Paid Time Off and Leave

Time Off IconThe university supports its employees' ability to balance their work and home lives by providing several paid time off and leave options, with certain restrictions and limits, including paid annual and sick time, leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, leave under the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act and leave under the District of Columbia Parental Leave Act, as well as other options for paid time off and unpaid leave.

This section provides managers with guidance on how to administer paid time off and leave, including approving employee paid time off and leave requests, consistently applying university paid time off and leave rules, and establishing and maintaining accurate paid time off and leave records. Managers are responsible for assisting employees in managing their paid time off and leave so that employees are able to take time away from work and, at the same time, ensure operational requirements are met. Guidance for developing administrative approaches to this responsibility is available from Human Resource Management and Development.

The university reserves the right to modify or discontinue its paid time off and leave programs in whole or in part at any time, except as required by law.

 

All regular full-time employees accrue annual time based on years of their employment at the university. Regular part-time employees accrue time based on their level (percentage) of effort, i.e., number of hours of worked per week. Annual time is used for such purposes as vacation, emergencies, and/or religious observances.

Managers must approve annual time before it begins, if it is scheduled, or be notified through established departmental procedures if it is unscheduled. All annual time is available on the first day of each fiscal year (July 1) and may be borrowed in advance of accrual. Annual time must be used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). The exception to this use-it-or-lose-it policy is that Vice Presidents/Deans may approve a maximum carryover of five days of annual time into the next fiscal year to be used by August 31.

Employees who borrow un-accrued annual time and conclude their employment from the university before accruing the annual time will have an amount equal to the un-accrued annual time deducted from their final paycheck. Managers should refer to the information in this section to answer questions regarding the administration of annual time. Any questions regarding abuse of annual time should be directed to Human Resource Management and Development at 202-994-8500.

Annual Time Accrual

Employees in regular full-time positions accrue annual time at rates that are based upon their years of full-time service at the George Washington University. Regular part-time employees’ accrual rate is based on the level of effort in their position, i.e., number of hours worked per week. Annual time is accrued on the basis of a full calendar month of employment and is credited on the last workday of the month. All annual time is available on the first day of each fiscal year and may be used in advance of accrual at the manager's discretion. The university's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.

Annual Time Accrual for Regular Full-Time Employees

Please refer to the accrual schedule below to determine how annual time is accrued.

Annual Time Days Accrued Per Year for Regular, Full-Time Employees
Service Period
Nonexempt Exempt*
0 through the end of the 2nd year 13 15
3rd through the end of the 4th year 15 18
5th through the end of the 15th year 21 21
After the 15th year 24 24

*Full-time research employees’ annual accrual differs from that of staff.

 

Annual Time Accrual for Regular Part-Time Employees

For regular part-time employees, the annual time accrual rate is based upon percentage of effort (number of hours worked per week divided by 40) and does not change with years of service. For nonexempt employees, the accrual rate is the percentage of effort multiplied by one day per month. For exempt employees, the accrual rate is the percentage of effort multiplied by 1.25 days per month. For annual time calculation purposes, one day equals eight hours.

Impact of Absence Without Approved Leave (AWOL) on Annual Time Accrual

An employee who is absent without approved leave (AWOL) will not accrue annual time for the entire month in which the absence without approved leave (AWOL) occurs. The employee is also not paid for the day of unapproved absence.

Pro-Rating Annual Time

Accrual of annual time for a month may be pro-rated for a number of reasons. For example, a new employee who begins work after the first workday of the month will have his or her annual time accrual prorated for that month. Annual time is also prorated for periods of unpaid absences, such as leave taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or personal leave. Please refer to the chart below for more information on prorating annual time.

Pro-Rated Annual Time
Unpaid Workdays in Month Annual Time Days Accrued for Month
1 to 5 Normal Accrual Rate
More than 5 up to 11 1
More than 11 up to 16 0.5
More than 16 0

Example of pro-rated annual time: A newly hired employee who began work on the 14th working day of the month would earn .5 (1/2 day) days of annual time.

Managers should refer to the information in this section to answer questions regarding the administration of annual paid time off.

Scheduled Annual Time

Scheduled annual time is paid time off that is requested in writing, as far in advance as possible, and approved by the manager before the start of the annual time taken. Managers should refer to the Annual Time Requests section for more information.

