Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Personnel Manual

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

August 2021

Related Policies and Additional References:


Employee compensation is reviewed on an annual basis in conjunction with performance.

The University is required by law to deduct social security and federal income taxes from each paycheck. The amount withheld is based on the employee’s gross salary less the number of exemptions claimed by the employee. Employees participating in the flexible cafeteria plan for benefits (health or dependent care accounts), will have these deductions subtracted from gross earnings before calculations of social security tax.

Employees may authorize deductions for life, medical and/or dental insurance premiums, retirement accounts, and contributions to the University and/or other campaigns, etc.

If the number of exemptions claimed for income tax purposes changes, employees must sign a new withholding exemption form. Forms for all deductions are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Employees are responsible for paychecks that have been issued to them. Lost or missing checks should be reported immediately to the Finance Office to assure a “stop payment” of the check. A new check will be issued after a short waiting period.

Exempt employees’ payroll checks are disbursed on the last business day of each month via direct deposit or check. Employees are required to present their University identification card and personally pick up their paycheck, unless they have made arrangements with the Office of Human Resources to have their check mailed to a home address. The paycheck reflects salary for the previous month’s work. A schedule is issued on an annual basis indicating pay periods and pay dates.

Non-exempt employees are paid semi-monthly, with pay dates set on the 7th and 22nd of each month or the preceding Friday if the date falls on a Saturday or Sunday. The paycheck reflects hours worked in the preceding pay period. A schedule is issued on an annual basis indicating exact paydays.

Exempt and non-exempt employees may choose to have their checks deposited directly to their bank accounts. Application for direct deposit is made through the Office of Human Resources. Once the forms are completed, there is a minimum 30 day waiting period before direct deposit becomes effective.

Payroll deductions are made as required by law for social security and income taxes, as authorized by the employee in accordance with the retirement plan, for medical insurance, other group insurance, and for other purposes. An attachment to the paycheck details these deductions. The employee should retain these attachments for their personal records. The employer’s share of social security tax is paid on behalf of employees by the University and the employee’s share is withheld from salaries in accordance with federal law.

Paid Leave

Holidays: The University provides paid leave for approved holidays that are posted in Gateway, under the Employee Hub.

Holiday pay is a benefit for full-time employees, including new employees in the introductory period. Regular part-time employees who have completed a year of service and work at least 1,000 hours per year are entitled to the same holidays with pay pro-rated according to the number of hours regularly

worked. In order to be eligible for holiday pay, the employee must be regularly scheduled to work and in a pay status, on sick leave, or on a previously approved vacation day on the scheduled workday before and after the holiday.

Non-exempt employees who are required to work on a holiday will be given the option of taking paid time off during the same week, or be paid at the overtime rate for the hours worked on the holiday.

Because holidays may fall on weekends, the day off with pay may differ from the actual holiday. Holiday schedules are available in the Office of Human Resources and on the University Gateway site. The holiday schedules are subject to change with notice from the Office of Human Resources.

Vacation: Upon eligibility, full-time and part time employees are entitled to annual paid vacation coinciding with the University’s fiscal year (June 1 to May 31). Vacation is scheduled at the employee’s request provided staffing and workload permit and approval is given by the immediate supervisor. Employees are generally encouraged to take vacation during the summer months or during school breaks. Employees accrue vacation time based on their pay schedule (Monthly/Semi-Monthly) for the first year of employment until the June 1 following their anniversary date. For those employees whose anniversary date falls after June 1, the accrual schedule will remain in place. When the accrual period ends, all full time employees, exempt and non-exempt, receive a front load of vacation days according to the following schedule based on the years of service as of June 1:

  • Completion of years one through three: two weeks (10 days)
  • Completions of years four through seven: three weeks (15 days)
  • Completion of years eight and subsequent years: four weeks (20 days)

New employees who have previous accredited time from another institution of higher education will be issued credit years towards the vacation time benefit with request and approval through the Office of Human Resources. Those exempt employees (administrators and directors) who report directly to a vice president or the president receive four weeks (20 days) vacation per fiscal year. Administrators or directors who have faculty status are governed by the Faculty Handbook.

Up to 10 days of unused vacation will automatically carry over at the end of the fiscal year. Vacation is available to use at the start of the fiscal year, although days are earned throughout the year. Vacation is pro-rated for employees hired or separated from service based on the number of days worked during the fiscal year, and final pay will be adjusted upon separation depending on days actually earned.

