The following leave is also offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia as outlined in the policies for all faculty members and university and classified employees as administered by Virginia’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). Refer to DHRM’s website for policies not listed.
Overtime and Compensatory Leave: The overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cover all employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and apply to classified and university non-exempt employees. The FLSA establishes rules for minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, child labor, record keeping and defines exemptions from overtime pay regulations. The FLSA exemption status is determined by VCU Human Resources.
Educational Leave: This leave is available for educational pursuits at one-half pay or without pay, subject to approval by the department head, school/college dean and vice president. Employees who take this leave at one-half pay sign a contract with a commitment to serve in university employment equal to twice the period of leave. Employees who do not return to university employment reimburse the salary received during the leave period with interest, regardless of source of funds. The university pro-rates the salary reimbursement and interest for employees who return for a portion of time. Employees do not accrue annual, university, sick or holiday leave while on educational leave and the university holds their sick leave balances (if applicable) during this time. Annual, university and holiday leave balances may be used or retained during educational leave. To use this benefit, the faculty member, classified or university employee must complete the following steps:
Bone Marrow and Organ Donor (BMOD): This leave provides eligible employees with up to 30 days of additional paid leave each calendar year when they donate bone marrow or organs. Medical documentation is required prior to approval of BMOD leave. This leave provides eligible employees (9/10 month faculty are excluded) with up to 30 days of additional paid leave each calendar year when they donate bone marrow or organs. Please note: This leave is not designated as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. To use this benefit, the employee must complete the following steps:
Military Leave: Eligible employees may use up to 15 days of paid leave each federal fiscal year (Oct 1st through Sept 30th) for military or reserves training. HR Leave Administration will load the 120 hours of military leave once a copy of the military orders is received through DocuSign. Employees are eligible for regular salary when called to duty for emergency service (time off does not count toward the 15 days of leave for training). If called to active duty due to declaration of war, employees are placed on leave without pay (LWOP) from the university.
To plan for military leave, the faculty member, classified or university employee must complete the following steps:
Military Leave Bank - Employees who are members of the organized reserve forces of any of the armed services of the U.S. or of the Virginia National Guard may carry over accrued annual and university leave into the next leave year (on Jan 10th ) without the standard maximum limits. Please note: This type of leave can be used only during active military duty.
Absences due to Workers’ Compensation - covered injuries and illnesses: Compensation for lost time under an approved Workers’ Compensation claim is paid by the state program. Employees in the TSLP may be eligible for a supplement to the Workers’ Compensation benefit.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave: FMLA leave at VCU is designed to be consistent with federal law and the provisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s policy on Family and Medical Leave. An employee must have been employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia for at least 12 months and worked for VCU at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period prior to the start of the leave. (Note: Neither the 12 months nor the required 1,250 hours have to be worked during consecutive months. The 12 months must have been worked subsequent to any 7 year break in service.) FMLA may run concurrently with other benefits such as the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program and Workers’ Compensation lost time benefits for occupational injuries or illnesses.
The following are qualifying reasons for which an employee may take FMLA:
Family member under FMLA includes:
Salary continuation - An employee may choose to use accrued leave as provided under applicable leave policy so that their salary continues without interruption. If the employee does not choose to substitute accrued paid leave, the department may require the substitution. The number of unpaid workdays or work hours, when combined with the number of days of other leave taken, may not exceed the length of leave specified below.
Length of leave - Eligible full time employees may take up to 12 weeks (60 work days, 480 work hours) of Family and Medical Leave in a calendar year. Any time missed from work due to Family and Medical Leave that exceeds 12 weeks in a calendar year will not be covered by this policy. Eligible part time and hourly employees may take FMLA leave on a pro-rated basis corresponding to the percentage of time (percent FTE) worked during the 365-day period prior to the date FMLA is scheduled to begin. FMLA leave is extended to 26 workweeks (1,040 hours) to care for a family member with a serious health condition when the spouse, children, parents or “next of kin” is a covered service member and the health condition occurred in the line of duty on active duty. This leave is only available once and is combined with all other leaves that year limiting FMLA leave for all purposes to 26 weeks during a 12 month period.
Intermittent leave - When medically necessary, an employee may take FMLA on an intermittent basis or with a reduced schedule. The employee may be transferred temporarily to another position that better accommodates the intermittent leave or reduced schedule, provided the new position carries equivalent pay and benefits. If the intermittent leave or reduced schedule is requested to care for a newborn child or because of the placement of a child through adoption or foster care, the supervisor must give approval prior to the leave.
FMLA leave restrictions - When both spouses work for the university, the total amount of leave provided to both employees is limited to a combined total of 12 weeks in a 12 month period when the leave is for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child with the employee, or for the care of a child within 12 months after the birth or placement. This limitation does not apply if the leave is taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition or to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.
