Staff Paid Leave Programs
College Observed Holidays
The College offers paid holidays in observance of Martin Luther King Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day as well as Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following Thanksgiving. In addition, the College traditionally closes most offices for winter holidays during the days between and including Christmas Day and New Year's Day. This schedule varies somewhat each year, depending on the academic calendar and on how the holidays fall during the week. All holidays are declared and approved by the President of the College each year.
In addition, Memorial Day is considered a floating holiday. Staff members working in offices that are closed on Memorial Day will have the holiday off. There may be times when the College deems an additional day as a floating holiday. The same holiday guidance would apply to this additional day, too.
For those offices that are required to remain open on Memorial Day, staff members may take a floating holiday after Memorial Day or by December 31 of that year. If the time is not taken by December 31, the staff member loses the floating holiday.
Some essential staff members may need to work on holidays given the nature of their work. You should check with your supervisor to determine if your position requires you to work on holidays. For staff scheduled to work weekends, holidays falling on a Saturday are observed the preceding Friday; those falling on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.
Determining Holiday Hours
- staff members who work a 40-hour work week are eligible for 8 hours of pay per holiday.
- staff members who work a 35-hour work week are eligible for 7 hours of pay per holiday.
Keep in mind that if you work on a flexible schedule, your holiday pay will be determined by the total number of hours budgeted during your weekly schedule. For example, if you work 35 hours during a week, you will be granted 7 hours of holiday pay.
Full-time non-exempt staff members, who work 12-months and are 1.00 FTE are eligible for holiday pay even when a holiday falls outside of a work week. Meaning, if a holiday falls on a Monday and a staff member normally works Tuesday through Saturday, the staff member is paid for the holiday. The holiday time is recorded as Holiday Pay and is subject to the rules relating to overtime.
If you are a part-time benefit eligible staff member you will receive holiday pay only if the holiday occurs on your regularly scheduled workday. Those staff members that work an irregular weekly schedule (different hours/day each day of the week) will be paid the average hours per day for the holiday. For example, if you work 7 hours on Monday and Tuesday, but 3 hours on Friday your holiday pay would be calculated at 5.66 hrs.
To be eligible for holiday pay, you must be in active pay status on both your scheduled workday before and your scheduled workday after a holiday. Staff members who are on a leave are not considered in active pay status and are not eligible for holiday pay. When on an approved paid leave, the day will be paid in accordance with the provisions of the leave program. Staff members whose last day of employment is on a holiday will not be eligible for the paid holiday.
Absences Preceding or Following a Holiday
If a holiday occurs while you are on paid vacation, you will be paid holiday time for that day rather than vacation time. If you have an unscheduled absence the scheduled workday before or after a holiday, you may not be eligible for holiday pay. If your unscheduled absence was due to illness, you may be required to provide certification of illness from an appropriate health care provider.
Working on Holidays
Some departments of the College remain open seven days per week. Staff members in these departments may be required to work on a holiday. Staff members who work on a College-observed holiday will be paid time and a half for any hours worked.
Work schedules are determined based on the operating requirements of the unit. Depending on the unit's operating needs on a given holiday, a work unit may close, operate at reduced staffing levels, or to require full staffing. Individuals may not choose to work on a holiday without the specific authorization of their supervisor.
Absence on a Holiday You're Scheduled to Work
A staff member who fails to report for scheduled work on an actual or observed College holiday forfeits the holiday and is subject to disciplinary action unless the absence is due to documented illness and the staff member has complied with departmental call‑in procedures.
The diversity of the people who make up our College community requires recognition of and respect for individuals, including sensitivity to the celebration of religious holy days. While the operating needs of departments must be met, supervisors should make reasonable accommodations in arranging work schedules for individuals who request time off for significant events with reasonable advance notice. Except where unavoidable, notice should be provided at least two weeks in advance of the requested day off so that appropriate staffing arrangements can be made.
If you wish to be off for a religious holiday, you may ask to use accrued vacation time. Your supervisor may also permit you to take time off without pay or to rearrange your schedule during the week in which the holiday occurs to make up for missed work time.
