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Paid time off changes

Overview of Changes

Paid Time Off Bank

All employees who currently earn both vacation and sick time will transition to paid time off (PTO). This will effectively combine sick and vacation time into one accrual that is available for both discretionary time off and time off for family or personal sickness or emergencies. 

Employees will accrue PTO throughout the year. There will be no rollover of PTO, and each employee’s PTO bank will reset to zero on July 1 of each year. Unused time will be forfeited on June 30, 2021, and every following year on June 30. 

Many employees may choose to “borrow” time as necessary or carefully monitor usage to avoid losing time that has been accrued.

Employees will be able to “borrow” time from future accruals up to 40 hours on a routine basis and larger amounts with additional approvals. Accruals will happen each pay period following a similar schedule as our current vacation policy.

  • 0-5 years of employment: full time accrual of 153 hours (19 days per year)
  • 6-10 year of employment: full time accrual 194 hours (24 days per year)
  • 11 or more years of employment: full time accrual 233 hours (29 days per year)

Given the varied concerns and life events for employees, the paid time off concept will provide greater flexibility in using time for whatever purpose is needed. This time can also be used for the waiting period or to supplement partial pay for short-term disability benefit described below.

Vacation Time

Employees’ current vacation accruals will end on August 31, 2020. Vacation balances as of that date will remain in each employee’s vacation bank, but no new “vacation” hours will be added because those will now be included in paid time off hours. 

Vacation hours previously earned are available to be used in addition to paid time off (that begins accruing on September 1, 2020) through June 30, 2021. In the next two years, the amount of prior earned vacation hours that can be carried over will be reduced. By July 1, 2023, any remaining vacation balances will be forfeited. A schedule for these carry over reductions will be shared in the near future.

Life Event Pay

Life Event Pay replaces and enhances our former parental leave policy. This pay is available for approved leaves that would otherwise be unpaid. This pay will be available for qualified medical events for employees and family members as defined in the Family Medical Leave Act. Employees must have one year of service to qualify for this paid leave.

  • 10 days of Life Event Pay for those employees who earn PTO
  • 20 days of Life Event Pay for those employees who do not earn PTO

Common uses for Life Event Pay will likely be the waiting period for the short-term disability leave described below, parent-child bonding leave, and leave to provide care for family members with serious health conditions. This leave can be used to supplement less-than-full-pay situations covered by short-term disability.

A detailed policy covering waiting periods, limits on usage, and details on applying for this leave will be shared in the near future. Faculty members may request a course credit release equivalent to this policy.

Short-term Disability

Employees who experience a significant health issue may be eligible for a short-term disability benefit. The college has engaged Symetra, a vendor that will assist the college by evaluating and processing requests for short-term disability benefits based on medical necessity. Approved time off will be subject to a 14-calendar day waiting period and once approved will be paid at 60% of the normal wage. Employees can use available Life Event Pay and/or PTO leave to supplement the 60% pay and achieve full pay.

Short-term disability will be available for pregnancy and other health issues where an employee is unable to complete regular duties. This benefit is available only for the employee’s health issue. PTO and/or Life Event Pay is available for health issues of family members. A transition plan for those who have current issues will be developed and communicated individually.

Faculty members with an event that qualifies for short-term disability may request a course credit reduction equivalent to what has been described.

Next Steps

Please keep an eye out for a meeting request to learn more about these changes. This Paid Time Off FAQ document is designed to answer some questions, and we hope that the virtual meetings will answer specific questions as well.

 

Office of Human Resources
639 38th St.
Rock Island, Ill., 61201

humanresources@augustana.edu

Phone: 309-794-7352

Fax: 309-794-8962