University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Rule 11 Absences

11.1 Absence Without Authorization

When an employee is absent from work without authorization such absence shall be grounds for disciplinary action (Rule 13). An employee absent for three consecutive workdays without authorization shall be considered as having resigned. However, a person may subsequently apply for a retroactive leave of absence without pay to cover the unauthorized time off, and such a request may be considered and granted by the responsible administrator or immediate supervisor (see Rule 11.6 and 11.7).

11.2 General Regulations Governing Authorized Absences

Leaves of absence, which may be granted at the discretion of responsible administrator and/or immediate supervisor, include, but are not limited to: vacation, sick leave, and professional meetings. Non-discretionary leaves of absence include, but may not be limited to: jury duty, military duty, and official court appearances (when job-related).

11.2.1 Leaves of absence may be granted only when employees submit requests to their supervisor or responsible administrator within a reasonable time before the desired leave. In the case of sick leave or emergencies, the request should be made as soon as possible after the illness, death, or emergency arises.

11.2.3 Use of vacation leave, sick leave, and accumulated overtime or holiday leave shall be charged in units of one-tenth hour rounded to the nearest tenth hour.

11.2.4 When eligible, an employee shall earn vacation and sick leave during a paid leave of absence.

11.2.5 Employees have the right to receive from their administrative unit a report of their vacation and sick leave accumulations.

11.3 Vacation

General Provisions for Vacation Leave

11.3.1 Full- and part-time Civil Service employees on continuing or temporary appointments who are employed in one administrative unit on a prearranged and assigned schedule of 50 percent time or more shall earn vacation with pay at the following rates:

  1. 3.00 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour during the first 10,400 hours of continuous service (equivalent to five years of full-time employment);
  2. 3.75 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour from 10,401 through 16,640 hours of continuous service (equivalent to six through eight years of full-time employment);
  3. 5.25 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour from 16,641 through 24,960 hours of continuous service (equivalent to nine through twelve years of full-time employment);
  4. 5.65 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour from 24,961 through 41,600 hours of continuous service (equivalent to 13 through 20 years of full-time employment);
  5. 6.00 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour from 41, 601 through 52,000 hours of continuous service (equivalent to 21 through 25 years of full-time employment);
  6. 6.375 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour from 52,001 through 62,400 hours of continuous service (equivalent to 26 through 30 years of full-time employment); and
  7. 6.75 minutes of vacation leave accumulation for each straight-time paid work hour for more than 62,401 hours of continuous service (equivalent to 31 years of full-time employment). 

11.3.2 A year of continuous service shall consist of 2,080 straight-time paid work hours.

11.3.3 Vacation leave accumulated for any one pay period becomes available for use during the same pay period.

11.3.4 When eligibility for a higher vacation accumulation rate occurs within a pay period, the extra vacation allowance starts the following pay period.

11.3.5 Employees who at the University’s request regularly work a five and one-half or six-day week shall earn an extra .75 minutes per straight-time paid work hour of employment.

11.3.6 Each year of continuous employment shall be extended by adding to such periods the number of workdays the employee has been absent without pay.

11.3.7 Employees may request vacation time subject to the convenience of the administrative unit concerned. Within an administrative unit, choice of available vacation time shall be determined by unit seniority.

11.3.8 If an employee must be called in to work while on approved vacation leave, the employee must be paid one and one-half times that empoyee’s regular rate for the hours worked.

11.3.9 Full-time employees in those supervisory and professional classes of work designated by V after the job classification number shall accumulate an additional 1.385 minutes of vacation time (in lieu of overtime) for each straight-time paid hour of service.

11.3.10 Part time employees in V-classifications will be paid straight time hours for all hours worked above their percent appointment up to a maximum of 40 hours per week. If the employee works more than 40 hours per week, they will be compensated in pay or compensatory time at time and one-half pay for all hours worked over 40.

11.3.11 The maximum amount of accumulated vacation time may not exceed the amount of vacation time that may be earned within two work years.

11.4 Pay for Vacation Leave

11.4.1 Any employee with vacation available for use who leaves University employment shall have their unused vacation accrual paid directly into a post-employment health care savings plan, except as otherwise specified by the documents governing the implementation of the plan. Until such a plan is fully implemented or in the event such a plan is rescinded, the employee shall be entitled to be paid for any unused portion of vacation leave.