Swarthmore provides generous vacation benefits to allow staff members time away from work with pay. Benefits-eligible staff (.5 FTE or greater) are eligible for paid vacation time. Vacation time accrues immediately. Vacation time is earned each month for exempt staff, or each pay period for non-exempt staff and is considered "available" on the first workday of the next month. Vacation time must be accrued prior to being used.
You must request and schedule vacation time in advance with your supervisor and take it at a time that is mutually satisfactory. Except where unavoidable, notice should be provided at least two weeks in advance of the requested day off so that appropriate staffing arrangements can be made. Some departments’ policies may differ about how far in advance you should request vacation time -- be sure you know the expectations in your department. For general vacation requests, supervisors may deny requests for specific dates if the operating needs of the unit cannot accommodate your absence on those days.
No vacation time is accrued while an employee is on either a paid or unpaid leave of absence.
You may accrue up to 240 hours of vacation. After 240 hours, vacation will stop accruing until your vacation balance falls below 240 hours. Accrued vacation time will not be paid out until your employment with the College has ended. Occasional exceptions to the accrual cap may be approved in extenuating circumstances including but not limited to the need to cover unplanned absences or special projects in a department. Exceptions to the 240-hour leave policy must be approved after consultation with Human Resources, your supervisor, and the President's Staff member for your area.
If you are eligible and requesting vacation time off for a reason covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you should give at least 30-days-notice when foreseeable; if not, you must give as much notice as is possible.
Vacation Accrual Rates
An accrual rate is the amount of vacation hours you will earn each pay period. It is determined by your FTE and the benefit designated for your length of service in a benefits-eligible position. The amount of vacation available increases with the length of service to the College, as shown in the chart below. This chart shows available vacation for a staff member working a full-time, 12-month schedule.
Vacation Accrual Rates For Full-time, 12-month Staff Members
Non-Exempt 35-Hour Week Accrual Rates:
|1st-3d||15 days||105 hours||4.38 hours|
|4th-5th||20 days||140 hours||5.83 hours|
|6th-20th||22 days||154 hours||6.42 hours|
|21st||25 days||175 hours||7.30 hours|
Non-Exempt 40-Hour Week Accrual Rates:
|1st-3d||15 days||120 hours||5.00 hours|
|4th-5th||20 days||160 hours||6.67 hours|
|6th-20th||22 days||176 hours||7.34 hours|
|21st||25 days||200 hours||8.34 hours|
Exempt 35-hour Week Accrual Rates:
|1st-20th||22 days||154 hours||12.83 hours|
|21st||25 days||175 hours||14.58 hours|
The accrual rates for full-time, 12-month staff members are calculated by dividing the annual vacation benefit in hours by 12 months for those staff members paid monthly. For those staff members paid bi-weekly, divide first by 12 months and again by two.
The accrual rate is linked to actual hours worked in a pay period. If you work less than your normal schedule (and do not use sick or vacation leave to make-up the difference) your accrual rate will be lower for that pay period. For part-time staff members, if you work more than your regular schedule, your accrual rate will be higher for that pay period.
Part-time benefits eligible staff accrue vacation time that is prorated based on FTE status. For example, a non-exempt staff member with three years of service who works a 35-hour work week and has a .5 FTE would earn .5 times the full-time benefit of 105 hours per year or 52.5 hours per year. Their accrual rate would be .5 times the full-time accrual rate of 4.38 hours or 2.19 hours.
Vacation may be used for any regularly scheduled work time. You may use vacation only when you have an available balance and in no case may your vacation accrual reflect a negative balance. Non-exempt staff may use vacation in any increment of time, including fractions of hours. Exempt staff may take vacation in half or whole day increments.
At the end of employment, any unused accrued vacation time will be paid in the last paycheck. Exempt staff members will not be paid for hours less than one half day. Your last day worked is considered your termination date.
Vacation Accrual When Re-hired
If you are rehired into a benefits eligible position within six months following separation, you will receive credit for prior service in calculating vacation eligibility.
Sick leave benefits are designed to help benefits-eligible staff members continue their income if they become ill or temporarily disabled and are unable to perform their duties. Sick leave may be used:
- when you are unable to work because of illness or injury.