Accrued and unused vacation time will be paid to the employee at the time of the employee’s separation from employment, unless the employee has been dismissed from employment for misconduct as determined by the University in its sole discretion.

Exiting employees providing notice as requested per 5.0 Separation of Employment are eligible for a payout of their prorated vacation leave.

Employees who have provided the requested notice to the University may use previously scheduled vacation and or personal leave during the notice period if approved.

Employees must work their last day of employment per their letter of resignation to receive a payout of their prorated vacation leave. If circumstances change during the notice period and the employee does not work on their last day, prorated vacation time will be applied for days not worked during the notice period only, unless those days are covered by sick leave as discussed under 5.0 Separation from Employment, Resignation. If there is no vacation time available, non-exempt employees’ time off will be without pay and for exempt employees, all days not worked during the employee’s final week of employment will be without pay.

Personal Leave: Full-time employees are eligible to exchange two available sick days for two personal days each fiscal year (June 1 to May 31). Personal days may not be taken prior to the completion of the three-month introductory period. Unused personal days may not be carried over to the next fiscal year, nor may they be taken after notice of termination is given or paid upon termination.

Sick Leave: The University recognizes that occasional absences because of personal sickness or injury may be unavoidable. Therefore, a paid sick leave plan has been designed to guard against income losses in these instances. Regular attendance by employees is necessary for the successful operation of the University. It is expected that employees will come to work when they are well.

Sick leave is available for full- and part-time employees at the rate of one day per month of service (12 days per year), to an accumulated maximum of 60 days. Unused days carry forward at the end of the fiscal year to a maximum of 60 days. Non-exempt employees will receive a $50 wellness bonus each year the maximum days are accumulated as of June 1.

If the employee is going to be absent or late because of illness or any other reason, it is the responsibility of the employee to call the immediate supervisor or department head prior to the employee’s scheduled starting time to report the absence and the date of expected return. If the employee cannot return at the expected time, the supervisor or department head must be called again with the employee’s expected length of absence. The University requests a physician’s note or other medical evidence after the third consecutive day of absence due to illness or injury.

Sick leave is intended for specific use during employment and is not a vested benefit; therefore, unused days are not paid on separation of employment. In cases of excessive absenteeism, disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment may be necessary.

Sick leave is not a paid-out benefit; therefore, leave time cannot be used in exchange for notice period time when an employee is resigning from the University. Should an employee get sick or be injured during the notice period, a doctor’s note will be required to use sick leave if the employee is not already on approved short-term disability leave. Refer to 5.0 Separation of Employment.

Bereavement Leave: Paid leave may be taken, not to exceed three days, when a death occurs in the employee’s immediate family: child, wife, husband, mother, father, grandparent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, sister-in-law, or brother-in-law.

Civil Duty Leave: An employee who is validly subpoenaed or summoned to involuntarily appear or serve as a juror during regularly scheduled work hours in a judicial forum, or compelled to appear before a judicial, legislative, or administrative body with civil power, shall be entitled to receive leave with pay for a period of time necessary for such appearance, if the appearance cannot be reasonably accommodated by rescheduling the employee’s work hours, as determined by the University. Civil Duty to which an employee is called entitles the employee to leave with pay during the time the employee is required to serve. For Grand Jury Duty, the employee has the option to remit to the University the compensation received for jury service or to forego the salary from the University for the time of such service.

Civil Duty leave shall not be granted for appearances as an expert witness for a party to litigation. Civil Duty leave must be approved in advance in writing by the supervisor.

Unpaid Leave

There are four categories of unpaid leave that the University may grant: (1) Family and Medical Leave; (2) Non-Qualifying Medical Leave; (3) Military Leave; or (4) Personal Leave of Absence.

The University will attempt to place an employee returning from a leave of absence in the same job as was held prior to the beginning of the leave, or in a job comparable to that which the employee held before the leave. Except in instances required by law, the University gives no guarantee in this regard. If a position is offered to an employee returning from a leave of absence and the employee fails to accept such offer, he or she will be considered as having voluntarily resigned employment.

An unpaid leave of absence may be granted for a reason acceptable to the University or permitted by law. In order for a leave to be granted, the employee should make his/her request in writing at least 30 days prior to the absence, except in emergency situations.