Unscheduled Annual Time

Unscheduled annual time is not approved in advance and is normally taken for a short period of time. For example, an employee may have an unexpected personal situation, for which he or she may want to use annual time. Managers should establish call-in procedures through which employees can notify them in such situations and inform employees of these procedures. If an employee fails to follow established procedures, the absence may be treated as unauthorized, and the employee will be considered absent without approved leave (AWOL). A manager who believes that an employee's performance is declining due to excessive use of annual time should consult with Human Resource Management and Development for assistance in determining the appropriate action.

Application of Annual Time Rules to Newly Hired Employees

An eligible employee begins accruing annual time on the first day of employment but cannot use it until he or she completes 90 calendar days of employment. However, in unusual situations that may require an employee to take time off, managers may consider permitting the use of annual time during the first 90 calendar days of employment. Please consult Human Resource Management and Development before approving or denying annual time requests during the Introductory Employment Period.

Employees will not be paid for accrued annual time if they leave the university for any reason during the Introductory Employment Period.

Annual Time Used During Family and Medical Leave

Employees may elect to use annual time as paid time off for some or all of an approved family and medical leave (FMLA) period in order to remain in paid status.

Any period of annual time taken while on FMLA will run concurrently with the FMLA leave and cannot be taken in lieu of FMLA if the absence is FMLA qualifying.

Annual Time Requests

Employees should submit annual time requests on the university's Paid Time Off Request Form or through their normal departmental time off request process, as far in advance as possible. Managers should base their approval or denial of requests on operational needs and other relevant factors.

Employees who have used their entire annual time allotment and intend to request time off should discuss the matter with their managers. Managers should contact GW Benefits for appropriate counsel regarding the impact of unpaid time off on the employee's benefits.

Carryover of Annual Time

Employees must use all annual time during the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) in which it is accrued. Under normal circumstances, employees may not carry over annual time across fiscal years. Any annual time that is not used by the end of each fiscal year is forfeited.

An employee hired on or after March 1 who successfully completes the Introductory Employment Period is granted a one-time exception to permit carryover of annual time to the next fiscal year.

In other special circumstances, a modest carryover of annual time into the next fiscal year may be approved. The request to carry over annual time should be made in writing to the Vice President/Dean who oversees the respective department, division, or school. The request should include the employee's name, the number of days requested for carryover, and a deadline by which the time must be used. No more than five days should be carried over. The days carried forward should be used by August 31 of the new fiscal year.

Denial of Annual Time

Managers should base their denial of annual time requests on operational needs. In the event of unresolved issues, managers should consult with Human Resource Management and Development. When possible, managers should try to accommodate employee paid time off requests.

Termination and Unused Annual Time

Employees will be paid for accrued but unused annual time upon termination of employment. If an employee has used more annual time than they have accrued at the time of termination, the excess annual time will be subtracted from their final paycheck. Under no circumstances will un-accrued annual time be paid out upon termination.

Change in Employment Status

Managers should refer to the information in this section to answer questions regarding the effect of a change in employment status on annual time.

Transfer From Transfer To Effect on Annual Time
Regular full-time Regular part-time Carry over up to five days; any accrued but unused time in excess of the five days will be paid out.
Regular part-time Regular full-time Retain all unused, accrued annual time.
Regular position Temporary position Paid out for any accrued but unused annual time calculated on the number of months employed during the fiscal year; this will be paid at the employee's base rate exclusive of shift differential and overtime premiums.
Former Employee Rehired in a regular full-time position within one year of effective date of separation or retirement The accrual rate in effect at the time of separation or retirement is reinstated.

 

Bereavement time is provided to regular employees who require time off from work in the event of the death of an immediate family member or for the death of a person not specified as an immediate family member. Managers should refer to information in this section for guidance regarding the administration of bereavement time.

Bereavement Time for Immediate Family Members

Bereavement time is paid time off due to a death of an immediate family member. For these purposes, immediate family members include an employee's:

  • spouse or domestic partner (for whom an affidavit has been submitted to Benefits Administration)
  • child, stepchild, the child of a domestic partner
  • brother or sister (including step-siblings)
  • parent or stepparent
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • mother-in-law or father-in-law
  • brother-in-law or sister-in-law

Employees in regular full-time positions may request paid bereavement time for a period not to exceed three consecutive workdays. Employees in regular part-time positions may request paid bereavement time for any scheduled work hours within a three-day consecutive work period.

