time spent serving as a juror is not considered time worked when computing overtime. Employees are expected to report to work immediately upon release from jury service. An employee should notify the supervisor immediately upon receipt of a summons for jury duty.