- to care for a family member who is ill: spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child.
- when you or a dependent (spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child) have a scheduled medical or dental appointment. Vacation time may also be used in the event that sick leave is exhausted.
Accrued sick leave is used for absences of two weeks or less. If sick leave has not yet accrued, this period will be unpaid. Leave programs like the Salary Continuation Program (SCP) or Long Term Disability may be used for longer absences.
Benefits-eligible staff are eligible for paid sick leave. The annual sick leave benefit for full time staff members is nine (9) days. Part-time staff earn sick leave that is prorated based on their FTE. You begin to accrue sick leave immediately upon employment and it is immediately available. From then on, sick leave is earned each month for exempt staff or each pay period for non-exempt staff and is considered "available" on the first workday of the next month.
No sick leave is accrued while an employee is on either a paid or unpaid leave of absence.
You may accumulate up to 20 days of regular sick leave or 140 hours if you work in a department with a 35 hour per week schedule, and 160 hours if you work in a department with a 40 hour per week schedule. Should you become disabled for an extended period, Human Resources will calculate any additional sick leave that would have been accrued above the 20 day sick leave maximum. Any sick leave accrued beyond 20 days is available to supplement Long-Term Disability (LTD), if you are eligible for LTD. Once sick leave is calculated for the purpose of supplementing LTD, it cannot be used for short-term illness.
To qualify for paid sick leave benefits when you are unable to report to work, you must follow your department guidelines for notifying your supervisor. You should give as much notice as you can for absences where you wish to schedule uses of sick leave. For scheduled absences such as doctors' appointments, you should schedule the sick leave off in advance according to your department's practices.
Sick leave is used to replace regularly scheduled work hours. You may use sick leave only when you have a balance available and in no case may your sick leave accrual reflect a negative balance. You may not "save" available sick leave by taking time off without pay when you are ill. If you are absent and have exceeded your available balance of sick leave, then vacation or holiday time, if available, will be used to cover the absence.
Non-exempt staff may use sick leave for any missed work time, including fractions of hours. Exempt staff may use accrued sick leave in half- or full- day increments when they need to be absent for more than a few hours. Sick leave may not be used for reasons other than your own illness or as allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Abuse or inappropriate use of sick leave may result in disciplinary action.
After an absence of three or more days, you may be required to provide a statement from your health care provider (or your family member's health care provider) documenting the general nature of the medical condition and the anticipated length of absence to determine whether your absence is covered by the FMLA. Your physician may be asked to complete the federal FMLA certification form if clarification is needed. In some instances, your supervisor may require earlier documentation.
When sick leave is used for planned (non-emergency) medical events of between two and ten days it is requested that you give two weeks of notice to your supervisor in advance of taking the time off, if possible. You should also notify email@example.com.
Your health care provider may require you to reduce your regular work schedule temporarily due to medical reasons. If so, you may supplement any missed work time with accrued sick leave.
Medical and dental appointments (whether your own or an immediate family member's) should be scheduled outside of your regular work hours if possible, to minimize disruption to the workplace. If this is not possible, you must check with your supervisor before scheduling an appointment to make sure a requested absence during the workday can be accommodated. With mutual agreement between you and your supervisor, you may request to modify your work schedule to make up for such missed time during the same work week rather than using accrued sick leave.
Sick Leave Accrual Rates
Your sick leave accrual rate is the amount of sick leave hours you will earn each pay period. The chart below shows accrual rates for a staff member with a full-time, 12-month schedule. Part-time staff earn sick leave that is prorated based on their FTE.
Sick Leave Accrual Rates For Staff Members On a Full-Time, 12-Month Schedule:
Non-Exempt 35-hour Week Accrual Rate:
Non-Exempt 40-hour Week Accrual Rate:
Exempt 35-hour Week Accrual Rate:
The accrual rates for full-time, 12-month staff members are calculated by dividing the annual sick leave benefit in hours by 12 months for those staff members paid monthly. For those staff members paid bi-weekly, divide first by 12 months and again by two.
