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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 4 - Personnel - General
Publication Date: December 12, 2013
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs

4.20 Authorized Leave


POLICY STATEMENT


An employee who is employed to work at least twenty (20) hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half (4-1/2) months, excluding students employed in positions, which require student status as a condition for employment is eligible to earn and use sick leave beginning on the first day of eligible employment.  As well as be eligible for the types of leave outlined in the Procedures section of this policy.

Eligible employees paid on an hourly basis are also entitled to sick leave with full pay and accrue sick leave at the same rate as employees paid on a monthly basis.

Faculty members appointed on a nine-month basis at least half time or more for a period of four and one-half (4-1/2) months or longer are eligible to accrue sick leave, under the same provisions applicable to other university employees.


RATIONALE


This policy provides for the administration of the types of leave authorized by the Texas Government code Chapter 661 as described in this policy.


SCOPE


All classified benefits eligible employees, excluding students employed in positions, which require student status as a condition for employment.


WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter4/4-20.html


RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

Other Policies & Standards


CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 4.20, Authorized Leave, contact the following offices:

Interpretation of Policy - Employee Relations
210-458-7891
HR@utsa.edu

FMLA - Leave Management
210-458-7874
HR@utsa.edu

Management of Leave Accrual - Leave Management
210-458-7874
HR@utsa.edu


DEFINITIONS


For the purpose of this policy:

Direct Transfer – When an employee leaves one state agency and begins employment at a different state agency the next working day or business. 

Emergency Medical Services Volunteer – Emergency medical personnel who provide emergency pre hospital care without remuneration, except reimbursement for expenses.

Employee – Person who is employed to work at least twenty (20) hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half (4-1/2) months, excluding students employed in positions, which require student status as a condition for employment.

Person with a Disability – Person who has mental or physical disability or any health impairment that requires special ambulatory devices or services.


PROCEDURES


  1. Vacation

    With the exception of faculty members who have appointments of fewer than twelve (12) months and those appointed to positions that require student status as a condition of employment, all employees shall earn vacation leave beginning on the first day of eligible employment and terminating on the last day of eligible employment.

    1. The rate of vacation leave accrued each month shall be governed by length of state service in accordance with the schedule of vacation leave accrual set forth in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 661.
    2. Employees shall receive their full vacation leave entitlement for each month or partial month actually worked regardless of the date of employment or separation.
    3. Employees must have served six (6) months of employment with a recognized state agency before being eligible to use vacation leave.
      1.  Vacation should be taken during the fiscal year in which it accrues. If this is not possible, accrued vacation leave may be carried forward to the next fiscal year in accordance with the limits provided in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 661.
      2. All hours of unused accumulated vacation leave in excess of the maximum allowable carryover limit are lapsed at the end of the fiscal year and will be credited to the employee's sick leave balance as of the first day of the next fiscal year.
      3. Administrative officers/supervisors shall schedule vacations in accordance with departmental needs for the maintenance of adequate staff, giving as much consideration as possible to employee preferences.
      4. Employees should make requests for vacation leave in advance. All vacation leave requests must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
    4. Employees paid on an hourly basis are entitled to vacation with full pay accrued at the same rate as employees paid on a monthly basis. Part-time employees who are employed twenty (20) hours per week or more, for four and one-half (4-1/2) months or more, are eligible to accrue vacation leave, based on a percentage determined by the number of hours appointed.
    5. Employees appointed for fewer than twenty (20) hours per week or for a period of less than four and one-half (4-1/2) months are not eligible to accrue vacation leave.
    6. The disposition of vacation balances (transfer or pay out) on employees who resign, are dismissed, or otherwise separate from state employment are outlined in the following table.