While on an approved, unpaid leave of absence, the employee continues to accumulate days of service, but does not earn additional vacation and sick leave benefits. Holidays are not compensable when falling during an unpaid leave of absence.

In addition, the accrual of vacation or sick leave benefits is mandatory when an employee is on leave due to military service. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the University is required to maintain the employee’s job with the same pay, benefits, and status had he or she not been away on duty.

An employee on leave may be required to provide periodic written reports regarding their status and intention to return to work. Employees on leave must also provide at least 10 days advance notice of their expected return to work.

An employee who does not return to work on the first regular working day following the end of the approved unpaid leave of absence shall be discharged, unless an extension is requested in writing by the employee and granted by the supervisor before the expiration of the originally approved leave.

Family and Medical Leave: This Family and Medical Leave policy applies to all non-faculty employees. Faculty employees should refer to the Faculty Handbook for specific policies in application of this Act in respect to: (1) the birth of an employee’s child; and (2) a serious health condition rendering the employee unable to perform the assigned job (Short-term Disability).

This policy is intended to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, and is to be interpreted in conformity therewith. The FMLA and regulations interpreting the Act contain other provisions regarding the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees, and the University reserves the option to rely upon any provision thereof.

Subject to the conditions set forth below, eligible employees who need to care for family members or themselves may be granted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. The term “year” for this purpose is the one-year period preceding the date the employee begins a Family and Medical Leave rather than a calendar or fiscal year.

The employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months in order to be eligible for Family and Medical Leave. The employee must also work at a facility where the University has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Employees who do not meet these eligibility requirements should refer to the other types of leave discussed below. Eligible

employees should provide at least 30 days’ notice, if possible, of their intention to take a Family and Medical Leave.

Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year for: (1) the birth of the employee’s child; (2) the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; (3) purposes of caring for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; or (4) a serious health condition rendering the employee unable to perform his or her job.

An employee’s right to leave for the birth or adoption of a child ends 12 months after the child’s birth or placement with the employee.

In addition, the FMLA includes two important leave rights related to military service:

  • Qualifying Exigency: Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave because of “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty or has been notified of an impending call to covered active duty status. Qualifying exigencies may include addressing issues arising from a short-notice deployment, attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, spending time on with a service member on rest and recuperation leave, arranging parental care, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.
  • Military Caregiver: An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for the service member. This military caregiver leave is available during “a single 12 month period” during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave.

Employees are required to utilize all available paid leave benefits and apply such paid leave toward the period of Family and Medical Leave, except where the leave is accompanied by workers’ compensation temporary income benefits.

The University will continue the employee’s health insurance under the same conditions as if the employee were working. Thus, if the employee ordinarily pays a portion of his or her health insurance, the employee must continue to pay that portion of the premiums in order to continue coverage during the leave. Premiums for other insurance benefits, if any, such as life, dental or long-term disability benefit premiums will be the responsibility of the employee. If the employee elects not to return to the job, then the employee will owe the health insurance premiums paid to maintain the coverage during the leave, except where the failure to return to work is due to: (1) the continuation, recurrence, or onset

of a serious health condition that would entitle the employee to Family and Medical Leave (either affecting the employee or an immediate family member); or (2) other circumstances beyond the control of the employee.

Medical certification of necessity will be required for leaves due to the employee’s own serious health condition or that of a family member. The University reserves the right, at the University’s expense, to require a second medical opinion. If the first and second opinions differ, the University may request a third opinion, at the University’s expense, which is then binding. In addition, the University reserves the right to require a certification from the employee’s treating physician before returning to work following a Family and Medical Leave absence.

The employee may take Family and Medical Leave intermittently or on a reduced work schedule when medically necessary due to the employee’s or a family member’s illness. The University reserves the right to temporarily transfer the employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the employee is qualified for the position and it better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee’s regular job.

An employee returning from Family and Medical Leave is entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay and benefits, if the employee returns within the approved period of leave.

The Short-term Disability program may be used while an employee is out on Family and Medical Leave. If an employee has completed three months of their introductory period, they are eligible for the short-term disability benefit offered by the University.

