Paid Time Off Policy - F.A.Q.

Valparaiso University has developed a new “paid time off” policy. The policy will be considered effective retroactively to July 1, 2013. It includes changes to our current leave policies that apply to benefit eligible employees, both hourly and salaried. The policy addresses: 1) increase in vacation allotment, 2) sick time policy, 3) elimination of personal days, and 4) implementation of a “short term disability” benefit.


Q.1. How can I find out information regarding how much vacation I am entitled to receive?

A.1. Your supervisor can provide this information , but you can also find it at the website:  along with other information about the “Paid Time Off” Policy.


Q.2. What if I have already taken some vacation this fiscal year?

A.2. Your vacation will be reduced by the amount of time you have already taken.


Q.3. Will I have an opportunity to roll over vacation from one fiscal year to another?

A.3. Roll over of vacation days, maximum of five (5), after June 30th of any fiscal year may be allowed with supervisor approval, but based on operational needs. It is expected that you use those vacation days as soon as possible, but within 90 days.


Q.4. What happens to vacation time from last fiscal year that I rolled over to this year?

A.4. For this first year, it will be treated as it would have been under previous policy.


Q.5. May I request pay in lieu of vacation time off?

A.5. Unused vacation days are not eligible for direct payout, unless you are separating from the University and you have more than one year of service, and the vacation days are none that were rolled over from previous fiscal year.


Q.6. How will sick time be handled?

A.6. All employees will be awarded six (6) sick days (based on a 40 hour work week) at the beginning of each fiscal year. Unused sick days will not be carried over to the next fiscal year and they will not be paid out to employees.


Q.7. What happens to the sick time that I have accumulated over the years? Will I lose them?

A.7. Hourly employees who have been able to accrue and accumulated sick days per previous policy will receive a payout of unused sick day balances.


Q.8. When will the sick time balances be paid?

A.8. The payout will occur over 3 years:

  • 1st year – 1/3 of total of sick balance paid at end of fiscal year (or 6/30/14)
  • 2nd year – 1/3 of total of sick balance paid at end of fiscal year (or 6/30/15)
  • 3rd year – 1/3 of total of sick balance paid at end of fiscal year (or 6/30/16)


Q.9. What if the amount of payout increases my earnings to the point of causing my insurance costs to be increased?

A.9. Payout of excessive sick balances will not be included in the salary amount used to determine insurance costs by employees.


Q.10. The previous sick policy for hourly employees allowed sick time to be used for illness incurred by employee but also for illnesses incurred by family members. Will this now change?

A.10. No. The policy remains the same regarding this point. Sick time may be used for your own illnesses and also to care for your family during times when they are sick. Sick time will now be a benefit given to both hourly and salaried employees.


Q.11. What happens to my personal days that I have not used this year?

A.11. Your vacation allotment has been increased in such a manner that those days have been included in the total of your vacation allotment.


Q.12. I understand that I am unable to accumulate sick days across fiscal years. I am concerned that I may not have enough sick time to cover an illness that is serious and requires more time off of work. What happens then?

A.12. A new benefit called “short term disability” has been established. It will be available to all salaried and hourly staff. The benefit provides an employee with earnings while off for bona fide illness for self.

  • Day 1 to 7 of said leave – 0% pay
  • Days 8 to 31 – you will be paid at 100% of your regular earnings
  • Days 32 to 182 – you will be paid at 60% of your regular earnings

The maximum benefit period is 26 weeks. You may use sick and vacation days during this leave to supplement pay to reach, but not exceed, 100% of your pay.


Q13. What if I get sick again and need more time off due to an illness that is serious and requires more time off of work.

A.13. If you return to work before exhausting your benefits under “short term disability” and within ninety (90) calendar days of returning to work, you again become unable to perform any of the material and substantial duties of your job due to the same or similar illness or injury, your claim for further benefits will be deemed a continuation of your previous claim. You will be eligible for any further benefits not previously paid under this policy until you are able to return to work or until benefits are exhausted, whichever occurs first.


The hope is that most, if not all, possible questions are answered through this document, but if you have any other questions regarding the policy, please contact Nora Berlanga Wiergacz directly at either or x5335.