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Time off and Leaves of Absence


Official Holidays - College offices except for essential services are closed on the following days:

  • January 1
  • July 4
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Friday following Thanksgiving
  • December 25

When a holiday falls on a Saturday the College will close on the preceding Friday; when a holiday falls on a Sunday the College will close on the following Monday.

To receive pay for a holiday, employees must have been employed for thirty days or more in a regular position, on active status and at work on the scheduled workdays immediately before and after the holiday unless on approved leave. If a holiday occurs during a scheduled vacation, that holiday will be counted and paid as a holiday and not as vacation leave. Employees who are required to work on the actual holiday will be paid at the rate of one-and-one-half times their regular hourly rate of pay, plus the straight time rate for the holiday; or may choose another day off with pay in lieu of the holiday pay. Eligible employees on schedules other than the normal Monday-Friday workweek who are not scheduled to work on a fixed holiday will be eligible for another day off at a later time.


The College observes a common recess period beginning the last week of December. Every year the College announces the dates of the recess period that employees will have off with pay unless required to work in order to maintain essential services. Employees who are required to work on a day when the College is closed will be allowed equivalent time off with pay that must be taken before the end of the fiscal year on June 30 or be forfeited. Employees who are required to work on December 25 or January 1 are covered by the holiday policy.


VACATION ACCRUAL CHART (For Full Time, Year Round Employees)



1 to 12 months

Prorated portion of 10 days

After Completion of 1 year

10 days

After Completion of 2 years

15 days

After Completion of 3 years

20 days

After Completion of 6 years

21 days

After Completion of 9 years

22 days

After Completion of 12 years

23 days

After Completion of 15 years

24 days

After Completion of 18 years

25 days

Vacation hours are earned and accumulated on a bi-weekly pay period basis according to date of hire, length of service, and number of hours paid.

  • Newly employed staff will earn vacation hours from their date of hire based on the accrual chart. Newly employed staff members are not eligible to take paid vacation time until they have completed 90 days of employment.
  • Benefit eligible staff working less than full time or less than year round will receive a pro-rated amount of vacation time based on hours worked.
  • Staff completing a year of service warranting additional vacation time will begin to earn the higher rate of vacation hours in the first pay period following the anniversary of their date of hire.
  • Staff who work less than 12 months or fewer than their normal schedule, due to a paid absence including disability or worker’s compensation, will be credited for vacation hours earned, upon return to their regular schedule.

Vacation hours accumulate and are used on a calendar year basis.

  • Staff members may take their full annual vacation allotment before it is actually earned, but may not advance vacation hours from the next calendar year.
  • Staff members are expected to use their full annual vacation hour allotment each calendar year. Staff not using the entire allotment may carry over a maximum of five (5) unused vacation days into the next calendar year. Staff will forfeit any vacation hours in excess of the five (5) days.
  • Staff members are not eligible to receive pay in lieu of time off.

Supervisor approvals and vacation pay advances.

  • All vacation requests must be made in advance and approved by your supervisor. Departments may determine the amount of advance notice required. Departments may, on occasion, deny vacation requests due to scheduling or work conflicts.
  • Staff members may receive vacation pay in advance provided the request is made in writing and approved by the supervisor at least two weeks prior to the date they wish to receive the advance in their paycheck. Staff may only request vacation pay in advance for earned vacation hours.

Termination of employment or retirement.

  • If you terminate employment with due notice (providing written notification to your Supervisor at least two (2) weeks prior to your last scheduled day of work), your final paycheck will include pay for the unused portion of earned vacation hours.
  • If you retire with due notice (providing written notification to your Supervisor at least two (2) weeks prior to your last scheduled day of work), your final paycheck will include pay for the earned/accrued unused portion of your annual vacation hour allotment.
  • If you terminate or retire, you will have any advanced vacation time taken deducted from your final paycheck.


Staff earn vacation hours for each of the College’s 26 pay periods in which they work/receive pay. Vacation hours earned correspond to years of completed service and to the number of hours worked in a pay period (See Vacation Accrual Chart). Staff scheduled to work five (5) days per week, 12 months per year (26 pay periods) will normally earn the full vacation accrual shown on the chart. Staff moving from one service level to the next, on the Vacation Accrual Chart, will need to do two calculations to take into account a partial year at a higher accrual rate.

Staff having varying hours worked per week and/or varying weeks per year or staff scheduled to work less than five (5) days per week and/or less than 12 months per year will receive vacation hours on a pro-rated basis (i.e. Dining Services). If you have questions please contact Payroll at ext. 6105.