      Transfer Type Transfer
      From
      Transfer
       To
       

      Result
      Direct* Leave Accruing Position Leave Accruing Position Vacation Balances must be transferred
      Direct* Leave Accruing Position Non-Leave Accruing Position Gaining state agency has the option of accepting or refusing to accept the vacation balance.
      Direct* Non-Leave Accruing Position Leave Accruing Position Vacation Balances must be transferred
      Direct* Non-Leave Accruing Position Non-Leave Accruing Position Gaining state agency has the option of accepting or refusing to accept the vacation balance.
      Non-Direct Institution of Higher Ed Institution of  Higher Ed
      ------------
      Not an Institution of Higher Ed
      Losing institution of Higher Ed must pay out the vacation.
      Non-Direct Not an Institution of Higher Ed Institution of  Higher Ed Gaining institution must accept transfer of vacation if individual is employed in a state agency in a position that accrues vacation within 30 days immediately following the separation.
      Break > 30 days N/A N/A Losing agency/institution must pay out.

      *A direct transfer is when an employee leaves one state agency and begins employment at a   different state agency the next work day or business day.

      References:  Texas Government Code 661.062 and Texas Education Code Sect 51.961

    7. With the approval of the appropriate vice president or his or her designee, a separating employee may be allowed to remain on the payroll after the last day worked to utilize vacation leave time in lieu of being paid in a lump sum. Such employee is entitled to continue receiving all compensation and benefits that he or she was receiving on the last day of duty, including paid holidays, longevity pay, and hazardous duty pay, and is entitled to a general salary increase that takes effect before the accrued vacation time is exhausted. However, such employee may not use sick leave or accrue sick leave or vacation time.
    8. In the case of the death of an employee who has an accrued vacation balance after six (6) months of continuous employment, his or her estate will be paid for all of the employee's accumulated vacation leave.
  2. Sick Leave
    1. Full-time employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate of one working day (eight hours) for each month of service. Faculty members appointed on a nine-month basis at least halftime or more for a period of four and one-half (4-1/2) months or longer are eligible to accrue sick leave. Sick leave accrual will terminate on the last day of duty.
    2. Part-time salaried and hourly employees accrue sick leave at a rate based on a percentage determined by the number of hours appointed. Employees appointed for fewer than twenty (20) hours per week or for a period of less than four and one-half (4-1/2) months are not eligible to accrue sick leave.
    3. All employees shall receive their full sick leave entitlement for each month or partial month actually worked regardless of the date of employment or separation. Unused sick leave is carried forward each month. Employees transferring from one state agency to another or from one unit in the university to another shall retain their unused sick leave accumulation, provided there is no break in service. Employees who terminate employment cannot be paid for unused sick leave. The estate of a deceased employee is entitled to payment for one-half of accumulated sick leave, or for 336 hours of sick leave, whichever is less, to include any official state holidays that fall within the period after the date of death and during which the employee could have used leave and provided that the employee had continuous employment with the state for at least six (6) months at the time of death.
    4. An employee separated from employment with the state under a formal reduction-in-force shall have his or her sick leave balance restored if re-employed by the state within twelve (12) months of separation. An employee separated for other reasons shall also have his or her sick leave balance restored if: (1) re-employed by the same agency or institution within twelve (12) months of separation, provided there has been a break in service of at least thirty (30) calendar days, or (2) re-employed by the state, with an agency or institution other than the agency or institution from which the employee separated, within twelve (12) months of separation.
    5. Sick leave with pay may be taken when an employee is prevented from performing duties due to sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement. It may also be used when an employee is needed to care for a member of the employee’s immediate family who is ill. The following persons are considered to be members of the employee’s immediate family:
      1. An individual who resides in the same household as the employee and is related to the employee by kinship, adoption or marriage; or
      2. A foster child of the employee who resides in the same household as the employee and who is under the conservatorship of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services; or
      3. A minor child of the employee, regardless of whether the child lives in the same household.
    6. Sick leave for members of an employee’s family who do not reside in the same household may only be taken to provide care to a spouse, child, or parent of the employee who needs such care as a direct result of a documented medical condition. Sick leave cannot be used for an employee’s parent-in-law if they do not live in the same household.
    7. Please refer to Section VIII. Family and Medical Leave Act, regarding the additional use of sick leave, or contact the Human Resources Department.
    8. When a staff member must be absent from duty because of sickness, injury or pregnancy and confinement, they shall notify their supervisor (or have the supervisor notified) at the earliest practicable time.
    9. A faculty member who must be absent from duty because of sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement, and is unable to perform the duties of his or her position during the normal workday must report the number of hours of sick leave used, even if the faculty member was not scheduled to teach classes during the period of absence.
    10. To be eligible to use accumulated sick leave without a deduction in salary during a continuous period of more than three (3) work days, an employee absent due to sickness, injury, or pregnancy and confinement shall contact the Human Resources Department, Leave Management section, and provide a doctor’s certificate showing the cause or nature of the condition or another written statement, which is acceptable to the university, of the facts concerning the condition.
    11. The university may require a doctor’s certificate or other written statement of the facts for sick leave without a deduction in salary taken during a continuous period of three (3) or fewer work days.
    12. An employee whose sick leave balance is insufficient to cover an absence from work due to illness must use other accrued, paid leave. If other paid leave is insufficient to cover the absence, the employee will be placed on leave without pay.
  3. Sick Leave Pool