The accrual rate is linked to actual hours worked in a pay period. If you work less than your normal schedule (and do not use sick leave or vacation time to make up the difference) your accrual rate will be lower for that pay period. For part-time staff members, if you work more than your regular schedule, your accrual rate will be higher for that pay period.
Part-time benefits-eligible staff accrue sick leave per year based on FTE status. For example, a .5 FTE staff member, working in a department with a 35-hour schedule, would accrue .5 times the full-time benefit of 63 hours or 31.5 hours/year. Their accrual rate would be .5 times the full-time accrual rate of 2.63 hours or 1.31 hours.
You are responsible for managing your sick leave and monitoring your sick leave balance. Remember that you may use sick leave only when you have a balance available.
Payout of Sick Leave
Unused time is not paid out when an individual leaves Swarthmore or their position changes to non-benefit eligible (less than .5 FTE).
Coordination of Sick Leave Programs
The College offers three types of sick leave, which are available depending on your benefit eligibility status: regular sick leave, salary continuation program (SCP), and long-term disability (LTD):
- The sick leave program and the SCP program are available for benefit eligible staff members of .5 FTE status or greater.
- The LTD program is available to benefit eligible staff members of .75 FTE status or greater.
Accrued sick leave is used for absences of two weeks or less. If sick leave has not yet accrued, this period will be unpaid. Salary continuation will apply, when approved, for absences after two weeks of illness up to 26 weeks. Long-term disability, when approved, applies to absences longer than 26 weeks. Eligibility for SCP begins the day following the completion of 60 days of service.
SCP Coverage Amounts
|Length of Service*||You may be eligible to receive|
|Up to 60 days||Accrued sick or vacation leave only|
|61 days but less than 48 months||Weeks 1-2: Accrued sick or vacation leave
Weeks 3-13: 75% of base pay
Weeks 14-26: 60% of base pay
|48 months or more||Weeks 1-2: Accrued sick or vacation leave pay
Weeks 3-13: 100% of base
Weeks 14-26: 60% of base pay
*at the time that your qualifying medical condition begins.
Please note that SCP coverage amounts can be increased from 60% and 75% to complete 100% coverage by using accrued sick leave and vacation time.
Limitations and Extensions of Salary Continuation Program Benefits
- Two or more periods of absence due to the same or related medical condition will be considered one unless they are separated by a return to work of at least 90 days.
- Benefits under SCP are not payable if you are entitled to receive Workers' Compensation benefits.
- Following 12 weeks of leave protected by FMLA or 26 weeks, in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008 (NDAA), within any 12-month (rolling) period, the staff member must contact Human Resources to explore any additional options for retaining employment. Each case is handled individually. Depending on the disruption to the department, ease of finding competent coverage and other factors, a staff member's position may be held open or may be filled.
- SCP payments will continue for the length of the disability up to a maximum of 26 weeks from the date that the disability began.
- If a staff member is approved for payment under the College’s Long-term Disability program, short-term SCP disability payments will cease as of the date that long-term disability payments commence.
- SCP payments will be paid in accordance with the staff member’s regular salary payment schedule (i.e., monthly, bi-weekly).
If you are unable to work for a period of more than 26 consecutive weeks due to a serious medical condition, you may be able to apply for benefits under the College's Long-Term Disability (LTD) plan. The LTD plan provides eligible staff members (.75 FTE status or greater) with a benefit equal to 60% of their base monthly earnings.
While on LTD, accrued but unused sick leave may be used to supplement your LTD benefit, enabling you to receive full pay. Earned sick leave above 20 days is placed in your LTD Top-Up Account, which enables you to "top up" LTD from 60% of pay to 100% of pay.
If a staff member’s application for LTD benefits is approved, the College will then conduct an individualized assessment of whether an additional period of leave would be a reasonable accommodation or would pose an undue hardship for the College.
More information on LTD is provided in the Benefits Guidebook and the LTD summary plan description.
Medical Absences When No Sick Leave is Available
If you are medically disabled and have no accrued sick leave, you may use vacation time for a serious health condition that is covered under the FMLA assuming you meet the FMLA eligibility requirements.