You can use your paycheck to assist you in determining the amount of vacation hours/days you are entitled to.

Pay Periods in Year (Total of 26):


pay periods

Multiplied by Vacation Hours Earned Per Pay Period (“Vac Earn” from Paycheck):

X _____



= Vacation Hours to be Earned for Calendar Year




You can use your paycheck and the number of pay periods remaining in the year to assist you in determining the amount of vacation hours you will earn for the remainder of the year.

Pay Periods Remaining in Year (Total of 26):


pay periods

Multiplied by Vacation Hours Earned Per Pay Period (“Vac Earn” from Paycheck):

X _____



= Vacation Hours to be Earned for Remainder of Calendar Year




You can use your paycheck to assist you in determining the amount of vacation hours you will have for the remainder of the year. Current vacation time balances are shown in hours on your paycheck. Because timesheets are 7-14 days behind the payday the balance shown may not reflect recent vacation hours used but not yet reported.

Vacation Balance (“Vac Bal.” from Paycheck):



Minus Vacation Hours Used But Not Yet Reported to Payroll:

- _____


Plus Vacation Hours to be Earned for Remainder of the Calendar Year (from previous section)

+ _____


= Total Vacation Hours Remaining for Year




The College expects employees to arrange personal business matters so that they do not interfere with work. The College realizes that there are times when this is not possible, such as for home repairs, legal business, emergencies, and routine doctor visits/check-ups. Employees may have up to the equivalent of three (3) of their normally scheduled work days paid as personal business days off per calendar year, with prior supervisory approval. Part time employees or those working less than 12 months per year will be eligible for a pro-rated amount. New employees will be eligible for personal time at a pro-rated rate of one (1) day for every four (4) months of service, up to three (3) days.


The College provides employees with up to 10 individual days of sick leave every calendar year to use for illness, non-work related accidents, medical procedures, immediate family illness, or when health related appointments cannot be scheduled outside of regular work hours (See Section 10.4 Punctuality and Attendance). Part time employees or those working less than 12 months per year will be eligible for a pro-rated amount. Immediate family is defined as your spouse, same sex domestic partner, child, parent, or any other relative making a residence with you. Newly hired employees will be granted sick leave on a pro-rated bi-weekly pay period basis through December 31. Sick leave may not be carried over from year to year.

An employee absent from work must notify his or her supervisor by the start of the workday. Supervisors may make reasonable requests for medical verification confirming an employee’s illness or ability to return to work (normally after two days). When an employee is on sick leave for longer than five (5) working days medical verification will be required (See Section 10.4 Punctuality and Attendance).

Time lost from work due to illness or injury may be paid for through Sick Leave and New York State Disability Insurance. N.Y.S. Disability Insurance is as follows:

N.Y.S. Disability Insurance provides for up to 50% of an employee’s average weekly wage to the maximum defined by law, for a total of 26 weeks, beginning with the eighth calendar day of disability. To receive benefits, employees must report to Human Resources as soon as possible any situation, which is expected to extend beyond seven (7) days and complete the necessary claim forms.

The College will make up the difference between an employee’s partial wage from N.Y.S. Disability and their full wage as follows:

Beginning on the eighth calendar day of disability, employees will receive the difference between the amount being paid by the insurance company and his or her full salary at the rate of one week for each completed year of employment. The College provided supplemental sick pay and N.Y.S. Disability Insurance may continue for up to 26 weeks.

During the disability period, the College will consider employees for other vacant positions, provided they can perform the duties and responsibilities of such other positions. If an employee is still disabled after 26 weeks, he or she may be eligible for income benefits from Union’s Long-Term Disability Plan (LTD). After 26 weeks of continuous long term disability or a period of greater than six months in any twelve month period (employee can no longer perform the essential functions of his or her position with or without a reasonable accommodation) the employee is terminated and may receive compensation directly from the insurance carrier. Core benefit coverage and retirement plan contributions will continue during the time the employee is on long-term disability. Disabled employees will be expected to apply for social security disability benefits.


To provide for payment of medical expenses and partial salary continuation in the event of a work-related injury or illness, employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation. An employee injured or becoming ill on the job must report such injury or illness to his or her supervisor immediately. It is the joint responsibility of the employee and the supervisor to report all work-related injuries or illnesses to Campus Safety within 24 hours. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to arrange for prompt medical treatment, for completing the legally necessary reports, and for making certain that the condition which caused the injury is corrected. The employee is responsible for providing written medical updates and related information to the supervisor and Human Resources on a regular basis. Failure to report an injury or illness in a timely manner or to keep the College informed of your medical status may result in the delay or loss of Workers’ Compensation benefits.