  4. (See Section 4.26 in the Handbook of Operating Procedures)

    The sick leave pool is intended to help an employee if the employee exhausts his or her sick leave because of a catastrophic illness or injury or he or she previously donated time to the pool.

  5. Holidays
    1. All faculty, classified, and other non-teaching personnel are entitled to such holidays as are provided by the Texas Legislature in the current Appropriations Act and as are approved annually by the Vice Chancellor for Administration, or to alternate holidays approved in the official calendars of the various institutions by the Vice Chancellor for Administration. (U.T. System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 30000, Rule 30201 Leave Policies, Section 1)
    2. UTSA may designate floating holiday time in accordance with the holiday schedule approved by the Texas Legislature. All employees, including those in probationary status, are eligible to accrue and utilize floating holiday time when floating holiday time is offered. Unused floating holiday time will be carried over from one fiscal year to another, and an employee will be paid for any unused floating holiday time upon separation from the university. Employees must have supervisory approval before using the floating holiday.
    3. Employees are entitled to observe Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Cesar Chavez Day, or Good Friday in lieu of any holiday or holidays on which the university is required to be open and staffed to conduct public business. Employee requests to observe these holidays should be submitted for approval to his or her supervisor in advance of the holiday.
  6. Emergency Leave (includes funeral leave)
    1. The president or his or her designee shall grant an emergency leave with pay to an employee because of a death in the employee's family. The death of the employee's spouse or the employee’s or spouse’s parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren or children is considered to be a death in the employee’s family for purposes of this subsection. This leave shall not exceed three (3) days.
    2. The president or his or her designee may make a determination of other reasons for emergency leave when the employee shows good cause for such leave.
  7. Leave of Absence Without Pay

    The president or his or her designee may make a determination of other reasons for emergency leave when the employee shows good cause for such leave.

    1. Except for disciplinary suspensions, active military duty, and leave covered by Workers' Compensation benefits, all accumulated paid leave entitlements must be exhausted before such leave is granted. Sick leave must be exhausted in those cases where the employee has satisfied the requirements for using sick leave (refer to Section II of this policy) and has provided appropriate medical documentation. Contact the Human Resources Department with questions.
    2. Subject to fiscal constraints, approval of such leave constitutes a guarantee of employment at the conclusion of the specified leave period.
    3. The president or his or her designee may grant exceptions to the limitations of this section if the employee is taking the leave for a reason such as:
      1. Working for another state governmental entity under an interagency agreement; or
      2. Educational purposes.
    4. Except in the case of an employee returning from military leave without pay, a full calendar month in which an employee is on leave without pay is not counted in computing: total state service credit for the purposes of vacation leave, longevity pay; continuous state service for purposes related to merit salary provisions or vacation leave. No employee shall accrue vacation or sick leave for such month.
    5. Upon expiration of Family and Medical Leave, an employee may request and be considered for a leave of absence without pay.
    6. After a return to duty of one year, the leave-of-absence privilege will again be available.
  8. Military Leave
  9. The University of Texas System will grant paid military leave to employees who are called to active duty. State employees are entitled to the following types of leave for military service.