11.4.2 Any employee with vacation available for use who changes to a work schedule of less than 50 percent time shall be entitled to be paid for any unused portion of vacation leave.

11.4.3 Any employee who is about to lose vacation because he/she has been denied a vacation request made in accordance with an administrative unit’s leave policy and will reach the maximum accumulation, shall be entitled to take up to one week of vacation to prevent loss of vacation earned upon advance notice of seven (7) calendar days to their supervisor, or shall be allowed to cash out up to (1) one week of vacation earnings based upon percent time of appointment.

11.4.4 In addition, any employee may request to cash out one week of their accumulated vacation time each fiscal year at the unit’s discretion.

11.5 General Provisions for Sick Leave

11.5.1 Full-time and part-time Civil Service employees on continuing or temporary appointments who are employed in one administrative unit on a prearranged and assigned schedule of 50 percent time or more shall accumulate sick leave with pay. Sick leave will accumulate at the rate of 3 minutes per basic straight-time paid work hour.

11.5.2 Sick leave accumulated for any one pay period becomes available for use during that pay period. An employee with sick leave available for use who leaves University employment or who changes to a work schedule of less than 50percent time shall lose unused sick leave. When a sick-leave accumulation of 400 hours has been reached, one-quarter of any sick leave accumulated thereafter (.75 minute per hour) may be credited to the employee's vacation accumulation if the employee's sick-leave accumulation is maintained at 400 or more hours. Three-quarters of such sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to sick leave.

11.5.3 When a sick-leave accumulation of 800 hours has been reached, one-half of any sick leave accumulated (1.5 minutes per hour) thereafter may be credited to the employee's vacation accumulation if the employee's sick-leave accumulation is maintained at 800 or more hours, and one-half of such sick leave accumulated thereafter may be credited to sick leave.

11.5.4 Employees must request and receive approval for use of sick leave from the supervisor or responsible administrator as soon as possible after the onset of illness. Supervisors or responsible administrators may require a statement from a physician or dentist before approving use of accumulated sick leave. Any documents regarding a University employee’s disability, injury, or prolonged illness must be centralized at Disability Services (http://ds.umn.edu) rather than in the Office of Human Resources or any other location on campus. In the case of extended or chronic illness, the supervisor or responsible administrator may require proof of illness, including statements from a physician or dentist, before granting further sick leave or before allowing the employee to return to work. Abuse of sick leave shall be one form of just cause for disciplinary action.

11.5.5 A supervisor may require an employee to return home or to see a physician, or both, if the employee is unable to perform in an up-to-standard manner because of what appears to be a health condition. Such time shall be charged against sick leave if available.

11.5.6 Accumulated sick leave may be used to supplement Worker's Compensation benefits during periods of lost work time due to on-the-job accidents.

11.5.7 If sick leave is exhausted, an employee may use vacation leave, overtime accruals, or holiday leave subject to the conditions of Rule 11.2 and .4, and Rule 10.3.

11.5.8 Approved sick leave allowance may be used by an employee who is unable to perform duties because of illness or injury; or who would expose other employees or the public to contagious or infectious diseases; or who must keep medical or dental care appointments.

11.5.9 Approved sick leave may be used when a woman is unable to perform the duties of her job due to pregnancy. If no sick leave is available, an employee may be required to use accumulated vacation leave in accordance with Rule 11.2, and University policy, federal, and state law.

11.5.10 Approved sick leave may be used to care for or arrange care for an employee’s child, including medical and dental appointments. Approved sick leave to care for an employee's sick child is not limited. Employee’s child as used in this portion includes adoptive, biological, step-child, or foster child of the employee or of the employee’s registered same sex domestic partner.

11.5.11 Up to 10 days per fiscal year may also be used by an employee to care for or make arrangements for the care of an ill member of the employee's immediate family. Immediate family as used in this portion of the Rule shall mean spouse, registered same sex domestic partner; and siblings, parents, grandchildren and wards of the employee, spouse, or registered same sex domestic partner.

11.5.12 Accumulated sick leave of up to 16 hours per year can be used by an employee to participate in a personal health maintenance program (e.g., weight control, stress management, stop smoking). An acceptable program is one which is sponsored by, offered by, or accepted by health, medical and fitness/wellness professionals as a health maintenance program. Supervisory approval is needed to schedule sick leave for such purposes.