If the illness or injury is certified as job related, medical expenses and partial salary continuation will by paid through N.Y.S. Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Employees unable to perform his or her responsibilities will be placed in a temporary light duty position developed and agreed upon by the employee’s doctor, Union’s Workers Compensation carrier, and Human Resources. Should a light duty position be unavailable the employee will be placed on a leave of absence.


Employees who have been employed at Union for at least 12 months, have worked a minimum of 1250 hours during the immediately preceding 12 months, and who are the primary caregiver, are eligible for 4 weeks of paid leave for the adoption of a child. If the employee and spouse/domestic partner are both employed by Union, only one employee may utilize this benefit. Adopted children must be under the age of 18 and not biologically related to either parent. Employees should provide advance notification and certification of at least 30 days when the leave is foreseeable. When unforeseen events require leave, employees shall give notice as soon as practical, ordinarily within one or two working days. Employees apply for leave by submitting a Request for Leave, with Department Chair or Department Head approval, and a copy of an adoption letter to Human Resources.

Additional unpaid leave benefits are available through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA leave runs concurrent with other Leave of Absences.


Faculty and Staff who are regular employees, who have been employed for at least twelve months and who have worked a minimum 1250 hours in the twelve months preceding the events which are listed below are entitled to receive a combined unpaid medical and/or family leave for a maximum of 12 weeks for each 12 month period beginning from the first date of approved leave.

This Leave is intended to run concurrent with the provisions of College sick leave policy, New York State Disability Insurance, Worker's Compensation Insurance, Long Term Disability Insurance, accrued vacation time and, for less than 12-month employees, any unpaid period including summer and winter breaks. The provisions of this policy apply only to family and medical leave circumstances covered by the federal law. The provisions for Personal Leave of Absence under existing policy are not changed and cannot be substituted for the provisions covered by the Federal Law.

Family Leave Entitlement:

  1. Because of the birth of a son or daughter and in order to care for such son or daughter.
  2. Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.

The length of the leave is a maximum of twelve weeks beginning with the birth or placement of the child. In the case of employees who are birth mothers, the eligibility for the family leave entitlement portion begins when the primary physician releases the employee to resume normal work duties. Entitlement to leave expires at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth or placement. Accrued vacation leave and other appropriate paid time off leave will be paid during the leave period.

Since the need for family leave is typically foreseeable, employees must notify their immediate supervisor and/or Department Head of their intentions to request the leave at least 30 days in advance so that provisions can be made to have their duties carried out during their leave. If the date of the birth or placement requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable.

Medical Leave Entitlement:

  1. In order to care for your spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition as defined in the Law.
  2. Because of your own serious health condition as defined in the law, which makes it not possible for you to perform your job.

The leave maximum is twelve weeks beginning with medical certification notice from the professional health care provider. Medical leave can be taken on an intermittent or reduced time basis contingent upon documented medical necessity. Accrued vacation leave and other appropriate paid time off leave will be paid during the twelve-week period.

Whenever possible, you must give 30 days notice before taking leave; otherwise you should give notification as early as possible. You must also make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to disrupt the work of your department.

Job and Benefit Protection:

Upon return to active work, you will be restored to your former position or a position of equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment if your former position has been filled.

Your medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability benefits will remain in effect during your leave on the same basis and premium sharing/payments as if you were not on leave. College contributions to the pension plan will not be made during the leave period unless your pay has continued under an approved paid leave category. Accrual of benefits or eligibility for benefits based upon time worked or length of employment will not continue during the unpaid leave.

Procedure for Securing Leave:

You should submit a written Leave request to your immediate supervisor and/or Department Head within a minimum thirty days, or as soon as practical, of the beginning of the Leave. A health care provider statement will be necessary as well in the case of medical leave. For purposes of this policy, a “serious health condition” is an injury, illness, or medical condition involving continuing medical treatment or inpatient care. The College at its expense may request a second opinion through its own health professionals. If the second opinion conflicts with the first, the College, at its expense, may request a third and final opinion by a neutral health professional.

The request will be reviewed in light of the requirements of the law and you will receive a written response containing any specific conditions or need for additional documentation.

When an employee qualifies for more than one form of leave (Disability, Workers’ Compensation, FMLA, etc.) at a time, the leave periods will run concurrently.


