In an effort to support supervisors in effectively leading their teams, this column offers additional guidance, information and resources regarding Valencia’s policies. Leslie Golden, associate general counsel, provides an in-depth look at the policy background information, as well as key updates and tips for the practical use and application of the policy.
Featured Policy: Vacation Leave, Policy 6Hx28:3D-03
Effective Date: Originally adopted December 19, 1973
Policy History: Amended April 16, 2013, in its current form
Valencia grants its full-time 12-month employees designated time away from work for vacation. Though not required by law, Valencia grants this leave with pay, provided the employee is eligible to take the leave. The amount of vacation leave to which an employee is entitled depends on the type of position he or she holds and the years of service he or she has provided to the College. Faculty members are not entitled to vacation leave.
This policy also outlines the amount of unused vacation leave that may be carried over into a new calendar year or be paid for upon separation from the College, in conjunction with Policy 6Hx28: 3F-02, Terminal Pay.
Unlike sick leave, the need for vacation leave is typically known in advance, and employees should seek supervisor approval for this leave with sufficient notice to allow the supervisor to plan for the employee’s absence. Vacation leave should be scheduled to be a minimum disruption to the College’s operations, and supervisors do have the discretion, in most circumstances, to deny vacation leave if the leave would cause a significant disruption to the College’s work.
Using direct quotes from the policy, explain the essence of the policy:
“The request for vacation leave must be submitted as a Certificate of Absence and be approved prior to the effective date of leave. All leaves shall be approved by the appropriate supervisor.”
Examples of practical application of the policy:
A 12-month employee gets invited on a last-minute trip with friends on a Saturday afternoon. Knowing she has plenty of vacation time, she decides to take the following Monday and Tuesday off and returns to the office on Wednesday. When she returns, she fills out a Certificate of Absence for her supervisor covering the missed days. The supervisor, who received no advance notice of the vacation and had several employees out during this time, denies the request. The employee’s pay is docked for the two days she was out, since the absences are not covered by paid leave.
Working with the Policy/Practice Tips:
- Vacation leave balances, maintained by Organizational Development and Human Resources, are the official leave balances of the College. Do not rely solely on the employee’s representations. If there is a question as to whether an employee has enough leave to take vacation, supervisors may contact Joe Livingston, assistant vice president, human resources, at email@example.com or extension 8069 for assistance.
- Leave is not available for use until it has officially posted in an employee’s account in the leave system. Even though an employee may have earned leave by working a certain number of hours, it may not be taken until it accrues in the system. If an employee attempts to take leave before it posts, his or her pay may be docked.
- If an employee asks for vacation leave during a particularly busy time, you may wish to deny vacation. In making that decision, it is important to ensure that your approach is consistent and does not favor one employee over another. For example, if two employees with similar job functions ask for vacation at the same time, be mindful of granting leave to only one.