11.5.13 Sick leave may be used with appropriate notification when a death occurs in the employee's family. Employee’s family in this instance shall mean spouse, registered same sex domestic partner; and the parents, grandparents, guardian, siblings, children, wards or grandchildren of the employee, spouse or registered same sex domestic partner. The time shall be limited to what is reasonably necessary to make funeral arrangements and/or to attend funeral services.

11.5.14 In addition, with the approval of the supervisor or responsible administrator, employees may use sick leave to serve as pallbearers or attend funerals of other individuals not identified above.

11.5.15 If an employee becomes ill while on vacation leave and presents satisfactory proof of illness or injury, the supervisor or responsible administrator may approve the use of sick leave in lieu of vacation leave.

11.6 Vacation Donation Program

Employees may have the option of donating vacation for use by qualified employees. Information about the program is available at: http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/Leaves/VACATIONDONATION.html.

11.7 Parental Leave

11.7.1 Eligibility for Parental Leave

11.7.1.1 Employees must have completed nine (9) consecutive months of employment at an average of 20 hours or more paid work time per week. This policy applies regardless of the percentage time of appointment and the two (2) year requirement for certain other benefits that are provided in these Rules.

11.7.1.2 The employee must give notice of intent to use parental leave and other leaves used in conjunction with parental leave to their supervisor at least four (4) weeks in advance, except under unusual circumstances.

11.7.2 Paid and Unpaid Leaves

11.7.2.1 A civil service employee, on the occasion of the birth or adoption of the employee’s child may, upon request, take up to a two week paid parental leave of absence. The definition of employee child in this portion includes the adoptive or biological child of the employee or of the employee’s registered same sex domestic partner. This parental leave shall not be charged against the employee's accumulated vacation or sick leave. The parental leave shall begin at a time requested by the employee, although the leave may not begin more than six weeks after the birth or adoption. In the case where the child must remain in the hospital longer than the birth mother, the leave must begin no later than six (6) weeks after the child leaves the hospital. This leave must be consecutive and without interruption and must be taken during the term of appointment.

11.7.2.2 A birth mother may use the two weeks of parental leave and up to four weeks of accumulated sick leave immediately following the parental leave, which must commence no sooner than two weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date and no later than six (6) weeks after delivery. The birth mother may use accumulated vacation leave immediately following the sick leave. These leaves must be consecutive and without interruption and must be taken during the term of appointment. An unpaid leave of absence for maternity shall be granted to an employee for a period of up to six months, when requested in conjunction with the birth of the employee's child. This leave of absence without pay may be extended up to an additional six months upon the employee's request and with responsible administrator approval.

11.7.2.3 A birth father or adoptive parent may use the two weeks of parental leave, immediately followed by accumulated vacation which must commence no sooner than two weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date and no later than six (6) weeks after the birth or adoption. These leaves must be consecutive and without interruption and must be taken during the term of appointment. An unpaid leave of absence shall be granted to an employee for a period of up to six months, when requested in conjunction with the birth or adoption of the employee’s child. This leave of absence without pay may be extended up to an additional six months upon the employee’s request and with responsible administrator approval.

11.8 Sick Leave Without Pay

11.8.1 Upon application, a leave of absence without pay may be granted by the appropriate responsible administrator or supervisor for the entire period of temporary disability due to sickness or injury. The duration of such leave shall be subject to the recommendation of this administrator, governed by applicable University policy and federal and state law.

11.8.2 During this leave, the responsible administrator or the Vice President or appropriate human resources personnel may periodically require that the employee submit a certificate from the attending physician or from a designated physician. Any documents regarding a University employee’s disability, injury, or prolonged illness must be centralized at Disability Services (http://ds.umn.edu) rather than in the Office of Human Resources or any other location on campus. Supervisors should contact and work with Disability Services for additional information regarding requesting physician certification. In the event of failure or refusal to supply such certificate, or if the certificate does not clearly show sufficient disability to prevent the employee from performing assigned duties, the responsible administrator, with the approval of the appropriate human resources personnel may cancel such leave and require the employee to report for duty on a specified date.