Normally, a verbal request for bereavement time precedes any written request. Employees may contact their managers through established call-in procedures or notify them at work. Managers should request that the employee complete the university Paid Time Off Request Form or ask them to follow the normal departmental time off request process. Along with the request, the manager should request that the employee provide the following:

  • the name of the deceased,
  • the employee's relationship to the deceased, and
  • the date of the death.

Manager may also request verification of the death, such as a funeral program or obituary. Once received, the manager should maintain the documentation with the employee's time off record.

When bereavement time does not cover a specific situation, an employee may use annual time.

Bereavement Time Accrual and Payout

Bereavement time does not accrue and is not paid out upon termination.

 

The university generally recognizes the following paid holidays:

  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Winter Holiday
  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Inauguration Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day

Specific dates for observance of these holidays are announced annually in a memorandum to department heads and are available as a Holiday Schedule on the Human Resource Management and Development website. Collective bargaining agreements may supersede this general policy. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement should be directed to consult their agreements for information on holidays.

Regular full-time employees are eligible to receive 8 hours of holiday time for each paid university holiday. Regular part-time employees receive prorated holiday time based upon percentage of effort (the number of hours an employee is scheduled to work per week divided by 40).

Because of the nature of university operations, employees sometimes must work on scheduled holidays. Employees who work on one of the university's recognized holidays should be compensated on the same basis as if the day were not a holiday. Managers must provide the employee with an alternate day off. Additional guidance can be found in Managing Compensation under "Holiday Guidelines."

Holidays and Approved Annual Time

University holidays that occur during approved periods of annual time should not be charged against annual time but should be charged to holiday time. Employees must be in a paid status immediately preceding a holiday to be paid for the holiday.

Part-time Employees and Prorated Holidays

Regular part-time employees receive prorated holiday time based upon percentage of effort. The number of prorated holiday hours is equal to an employee’s weekly scheduled hours divided by 5 (days). See the table below for examples:

Scheduled Work Hours Per Week Prorated Holiday Hours
36 7.2
30 6.0
24 4.8
16 3.2

Below are a number of scenarios for using prorated holiday leave.

  • Holiday falls on an employee’s regular work day:

    • Option 1 - Employee takes prorated holiday time (based on % of effort) and does not receive pay for the remaining hours not worked, if any.

    • Option 2 - Employee takes prorated holiday time and uses annual time for the difference between the prorated holiday time and any additional time normally worked.

    • Option 3 - Employee takes prorated holiday time and, if approved by manager, works any additional hours that would normally be worked on another day during the same week.

  • Holiday falls on a day an employee does not work:

    • Option 1 - Employee works a regular day and gets additional pay for their prorated holiday time.

    • Option 2 - Employee takes their prorated holiday time on a regular work day in the same week as the holiday.

GW provides up to six continuous weeks of paid parental leave for eligible regular full-time staff, medical residents and eligible Specialized Faculty (including Research Faculty). Paid parental leave applies to eligible employees who have given birth or are the spouse/partner of the birth mother; for the placement of a child (adoption, foster or other eligible custody); or for the placement of a child for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility. Employees must meet eligibility criteria for paid parental leave prior to the start of the qualifying birth or placement of a child.

Except in certain limited circumstances, adoption of a spouse’s or partner’s child(ren) is excluded from this policy.

Eligibility

Eligibility for paid parental leave will begin the first of the month following an employee’s two year benefit eligible service anniversary date or coincident with that date if the anniversary date falls on the first of the month. If a regular full-time staff member, medical resident, or eligible specialized faculty member ends employment and is then rehired into another regular full-time position within 12 months; previous service will apply towards the two year service requirement. Eligible employees are eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave one time during a defined 12-month period. In the event that an employee has more than one birth or placement of a child during this defined period, other university leave programs may still apply (e.g., FMLA, short term disability, sick and annual leave).

GW paid short-term disability and paid parental run concurrently when applicable. If the employee is also approved for GW paid short-term disability while on paid parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Faculty

Regular faculty should refer to Parental Childcare Leave policy contained in the Faculty Handbook. Specialized Faculty (including Research Faculty) with two years of benefits eligible service who are not eligible for Faculty Parental Childcare leave and who are paid partially or fully by a grant are eligible for paid parental leave. If the faculty member is also approved for GW paid disability while on parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Residents

Medical Residents with two years of benefits eligible service are eligible for paid parental leave. If the resident is also approved for Resident Temporary Disability while on parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Please note that Residents who are the birth mother are actually eligible for more paid leave under the Temporary Disability Leave than Paid Parental Leave.