University Leave Plan
Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)
Traditional Sick Leave Plan (TSLP) Participants
Medical certification - The FMLA allows for a significant amount of medical documentation to be obtained. A medical certification from a health care provider is required for an employee’s own serious health condition or for a family member’s serious health condition before FMLA is granted. Employees must provide documentation within 15 calendar days following the request to the supervisor for FMLA leave eligibility to be preserved. Documentation of the same illness may only be requested once every 30 days unless the original documentation states the minimum duration is more than 30 days. Recertification can be obtained every 6 months in the latter circumstance.
Employee and Department responsibilities are to be carried out as described in the FMLA policy: https://policy.vcu.edu/universitywide-policies/policies/family-and-medical-leave.html
Administrative leave: Paid time off granted by the university for absences such as jury duty, testifying in court in response to a subpoena as a witness for the state/university (but not as a defendant), service as an officer of election, state job interview, preparation for and participation in the Employee Grievance and Dispute Resolution processes, pre-disciplinary leave approved by Human Resources and suspension with pay. Documentation of the need for and length of the absence may be required.
Holidays: Officially recognized university holidays are granted to eligible employees in addition to other leave balances described in these guidelines. Information is published on the Payday and Holidays page of the VCU Human Resources website: https://hr.vcu.edu/paydays-and-holidays/. All 12-month Faculty, University and Academic Professionals and Classified staff earn the scheduled holiday by either working or having paid leave hours to cover the scheduled work shift on the work day before and the work day after the holiday. Full time employees are compensated for 8 hours of time per work day for these holidays. Part time employees’ pay is pro-rated based on “typical” or “average” hours worked on that day.
University-designated employees or those employees required to work on a university holiday, or those whose normal, scheduled day off falls on a holiday, will accrue holiday leave. The amount of leave accrued is proportional to the “typical” or “average” number of hours worked (not to exceed 8 hours). Holiday leave must be used within a year of its accrual or it is forfeited. Upon termination, employees will be paid for any unexpired holiday leave.
Office Closings: Employees are paid for absences and for working during an office closing in accordance with the Office Closings Policy: https://policy.vcu.edu/universitywide-policies/policies/office-closings.html.
Leave Share Program: VCU’s leave share program allows employees to donate leave to fellow employees who need additional leave coverage for personal medical conditions, or for a family member’s medical conditions when using approved FMLA. A personal medical condition is described as an illness or injury certified by a physician as requiring medical attention. VCU Leave Administration administers the university’s leave share program. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (804) 828-1712 with questions. Leave sharing provides income replacement to the leave share recipient, but is not considered to be the recipient’s own salary for the purposes of creditable compensation or retirement contributions.
Eligibility and Criteria - VCU full time and part time university and classified employees and 12 month faculty are eligible to donate annual and university leave. To be eligible to receive leave under the university’s leave share program, you must meet the following conditions:
Donor Procedures - The university leave share program requires that:
Recipient Procedures - To request donated leave, the employee must contact their HR Professional/HR Associate to request the leave share recipient DocuSign form and must notify their manager of the need for leave share. The form must include a physician’s certification of the medical condition and an expected return-to-work date.
Eligible recipients are not required to reimburse donated leave hours, except in the following circumstances:
The following procedures will be used to reimburse donated leave:
When donated leave is exhausted, the leave share recipient may receive a maximum of 80 hours of leave (if available) from the leave pool.
Exclusions - Medical conditions resulting from the following actions are excluded from eligibility for leave share benefits:
Community Service Leave (CSL): This leave provides university and classified employees and 12 month faculty (with or without children) with paid leave each calendar leave year to meet with public or private school officials about their children, attend school functions in which their children are participating, perform school-approved volunteer work in a public school or to participate in volunteer community service organizations. Employees serving as volunteer firefighters and/or rescue service members receive an extra 8 hours of community service leave. Supervisors may require written verification from an official of the service organization for use of volunteer leave.
Although a “bank” of 24 hours (3 days) was established for everyone, the additional 8 hours are only available to volunteer firefighters and/or rescue service members.
*Referred to as Community Service Leave (CSL) at VCU. State policy 4.40: School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave
Actions That May Affect Leave Accruals
Absence Exceeding 90 Work Days (Traditional Sick Leave Plan): For an absence exceeding 14 calendar days, the department must submit a PAF to VCU Human Resources to place the employee on leave with pay. After 90 work days on a paid leave of absence, leave will no longer be accrued until employee returns to active status.
Absence Exceeding 90 Workdays (VSDP): After 90 work days of a paid leave of absence, annual leave will no longer accrue until the employee returns to active status. Employees on short or long-term disability during the new leave year will receive their sick and family and personal leave accruals upon return to active status.
Leave Without Pay (Traditional Plan): The department must submit a PAF to place an employee on leave without pay (LWOP) when an employee is absent for a period exceeding 14 calendar days. No annual or sick leave accruals will be given while on a LWOP. Employees should be directed to VCU Benefits Administration for specific information pertaining to continuation of their benefits. Employees on LWOP are still considered to have continuous state service, although their leave anniversary dates may be adjusted by one pay period for every 15 calendar days of absence, or a portion thereof, beyond the first 14 days of the leave of absence. (If employees are on military LWOP, their leave anniversary dates will not be changed.)
