Time Off

Time off provides leave from work for a defined period of time to address unexpected or ongoing personal and family needs.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Employees who have been employed for at least one (1) year and for at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12-month period are eligible for family and medical leave.  The University has selected the “rolling” 12-month period, which measures backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.  Family or medical leave consists of appropriate accrued paid leave and unpaid leave.  If leave is requested, the employee must first use all of his or her accrued paid vacation leave (for salaried employees) or PLT (for hourly employees).  The remainder of the leave period then consists of unpaid leave unless the employee qualifies for short term disability (STD) benefits.  In some cases, FMLA and STD benefits will run concurrent and it will not be necessary to use vacation time or PLT.  This is reviewed on a case by case basis.  Additional details of this benefit are available in the Employee Handbook.

Hourly Employees Purchased Leave Time Program

The  ‌(HEPLT) provides additional paid time off to eligible employees who need or want a few extra days beyond their normal paid leave time (PLT) accrual.  With HEPLT, employees are able to purchase time off in full day increments up to five (5) days or 40 hours in a calendar year in return for a pro-rated reduction in their salary.  This provides employees with a steady, reduced income and additional leave.  While HEPLT may provide employees with time to spend with their families during holidays, it may also mean that an employee has time to pursue a particular hobby or further study.  HEPLT is an important factor in employee morale and retention.  Please consult the HEPLT Summary Plan Description for additional information.  To apply for participation the program, complete the HEPLT Salary Reduction Request Form.

Inclement Weather Policy

In order to ensure continuity of services to students and the public, the University of St. Thomas rarely closes.  It recognizes, however, that severe weather conditions or other emergencies may require the University to close or cease parts of its campus operations.  Should this occur, the University will follow the Inclement Weather Closing Policy.

Paid leave for the Birth of a Child

Short term disability (STD) is available for eligible birth mothers.  UST provides two weeks of paid parental leave for both the birth mother and the birth father.  Additional leave may be granted in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which requires employees to use their available vacation, PLT and floating holiday(s).  If an employee needs to extend a leave of absence, the additional time off will be considered an unpaid leave of absence.  All requests for a leave of absence require the approval of the employee’s supervisor and the appropriate academic or administrative leader.

Time for School Conferences

Employees are eligible for unpaid leave of up to 16 hours per year to attend a child's school activities if the conference or classroom activity cannot be scheduled during non-working hours.  In addition to school conferences, these activities include attendance at or monitoring of child care, pre-kindergarten conferences or activities, and musical or sporting events. The employee must notify the supervisor prior to taking time off.  The employee may use accumulated vacation or PLT for this time.

Vacation and Paid Leave Time (PLT)

Vacation time is granted to eligible full- and part-time exempt and non-exempt employees.  Exempt employees receive an allotment at the beginning of each fiscal year.  Non-exempt employees receive paid leave time (PLT), which they accrue bi-weekly. The number of allotted days for exempt employees increases after twelve years of continuous fulltime service.  The number of hours of PLT for non-exempt employees increases after they complete four years of continuous fulltime service.  Vacation and PLT are prorated for parttime exempt and non-exempt employees, respectively.

Voluntary Unpaid Leave of Absence Program

As part of the University’s ongoing efforts to control and reduce cost, it has adopted a Voluntary Unpaid LOA Program. This program affords staff members the opportunity to take time off without pay.  All unpaid leaves granted under this program must be taken voluntarily, initiated by the employee, and approved by the employee’s department head and dean, program director or vice president.  To request a voluntary unpaid leave of absence, complete the Voluntary Unpaid LOA Form.