Leave use

Paid parental leave covers up to six continuous weeks for the birth mother and/or the partner, adoptive or foster parent. In most cases, paid parental leave must be taken immediately following the birth or placement of a child and may not be taken intermittently. For birth mothers, paid parental leave will run concurrently with short-term disability coverage. If a holiday falls within an approved GW paid parental leave payment period, an employee will be compensated for that day as paid parental leave pay and not holiday pay.

In certain situations, paid parental leave may be granted up to six months prior to or following an adoption or foster placement when deemed necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of the placement but may not be taken intermittently. Leave must be completed within 12 months of the placement date. Employees must meet eligibility criteria for paid parental leave prior to the start of the qualifying placement of a child.

If an employee elects to use paid parental leave, it will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) if an employee is also eligible for FMLA leave at the same time. If the employee is eligible for both paid parental leave and FMLA leave, the university’s FMLA policy will govern use of paid parental leave, including the requirement, if applicable, to provide a return to work authorization form prior to returning to work.

Employees wishing to take paid parental leave must follow the university’s FMLA application process as outlined on the GW Benefits website. When practicable, employees should provide a minimum of 30 days advance notice to GW Benefits of the need to take paid parental and/or FMLA leave.

While on paid parental leave, employees continue to receive the same university benefits as when actively working, including accrual of sick and annual leave. All GW-paid contributions continue. Eligible employees receive their regular rate of pay while on paid parental leave.

An employee on paid parental leave will be reinstated to the same position he or she held when paid parental leave began or, in the university’s sole discretion, to a position with equivalent pay and benefits, provided that the employee can perform the essential functions of the position. The employee will not be restored to any position if the employment relationship would have terminated had the employee not taken paid parental leave; or the employee informs the university of his or her intent not to return to work at the expiration of the paid parental leave; or the employee fails to return to work at the expiration of the paid parental leave.

Employees covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements

An employee who is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement should review the Agreement for information on applicability of this policy.

To apply for FMLA and GW Paid Parental Leave for an upcoming birth, adoption or foster care placement, please contact GW Benefits or visit the GW Benefits Leave of Absence website.

Regular Full-time and Regular Part-time Staff

GW regular staff employees (whether full-time or part-time) accrue paid sick time. Accrued sick time is credited on the last working day of each month but, differently from annual time, sick time may not be used prior to its actual accrual. Sick time may be used for absences due to illness or medical treatment or medical care of yourself or a family member. As used in this guidance, the term “family member” means:

  • a child,
  • spouse or domestic partner,
  • stepchild,
  • foster child,
  • parent (including step-parents),
  • parents of spouse,
  • grandparents,
  • grandchildren,
  • spouses of children (including step-children, foster children, and grandchildren),
  • siblings (including step-siblings and half-siblings),
  • the spouses of brothers and sisters (including step-siblings and half-siblings),
  • a child who lives with the employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility,
  • a person with whom the employee shares or has shared, for not less than the preceding of 12 months, a mutual residence and maintains a committed relationship.

Sick time may also be used for any period of approved leave under the Federal or D.C. Family and Medical Leave Acts as well as during military duty leave.

In accordance with the DC Sick and Safe Leave Act (PDF), sick time may also be used in the event that an employee or an employee’s family member (as defined above) is the victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse and the absence is directly related to seeking medical, social, or legal services pertaining to the violent or abusive conduct. The employee’s time may be used to obtain help from a victim services organization, prepare for or take legal action relating to the conduct, seek medical attention or counseling, or to relocate. The employee may also use sick time to take any other action that could be reasonably determined to enhance the physical, psychological, or economic health of the employee or the employee’s family member or the safety of those who work with or associate with the employee.

Sick time begins accruing after an employee’s first working day of the month, and it is credited at the end of each month. If a regular employee is in their first 90 days of employment with the university and needs to use accrued sick time, the employee’s manager should consult with Human Resource Management and Development before approving or denying the request.