Non-qualifying Medical Leave: In certain instances, employees who do not qualify for Family and Medical Leave may nevertheless be granted a medical leave. Medical leaves of employees eligible for Family and Medical Leave will be handled under the Family and Medical Leave policy set forth above. For employees who are not eligible for Family and Medical Leave (i.e., employees who have not worked for the University for at least one year, have not worked at least 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months, or who do not work at a location where the University has at least 50 employees within 75 miles), a non-qualifying medical leave may be granted under the policy set forth as follows.

In the event a full-time employee who is not eligible for Family and Medical Leave has a medical condition that prevents the employee from working, the employee may be granted an unpaid medical leave of absence, at the discretion of the University, for as long as he or she is unable to perform his or her job, up to a maximum of 4 weeks, including extensions, in any 12 month period. To qualify for such leave, the employee must report his or her need for such leave to the supervisor or manager as soon as possible and must, within one week after the absence begins, furnish a doctor’s certificate showing the nature of such condition and the estimated length of time the employee is likely to remain unable to work. During such medical leave, the employee may be required to furnish a similar report from a doctor whenever requested by the University. Depending on the circumstances, moreover, the University may require an employee to submit to an examination by a doctor of the University’s choosing at any time, in order to verify the employee’s current physical condition.

Group insurance coverage will be maintained during medical leave. Employees must pay their portion of benefits during this leave.

With the exception of absences resulting from an on the job illness or injury (which are covered by workers’ compensation insurance), employees will be required to use any available paid sick leave or vacation during medical leave.

Employees granted a medical leave who are not eligible for Family and Medical Leave are not guaranteed reinstatement. The medical leave is merely permission to be absent from work without automatic termination. If the University has filled the position previously occupied by an employee on medical leave, or if the employee’s previous position is unavailable for any other reason, the employee may be administratively dismissed from the University upon exhaustion of medical leave, unless the employee has a legally recognized disability that may require an extended leave period as reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The University will attempt to return an employee on medical leave to work as soon as the employee’s physical limitations and the needs of the University will permit. The University may (but is not required to) reassign the returning employee to any vacant position of the same or lower pay for which the employee is deemed to be qualified. If the employee’s temporary physical condition prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of his/her regular job, but the employee is able to perform other available, productive work of equal or lower grade, the University may return the employee to work on temporary “light duty” status. An employee who fails or refuses to return to “light duty” when offered will be considered to have resigned from employment. If an employee on “light duty” status is assigned to a position having a lower pay grade than the position held at the beginning of the leave, he or she will receive the pay rate of the position being performed. An employee may perform work in a “light duty” status for up to 12 weeks. Thereafter, if the employee on light duty remains unable to perform the essential functions of the position he or she previously occupied, or if no vacancy exists in the position the employee previously occupied, the employee may be administratively dismissed from the University, unless the employee has a legally recognized disability that may require an extended leave period as reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If the employee is released by his/her doctor for return to work, either with or without temporary medical restrictions, the employee must present the doctor’s written certification of his/her condition to the Office of Human Resources immediately.

The Short-term Disability program may be used while an employee is out on Non-qualifying Medical Leave/Disability Leave. If an employee has completed three months of his/her introductory period, they are eligible for the short-term disability benefit offered by the University.

Military Leave: An unpaid leave of absence for service in the Armed Forces or National Guard, or for attendance at regular annual military encampment or cruise, and the terms of reinstatement, shall be governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994. Advance written notice of the need for such leave is preferred and should be presented to the Office of Human Resources. Notice of the need for military leave, either orally or in writing, should be given as soon as reasonably possible under the circumstances. USERRA extends reemployment rights for up to five years to individuals who have been absent from a position of employment as the result of military duty in the “uniformed services.”

USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service or certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System. USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.

Under USERRA, the University is required to maintain the employees’ jobs with the same pay, benefits, and status had they not been away on duty.

Personal Leave of Absence: The University recognizes that occasionally an employee may need time off from work for personal or family emergencies not covered by other leave policies. A personal leave of absence without pay may be granted to a full-time employee for a reason acceptable to the University, in its sole discretion, for a period generally not to exceed two weeks in any calendar year if the employee submits a written request to the supervisor setting forth the reason(s) for the request. Except in the case of an emergency, the application for leave shall be made at least two weeks in advance. Leaves of absence for personal reasons will be granted sparingly and in no event may personal leave be extended beyond a maximum of 30 calendar days. No sick leave or vacation time is accumulated during the unpaid Personal Leave of Absence, but time previously accumulated is not lost.

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