If your medical condition is not FMLA-eligible, you may request permission to use accrued vacation time for illness if you have no sick leave. However, approval of such a request is discretionary on the part of your department.
Holidays While On Leave
Additional Paid Leave Programs
Parental leave grants new parents eight weeks of paid time off for the care of a newborn or adopted child. Benefits-eligible staff members (.5 FTE status or greater) become eligible for parental leave the day following their completion of 60 days of service.
Parental leave must be used within six months following the date of birth or placement of a child.
This leave is expected to be taken continuously for eight weeks but with the approval of both the department and Human Resources, leave may be taken in two increments of four weeks each. Parental leave benefits are in addition to any benefits you may be entitled to under the College's Salary Continuation Program and run concurrently with time off under the FMLA.
You should notify your supervisor of the timing of your leave at least 30 days in advance. If the date of birth or placement does not allow 30-days’ notice, please provide as much notice as practicable. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Administrative leave is a general leave status used for a variety of reasons and may be paid or unpaid leave. Staff members may be placed on administrative leave, for example, because of possible exposure to a contagious disease in the workplace, because their work area or the College must be closed, relating to an internal or external review or investigation, or because of the investigation of an external event such as a criminal arrest.
All administrative leaves require prior approval from Human Resources.
Swarthmore provides bereavement leave for staff members who have lost family members. Staff may take up to five consecutive working days of paid leave for the death of an immediate family member including a spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, stepchild, stepparent, stepsibling, in-laws, grandparent, or grandchild. One day of paid leave is provided for other close relatives when needed to attend a funeral including: aunt, uncle, niece, and nephew. Up to three days of paid leave may be approved for these other close relatives when necessary for travel to attend the funeral or where otherwise needed for special circumstances. In such a case, please speak with your supervisor. Please note that these days do not include days for which the College is closed.
You may be asked to provide certification of the death, such as a death certificate or a published death notice, before funeral leave pay will be authorized.
Swarthmore College believes that all staff members should be able to easily exercise the privilege of voting in elections. In accordance with this philosophy, the College will grant its staff members approved time off to vote and for election related service, as outlined here.
Time Off for Voting
When staff members are not able to vote outside of working hours due to work schedules, managers are authorized to grant a reasonable period of time, up to three hours, during the workday to vote. This time off will be with pay. Non-exempt staff members should report this time as “ADM” in timekeeping records.
Time Off for Election Service
Employees who serve as election officials at polling sites will be permitted to take time off to serve in this capacity. Staff members who need time off are requested to notify their manager a minimum of five work days in advance of their need for time off in order to accommodate the necessary rescheduling of work periods. Non exempt staff members should report this time as ADM in timekeeping records.
Swarthmore College recognizes your civic responsibility to serve on a jury or testify as a witness. In such qualifying instances, the College ensures you are compensated while you are away from work. If you are called as a juror or witness, you should let your supervisor know immediately. In some cases, it may be possible to request the court to reschedule jury service if it creates a severe operating burden on your department.
Paid Time Off While On Jury Duty
You will receive your regular paycheck while on approved jury duty.
Paid Time Off While Serving as a Witness or Testimony
- Not a Litigant: Subpoenaed testimony in a civil or criminal case in which you are not a litigant will be paid at your normal rate of pay up to a maximum of five days per 12-month period within a calendar year. After five days you must use accrued vacation time.
- Litigant: If you are testifying in a court case unrelated to Swarthmore College, in which you are a litigant, you will be given time off from work and will be compensated for the missed time for up to five days per 12-month period within a calendar year. After five days you must use accrued vacation time.
Paid time off relating to jury duty or testimony will not be counted towards the calculation of overtime pay for non-exempt staff members.
If your jury, witness, or testimony obligation is less than three hours in a day, you should
report to work for the rest of your shift. If you work the night shift and are scheduled to report for jury duty the next morning, you will be excused from, and paid for, that shift. If you spend more than three hours in jury duty, you will be excused from your next shift if that shift occurs within 24 hours of that jury duty.
Benefits continuation during any paid or unpaid leave is subject to the provisions of the official plan documents and insurance policies.