Sick time need not be used during the fiscal year in which it is accrued. A regular full-time or part-time employee can accrue and carry over up to a maximum of 180 days of sick time (180 days x 8 hours). However, upon termination from the university (termination for any reason), employees are never paid for unused accrued sick time.

Non-student Temporary Staff

Non-student temporary staff accrue sick time in accordance with the DC Sick and Safe Leave Act. Accrued sick time is credited on the last working day of each month and may not be used prior to its actual accrual. Sick time may be used for absences due to illness or medical treatment or medical care of yourself or a family member. As used in this guidance, the term “family member” means:

  • a child,
  • spouse or domestic partner,
  • stepchild,
  • foster child,
  • parent (including step-parents),
  • parents of spouse,
  • grandparents,
  • grandchildren,
  • spouses of children (including step-children, foster children, and grandchildren),
  • siblings (including step-siblings and half-siblings),
  • the spouses of brothers and sisters (including step-siblings and half-siblings),
  • a child who lives with the employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility,
  • a person with whom the employee shares or has shared, for not less than the preceding of 12 months, a mutual residence and maintains a committed relationship.

Sick time may also be used in the event that an employee or an employee’s family member (as defined above) is the victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse and the absence is directly related to seeking medical, social, or legal services pertaining to the violent or abusive conduct. The employee’s time may be used to obtain help from a victim services organization, prepare for or take legal action relating to the conduct, seek medical attention or counseling, or to relocate. The employee may also use sick time to take any other action that could be reasonably determined to enhance the physical, psychological, or economic health of the employee or the employee’s family member or the safety of those who work with or associate with the employee.

Sick Time Accrual

Sick time begins accruing after the staff member’s first working day of the month, and it is credited at the end of each month. If the employee is in their first 90 days of employment with the university and needs to use accrued sick time, the employee’s manager should consult with Human Resource Management and Development before approving or denying the request.

Sick time need not be used during the year in which it is accrued.

Full-time students who are also staff members working more than 25 hours per week may also be eligible for sick leave. Please consult with your HR representative for more information regarding eligibility.

Accrued sick time carries over from year to year. However, accrued unused sick leave is not payable upon termination. Any employee who leaves GW and returns with less than a one year break-in-service will have their most recent sick leave balance reinstated to the amount earned prior to termination.

Staff members who return to work for GW as employees within one year from their most recent termination date will have their most recent sick leave balance reinstated.

Full-Time Staff Sick Time Accrual Rate

Regular full-time staff accrue sick time at a rate of one (1) day per month. One day equals 8 hours when accruing paid time off, either annual or sick time.

Part-Time Staff Sick Time Accrual Rate

Regular part-time staff accrue two hours of paid sick time per month if their percentage of effort (number of hours worked per week divided by 40) is less than 50 percent (14 - 19 hours per week), and four hours of paid sick time per month if their percentage of effort is above 50 percent (20 - 34 hours per week).

Prorated Accrual of Sick Time

As with annual time, sick time may need to be prorated based on employment start date or periods of unpaid absence. The following chart shows how sick time is prorated:

Prorated Sick Time
Unpaid Workdays in a Month Sick Days Accrued
5 or less 1
6 to 11 0.5
12 to 16 0.25
More than 16 0

Non-Student Temporary Staff Sick Time Accrual Rate

Non-Student temporary staff accrue 1 hour of paid sick time off per every 37 hours worked up to 7 days per calendar year.

Accrued sick time carries over from year to year. However, accrued unused sick time is not payable upon termination. Any employee who leaves GW and returns with less than a one year break-in-service will have their most recent sick leave balance reinstated to the amount earned prior to termination.

Administration of Sick Time

Managers should refer to the information in this section to answer questions regarding sick time administration.

Use of Annual Time If Sick Time Is Exhausted

An employee’s manager can approve the use of annual time as a substitute for sick time if the employee has used all their accrued sick time.

Scheduled Sick Time

Scheduled sick time is paid time off that must be requested in writing, as far in advance as possible, and requires manager approval before the start of an absence. Reasons for scheduled sick time might include previously scheduled medical and/or dental appointments or treatments. A manager may require an employee to present a physician's statement documenting the need for the employee’s absence. When scheduling sick time, an employee should use the Paid Time Off Request Form or by following their normal departmental time off request process.