11.8.3 Sick leave without pay may be granted to an employee who is considered permanently and totally disabled according to any disability insurance program in which the University participates. Should employees on such leave recover to the point that they are employable, they shall be treated as though they were laid off and will be eligible to compete for vacancies in accordance with the policies and regulations covering laid-off employees. An employee on this type of leave will not be allowed to replace or bump an incumbent from the employee's most recently held position, unless approved by the hiring authority. If an employee who is receiving workers compensation benefits chooses to take a position outside the University instead of accepting a suitable position (as defined by workers compensation law) at the University of Minnesota, the employee will be considered to have resigned and their administrative unit may terminate them.

11.9 Other Leaves Without Pay

11.9.1 An employee may request a leave of absence without pay. This leave must be approved in advance by the responsible administrator or immediate supervisor. Seniority and vacation and sick leave are not earned during unpaid leaves.

11.9.2 Employees who are drafted or volunteer for military service during times of war or declared emergencies shall be entitled to military leaves of absence without pay, not to exceed four years, for service in the armed forces of the United States or of the state of Minnesota. Employees shall accumulate seniority during these periods of military service.

11.9.3 For determining vacation accumulation rates, military leave without pay shall be counted the same as normal straight-time hours that would have been worked. Vacation leave is accumulated during a military leave of absence without pay for all military service (reserve or regular armed services component) in time of war or declared emergencies, or when an employee is drafted. Additionally, vacation is accumulated during a reservist's initial period of active duty for training of three or more consecutive months and during all active and inactive duty for training in the military forces. The complete policy on military leaves may be viewed on the worldwide web at or may be obtained from the Office of Human Resources.

11.10 Leaves of Absence With Pay

11.10.1 Upon request an employee shall be granted a leave of absence with pay for:

  • 11.10.1.1 service on a jury provided the employee is regularly employed at a designated percentage of time of 50 percent or more. An employee serving on a jury is expected to report for work during any work hours when the jury is recessed. The employee may be requested to render some additional services to the administrative unit in order to minimize the interruption of service caused by this absence.
  • 11.10.1.2 voting in any state-wide general or state-wide primary election, or in an election to fill a vacancy in the office of U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative during the election day.
  • 11.10.1.3 court attendance in connection with an employee's official duty. Such attendance shall include transportation to and from the employee's headquarters to court. Any absence, as an individual rather than as an officer or an employee of the University, whether voluntary or in response to a legal order to appear and testify in private litigation, shall be taken as vacation leave, leave of absence without pay, or as deduction from authorized accumulated overtime.
  • 11.10.1.4 tour of duty in the reserve military forces of the United States or National Guard, not to exceed 15 workdays in any calendar year.

11.10.2 The responsible administrator has the discretion to determine whether a leave of absence with pay will be granted for:

  • 11.10.2.1 a reasonable amount of time in University service, collegiate, campus or University committees, governance bodies, etc.;
  • 11.10.2.2 appearance before a court, legislative committee, for other judicial or quasi-judicial body as a witness in action involving the federal government, the state of Minnesota, or a political subdivision thereof, or the University, in response to subpoena or other direction by proper authority;
  • 11.10.2.3 attendance at professional and scientific meetings and other approved educational activities; (Regents Policy, Employee Development, Education and Training, Section VI, VII);
  • 11.10.2.4 educational leave for not more than four hours per week (or more if make-up schedule for additional time is approved by supervisor) to be used for such purposes as attending class on a Regents’ Scholarship; (Regents Policy, Employee Development, Education and Training, Section V): http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/humanresources/Employee_Develop_Educ_Training.pdf;
  • 11.10.2.5 the time required to complete an investigation and decide whether disciplinary action is warranted; and
  • 11.10.2.6 the time period between an employee's receiving a notice of termination of employment and the effective date of termination (Rule 7.6; Rule 13.2).

11.10.3 Compensation for hours not worked or for extra hours worked due to University-wide or individual campus closings for weather or other emergencies is covered in an emergency closing policy and procedure document. The current emergency closing policy may be viewed at: http://www.policy.umn.edu/groups/ppd/documents/policy/Emergency_Closing.cfm or a copy may be requested from the Office of Human Resources.

11.11 Reinstatement From Leave of Absence

11.11.1 Except as otherwise provided by these Rules, an employee granted a leave of absence must return to employment in the same classification and administrative unit at the expiration of the leave. This employee may return to employment before the leave expires upon approval of the responsible administrator.

11.11.2 An employee who is laid off before the leave expires because that individual's position has been abolished shall be entitled to re-employment consideration in accordance with these Rules (Rule 12.3).