    1. Authorized training or duty for members of the state military forces and members of any of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces;
    2. Call to National Guard active duty by the Governor;
    3. National emergency active duty for members of a reserve branch of the United States Armed Forces.

    For detailed information see UT System Office of Human Resources, System Policy Memoranda, Chapter 8, 8.030, Paid Military Leave and 8.040, Extended Unpaid Military Leave.

  10. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    1. To the extent required by federal law, a state employee who has worked for the State of Texas for at least twelve (12) months (the months need not be continuous) and for at least 1,250 hours in the twelve (12) months prior to the first day of leave is entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
    2. FMLA leave runs concurrently with the employee’s use of sick leave, vacation leave, and floating holiday. If an employee exhausts his or her sick, vacation leave or floating holiday and FMLA leave remains available, the remaining FMLA leave is leave without pay. Employees on FMLA leave who are receiving temporary disability benefit payments or workers' compensation benefits shall not be required to utilize paid vacation, sick leave, or floating holiday while on such leave.
    3. Employees may take leave for one or more of the following reasons:
      1. Birth of the employee's child and care for that child.
      2. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
      3. To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition.
      4. For treatment of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job.
    4. When an employee returns to work after taking FMLA leave, he or she is entitled to be restored to the same position held when the leave started or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay.
    5. If both husband and wife are employed by the State of Texas and are eligible to receive FMLA leave, both spouses are entitled to only twelve (12) weeks combined total leave during any twelve (12)-month period if such leave is taken:
      1. Because of the birth of a child and to care for such child;
      2. Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care or to care for the child after placement;
      3. To care for the employee's parent who has a serious healthy condition.
    6. For further information, see UT System Office of Human Resources, 8.140, and UTSA Human Resources Department WEB Page, HR Forms, Family Medical Leave (FMLA) Request Form.
  11. Parental Leave for Certain Employees
  12. Employees with fewer than twelve (12) months of employment or who have worked fewer than 1,250 hours in the twelve (12)-month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave are eligible to take a parental leave of absence, not to exceed twelve (12) weeks, provided that the employee utilizes all available applicable paid vacation and sick leave while taking such leave.  This leave is limited to, and begins with the date of, the birth of a child or the adoption or foster care placement of a child under three (3) years of age.

  13. Court Appearance/Administrative Proceeding
  14. An employee summoned to perform jury duty or subpoenaed to serve as a witness in a court or administrative proceeding to which he or she is not a party shall be excused from work. No deduction shall be made from the salary or wages of any university employee who is called for jury service, nor shall the employee be required to account to the university for any fee or compensation received for jury service. Employees are expected to work, if reasonably possible, the time when not actually in a court or administrative proceeding in connection with such service. At the discretion of their immediate supervisor, employees may be required to provide documentation of jury attendance.

  15. Faculty Development Leave
  16. (See Chapter 2, Section 2.25 of the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures)

  17. Voting
  18. All employees are eligible for time off to vote when it is not possible for them to vote before or after their normal working hours on an official election day. No reduction in vacation allowance or salary will be made for time taken for this purpose. Employees will coordinate with their supervisors to schedule time off to cast their vote. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of early voting periods that have extended voting hours.

  19. Administrative Leave With Pay
  20. In addition to leave authorized in this policy, the president or his or her designee may grant administrative leave with pay to an employee as a reward for outstanding performance as documented by the employee's appraisals. Such leave shall not exceed thirty-two (32) hours during a fiscal year.

    There are other uses of administrative leave such as university closings due to environmental conditions. (See Chapter 9, Section 9.15 of the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures.)