Employees who have been employed for one year may request an unpaid leave of absence not to exceed 12 weeks. An employee may request a personal leave by submitting a written request to his or her supervisor indicating the necessity for the leave and the start and end dates of the leave. Personal leaves require the prior written approval of the supervisor and Human Resources, and will be granted at the sole discretion of the College. Employees requesting unpaid personal leave will give at least 30 days notice in advance of the desired date the leave would begin. Human Resources may waive the thirty-day notification in an emergency situation. Personal leave will not be granted for employees to assume other employment.

An employee returning from personal leave will be restored to his or her prior position, unless it has become necessary for the College to either fill the position on a regular basis or eliminate the position. In this case, the employee will be returned to an available and suitable position, at the discretion of the College.

An employee on unpaid personal leave will not accrue vacation or sick leave, receive paid holidays, or receive a contribution to the retirement plan. Employees may request that benefits through the Flexible Benefits Program be continued as if actively employed. An employee not returning to work following a personal leave will be required to reimburse Union for employer contributions paid on his or her behalf. An employee going on leave, who will be utilizing the Faculty/Staff Children’s Scholarship Program, should inform the Dean of Faculty’s Office of his or her plans and when he or she returns to the regular position apply retroactively for this benefit.

Employees may use accrued vacation while on unpaid personal leave, but not to extend the leave beyond 12 weeks.

If an employee fails to return on the agreed date and has not communicated with Human Resources or his or her supervisor regarding his or her inability to return, it will be considered a voluntary resignation effective on the last day worked prior to leave inception.


In the event of the death of a member of an employee’s family, the employee will be allowed time off with pay for up to three working days, per occurrence, for purposes of bereavement and to take care of necessary business arising from the death. The definition of family members shall include: the employee’s current spouse/partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, legal guardian, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, grandchild, brother, sister, foster child, step parent, step child, step brother or sister, brother and sister-in law, and any other related person living in the employee’s household.


Union College honors and respects the rights and obligation of its employees to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. The College will allow excused absence for its employees to serve in that capacity, in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), P.L. 103-353, and state laws where applicable. Leaves of absence and re-employment rights are provided by Union College based on these laws. For more information click here.


This policy applies to all regular employees of Union College. Employees in temporary positions are excluded from this policy.


Military Service: Active Duty, Training For Duty, Initial Active Duty for Training, Inactive Duty Training, full time National Guard duty, funeral honors duty performed by National Guard or reserve members, and absence from work to determine fitness for any of the above types of duty.

Uniformed Service: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard, reserve duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, Army National Guard or Air National Guard, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, or any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency.

Temporary Positions: Positions which are brief or non-recurrent, and that cannot reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely or for a significant period. Generally these are positions of less than one (1) year in duration.


An employee or appropriate officer of the branch in the military in which the employee will be serving must give the employee's supervisor or Human Resources written notice and a copy of the military orders in advance of military service unless military necessity prevents the giving of notice or notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable. Failure to provide the required documents will result in the withholding of pay until such orders are received. Payroll should be contacted to determine how military pay is handled.

Under USERRA an employee is entitled to reinstatement to a position with the same status, rate of pay, opportunity for promotion and benefits as the position previously held by the employee and the employee may object to the proffered reemployment position if it does not have the same status as previous employment. Re-employment is based on the period of military service and other conditions as listed:

  1. Military service of less than 31 days – the employee must report back to work by the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work day that would fall eight (8) hours after the employee returns home from the place of military service. If, due to no fault of the employee, timely reporting back to work would be impossible or unreasonable, the employee must report back to work as soon as possible.
  2. Military service of more than 30 days but less than 181 days- the employee must re-apply for employment at Human Resources no later than 14 days after military service is completed, or the next full calendar day when application becomes possible. The employee must also provide adequate documentation showing eligibility to return to work.
  3. Military service of more than 180 days - the employee must re-apply for employment at Human Resources no later than 90 days after Military Service is completed. The employee must also provide adequate documentation showing eligibility to return to work.
  4. The employee’s separation from military service was under honorable conditions. A DD214 or similar document is required.
  5. The cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences for Military Service does not exceed five (5) years with certain exceptions provided in USERRA. The two-week annual training sessions and monthly weekend drills mandated by statute for reservists and National Guard members are exempt from the five (5)-year limitation.
  6. The College is not required to reemploy a person if its circumstances have changed so as to make such reemployment impossible or unreasonable such as, for example, a reduction-in-force.
  7. The reporting or application deadlines will be extended up to two (2) years for employees who are hospitalized or convalescing because of a service-connected illness or injury.
  8. If reporting to work is impossible or unreasonable, the period will be extended, if necessary, to accommodate a circumstance beyond the employee's control.
  9. The College and affected department will apply its rules governing unexcused absences in cases where an employee fails to report to work or to apply for reemployment rights within the required time limits.