Leave Without Pay (VSDP) (Faculty and Classified Only): No annual leave accruals will be given while on leave without pay (LWOP). If not already provided for the leave year, employees will receive sick and family and personal leave accruals upon return to active status. Employees should contact VCU Benefits Administration for specific information pertaining to continuation of their benefits. Employees on LWOP are still considered to have continuous state service although their leave anniversary dates may be adjusted by one pay period for every 15 calendar days of absence, or a portion thereof, beyond the first 14 days of the leave of absence. (If employees are on military LWOP, their leave anniversary dates will not be changed.)
Leave Without Pay (University and Academic Professionals): After a university employee exhausts the full amount of university leave available in a leave year, there are no further leave accruals for the remainder of the leave year. If an employee separates from the university before the end of the leave year, a leave reconciliation will be completed. Please refer to that section for additional information.
Status Changes and Effects on Leave
Full-Time to Part-Time – University and Academic Professional: University leave accrual rates will be prorated for the remainder of the leave year based on FTE, and the amount of leave available to use will be reduced accordingly.
Full-Time to Part-Time – Classified and Faculty (except as noted):
Annual Leave - Annual leave balances are retained and future accruals are prorated according to appointment percentage or FTE.
Sick Leave - Traditional Sick Leave Plan - Sick leave balances are retained and future accruals are prorated according to appointment percentage or FTE.
Change from University to Faculty
University Leave - Accrued university leave balances will be transferred and reclassified as annual leave. Exception: If the new department or agency cannot accept the university leave balance for business reasons, the employee may be paid up to the maximum allowable.
Banked Sick Leave (Traditional) - Banked sick leave balances shall be available for use as faculty traditional sick leave.
Disability Credit (VSDP) - University and Academic Professionals who move to Faculty status and choose one of VCU’s ORP vendors to receive their retirement contributions will have 25% of their disability credits paid (if eligible), not to exceed $5,000, and the remainder of their disability credits are forfeited. University and Academic Professionals who move to Faculty status, and choose to stay with VRS and VSDP will keep their disability credits.
Change from Faculty to University
University Leave - Annual leave balance is converted to university leave, and the employee will have access to a front-loaded amount of university leave.
Traditional Sick Leave (Traditional Plan for Faculty Members) - The balance of accrued sick leave will be stored in a traditional sick leave bank for future use.
Sick Leave (VSDP) - Sick leave balance is converted to university leave.
Family/Personal Leave (VSDP) - Family/personal leave balance is converted to university leave.
Change from Classified to University: See Converting to a University Employee section.
Change from Classified to Faculty
Annual Leave - Annual leave balances are retained in the faculty position.
Sick Leave (Traditional) - Twenty-five percent of sick leave balances may be paid (if eligible and not to exceed $5,000) and the remainder of the sick leave balance is forfeited. The employee also has the option of transferring all sick leave balances. The employee must understand that if separation occurs as a faculty employee, no sick leave balances are paid at separation.
Sick Leave (VSDP) - No sick leave payment is made, and any balances must transfer if the employee remains in VRS and VSDP. If the employee opts to move into the VCU Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), no sick leave payment is made and any balances are forfeited.
Disability Credit (VSDP) - Classified staff who move to faculty status and choose one of VCU’s ORP vendors to receive their retirement contributions will have 25% of their disability credits paid (if eligible), not to exceed $5,000; and the remainder of their disability credit balance is forfeited. Classified staff who move to faculty status and choose to stay with VRS and VSDP will keep their disability credits.
Requesting leave: VCU prohibits accruing or carrying leave “off the books”. Managers should pre-approve university and annual leave, and may grant or deny leave requests. Employees request leave through their time and attendance system (typically VCU RealTime) and should do so with as much advanced notice as possible in order to allow sufficient time for managers to plan and schedule work accordingly.
Changing conditions in the workplace environment, which include the pressures of a particular project or priority, or understaffing due to illness or vacancies in the workplace may impact the manager’s ability to approve leave that is requested. If there are designated periods of the year in which leave will not be granted due to high volume of work and peak season events such as commencement ceremonies, managers should notify employees of these occasions well in advance of when they occur so employees can schedule their leave accordingly.
Managers are strongly advised to document the reasons specific leave requests are denied and maintain such documentation. If requests for leave are submitted by multiple employees for the same leave period and all cannot be granted, managers should develop criteria for considering leave requests based on the reason for the request, an employee’s leave record, an employee’s recent opportunities to take leave, years of service, etc.
Each department is required to maintain a record of each employee’s hours worked and authorized leave used during each pay period. This record must be confirmed by VCU’s RealTime (or approved alternative system), which is the system of record for leave. This system of record keeping serves as the electronic signature for leave. If original supporting documentation is maintained in the supervisor’s file, these records shall be destroyed after 5 years using VCU’s procedures for file destruction.