  21. Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Volunteers Leave
  22. Employees who are volunteer firefighters or emergency medical services volunteers are granted up to five (5) days of paid leave each fiscal year for attending fire service or emergency medical service training conducted by state agencies or institutions of higher education. This leave is not charged against the employee’s vacation or sick leave.

    A state agency or institution of higher education may grant leave without a deduction in salary to a volunteer firefighter or an emergency medical services volunteer for the purpose of allowing the firefighter or emergency medical services volunteer to respond to emergency fire or medical situations.

    According to Section 773.003 (13) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, “emergency medical services volunteer” means emergency medical personnel who provide emergency pre hospital care without remuneration, except reimbursement for expenses.

  23. Foster Parent Leave
  24. Employees who are foster parents to a child under the conservatorship of the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS) are entitled to a leave of absence without a deduction in salary for the purpose of attending: (1) meetings held by the DPRS regarding the child under the foster care of the employee; or (2) an admission, review, and dismissal meeting held by a school district regarding the child under the foster care of the employee.

  25. Educational Activities
  26. Employees may use up to eight (8) hours of sick leave each fiscal year to attend educational activities of the employee’s children who are students attending pre-kindergarten through grade twelve (12). Employees shall provide their supervisors reasonable advance notice of their intention to use sick leave to attend an educational activity.

    Educational activity means a school-sponsored activity, including a parent-teacher conference, tutoring, a volunteer program, a field trip, a classroom program, a school committee meeting, an academic competition, and an athletic, music or theater program.

  27. Red Cross Disaster Service Volunteer Leave
  28. Employees who are certified disaster service volunteers of the American Red Cross or who are in training to become volunteers may be granted leave up to ten (10) days each fiscal year to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross. The employee must have: (1) authorization from his or her supervisor, (2) a request to volunteer from the American Red Cross and (3) the approval of the governor. If the above conditions are met, the employee will not lose pay, vacation time, sick leave or earned overtime and/or compensatory time during the leave.

  29. Assistance Dog Training for Employees with a Disability Leave
  30. An employee who is a person with a disability is entitled to a paid leave of absence not to exceed ten (10) work days each fiscal year for the purpose of attending a training program to acquaint the employee with an assistance dog to be used by the employee.

    A "person with a disability" is defined by Title 8, Chapter 121, Section 121.002 of the Texas Human Resources Code as a person who has a mental or physical disability or any health impairment that requires special ambulatory devices or services.

  31. Leave for Organ or Bone Marrow Donors
  32. Employees are entitled to a leave of absence with pay for a period of time not to exceed five (5) work days in a fiscal year to serve as a bone marrow donor. They are also entitled to a leave of absence with pay for up to thirty (30) work days in a fiscal year to serve as an organ donor. Documentation regarding the employee’s leave must be filed with the Leave Section of the Human Resources Department.

  33. Leave for Donation of Blood
  34. Employees may take sufficient time off without a deduction in salary or accrued leave to donate blood, provided the supervisor has approved the employee’s request for time off. Upon return to work, the employee must provide documentation that the employee donated blood during the period of absence. If an employee fails to provide such documentation, the supervisor will require the employee to use annual leave, or be placed on leave without pay if the employee does not have sufficient accrued annual leave. An employee may receive time off under this section no more than four (4) times in a fiscal year.

  35. Reporting and Recording
  36. In accordance with Government Code 661.908 it is mandatory that all departments keep time and leave records for all benefits eligible employees.
    In order to comply with the above code, each department must ensure that each benefits eligible employee reports their time and attendance to a designated individual who must ultimately validate the data and ensure that accrued state comp time and any absences (vacation, sick, comp time, floating holiday, etc.) are recorded in DEFINE.

    At the end of each month, all departments must enter (in DEFINE) the leave taken by their employees. Every department must request the Department Report of Vacation and Sick Leave and review and validate it for accuracy. Once the report is validated, it should be authenticated (signed) and submitted to the Human Resources Department by the fifteenth (15th) day of the month. If the fifteenth falls on a weekend, the report is due the following business day.