The College will make reasonable efforts to accommodate an employee's disability so that the employee can be reemployed consistent with the requirements under USERRA unless such accommodation will be of such difficulty or expense as to cause undue hardship.

Union College will provide paid military leave (for duties as outlined above with the exception of an unpaid military leave for funeral honor duties) by paying the difference between an employee’s daily rate of pay and the fees or pay they are to receive in carrying out their obligation. Employees are not required to use accrued vacation during absences due to military service requirements, but may do so upon request. Employees who follow the above procedure will accumulate seniority for the period of service in the Armed Forces and retain previously accumulated benefits, subject to rules and regulations that might be imposed in those plans underwritten by insurance companies. During any period of paid leave, the College will continue normal contributions towards the cost of benefits. When military service is unpaid, the employee will pay the cost of benefits. In addition, the employee will be eligible for any general increases in pay, or any approved benefits that occur during their absence.

An employee may elect to continue his or her health care benefits during the period they are performing military service. Those employees will pay no more than the current employee rates. Employees on a paid or unpaid military leave shall not accrue vacation time.

An employee who is performing military service may elect to make employee contributions or elective deferrals to the College’s pension plan, to the extent allowed by law. The amount may not exceed the amount the employee would have been permitted or required to contribute had he or she remained continuously employed during the period of military service. The employee contribution to the College’s pension plan may be paid either during the period of military service or upon reemployment.

Union College will take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the reemployment rights extended to military personnel under USERRA. Accordingly, employees who perform more than 180 days of military service before reemployment may only be discharged for cause for a period of one year from the date of reemployment. Employees who perform military service more than 30 days but less than 181 days before reemployment may only be discharged for cause for a period of six (6) months after the date of reemployment.


An employee may be excused from work for compulsory jury duty when he or she presents a jury summons to his or her supervisor. The employee’s supervisor should be notified at least two weeks prior to the first day the employee is requested to report to the courthouse or as soon as the employee receives the jury summons. An employee may be requested to defer jury duty to another acceptable time if the supervisor is unable to release the employee due to business necessity.

An employee is expected to work his or her regular schedule on days when court is not in session, as well as the remaining part of any workday after being excused from court. Employees who work hours different from or in addition to those required for jury duty shall be paid the normal straight time rate for those hours. Employees not scheduled to work will not be subject to this policy and therefore only receive the public authority payment for their time. Employees will be paid their regular wages while on jury duty and employees may retain any payments received from the public authority.

Employees subpoenaed as witnesses in criminal or civil proceedings, when not a litigant or participant, will be paid their regular wages.


Because of the residential nature of the College, it is unlikely that campus offices and operations will close due to inclement weather. Employees should listen to the local radio and television stations and call if they are unsure whether or not the College will be open. Employees who report late, but within one hour after the start of their work time, will receive pay for the full shift. If the College is open but an employee determines that weather conditions prevent him or her from being at work, the employee should contact the supervisor as soon as possible and request a vacation or personal day. If the employee decides not to work due to the weather and later in the day the College decides to curtail operations or grant an early release, the employee will be charged a full day of time off.

When the Dean of Faculty or his/her appointee decides to curtail operations or grant an early release, employees will receive regular pay for hours excused. Employees requested to remain at work by their supervisor will receive compensatory time that must be used by December 31.


Due to scheduling, calendar issue, or weather, the College may occasionally decide to “officially close” for a day. When a College closing day occurs, the majority of staff will have the day off with pay. Employees required to work will receive regular pay plus another day off with pay at a later time (Compensatory time that must be used by June 30 of the current fiscal year). If the closing day is your normal day off, and you are requested to work, you will receive straight time pay, unless overtime eligible plus another day off at a later time.  If the closing day occurs on your normal day off, and you are not requested to work, you will not receive an additional day off or additional pay.

TEMPORARY LAYOFFS DURING BREAKS (Less than12-Month Work Schedules)

Certain positions at the College have work scheduled only when classes are in regular session. Employees in these positions may be temporarily laid-off and recalled when classes resume. Employees who work less than a 12-month schedule will be responsible for benefit deductions normally deducted from their paycheck. Human Resources will notify each affected employee and coordinate repayment. Employees of an educational institution with reasonable assurance of rehire for the next term are generally not eligible for Unemployment Insurance.