Absences Due to Unplanned/Unscheduled Sick Time

If an illness or injury occurs that prevents an employee from reporting to work, the employee must notify their manager as soon as possible, following the established guidelines of the department/work group. Once the employee returns to work, they are required to complete a Paid Time Off Request Form and have it signed by their manager or by following their normal departmental time off request process.

If an employee has frequent unplanned absences due to illness or there is evidence of a pattern of abuse of leave, a manager may require an employee to provide a physician's statement. If the employee does not provide the requested documentation, a manager may consider the employee to be absent without approved leave (AWOL).

Impact of Absence without Approved Leave/Time Off (AWOL) on Sick Time

Employees do not accrue sick time for the calendar month in which an AWOL occurs nor will the employee get paid for any time off that is considered an AWOL. Three absences without approved leave (AWOL) may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. The falsification of medical documentation is taken very seriously and may also result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Income Protection Programs

GW provides income protection programs for eligible employees should an illness or injury become ongoing. In these circumstances, short-term and/or long-term disability insurance are options to consider. You can find more information on disability insurance on GW Benefits website.

Coordination between Sick Time (Paid) and Family and Medical Leave (Unpaid with Job Protection)

Employees may be eligible for Federal and/or D.C. Family and Medical Leave (collectively, FMLA) if they are absent from work for more than three days due to a an illness or the illness of family members covered under FMLA, or have other intermittent FMLA qualifying absences. FMLA provides certain job protection rights during absence(s). See for more information on FMLA qualifying absences.

Accrued annual and sick time may be used during Family and Medical Leave, although an employee may not use paid time off in lieu of FMLA leave for an FMLA qualifying absence. Please contact GW Benefits for further information on FMLA and/or other types of unpaid leave available to you at the university.

Union and Hourly Employees

Those employees covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement shall follow the schedule as stipulated in their union contract. Hourly employees (those considered non-regular or wage) may be eligible for up to seven days of sick time coverage under the DC Sick and Safe Leave Act (PDF). Contact your HR representative for more information.

Jury Duty

Pay is provided to regular employees who are summoned to appear for jury duty. Managers should approve paid time off for scheduled work hours and workdays missed due to a jury summons.

Employees summoned to jury duty should inform their managers of the jury summons as early as possible and attach the supporting court documents. Managers should forward all approved requests and supporting court documentation to Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) for inclusion in the employee's record.

Employees are required to report to work on those days or partial days when court attendance is not required, unless otherwise instructed by their manager.

Voting Time Off

Polling places throughout the United States are generally open for extended hours on election day, but some employee schedules may make it difficult for employees to vote. In instances where a polling location is not open at least 2 - 3 hours before or after an employee’s scheduled shift, a department should provide the employee with sufficient time, generally up to two hours of paid time off, for voting. The two hours is considered paid time off, will not be deducted from the employee’s leave balances, and will not be used to calculate overtime and other premium pay.

Employees should provide reasonable notice to their manager if they will need to be absent from their regularly scheduled work shift to vote. The employee should provide proof of the hours of operation of their polling location before any paid time off is approved.

An increasing number of jurisdictions offer a period prior to the day of the election during which voters may cast ballots early. Some employees, such as those on alternative work schedules, may find it convenient to vote during these early voting periods.

The federal and District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Acts provide unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees so that they can care for their families or themselves in the event of certain situations. The George Washington University recognizes that its employees strive to balance their work and personal lives. The university’s procedures relating to these statutes are designed to support that balance while also providing managers with the ability to manage the tasks for which they are responsible.

The university complies with both the federal and District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Acts at all of its locations. If the employee's family or medical leave is covered under the federal and D.C. statutes, the leave is granted under both statutes and runs concurrently, to the extent possible. If it is only covered under one of the statutes, the leave counts against the period allowed under that applicable statute.

Employees returning from FMLA leave (as approved) under these statutes and who have completed all required documentation will be reinstated to their same position or to an equivalent position with equal benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee has no greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed during the FMLA leave period.

Family and medical leave may be taken continuously, on an intermittent basis, or as a reduced work schedule, depending on the circumstance for the FMLA leave.

The information found in this section is intended to provide managers with guidance relating to an employee’s need for family and medical leave. The application of these statutes and their relationship to each other is complex. Therefore, employees and managers who believe that family and medical leave may be appropriate should contact GW Benefits for assistance.

Please refer to the GW Benefits Leave of Absence website for more information.

Updates to federal laws and legislation protect members of the uniformed services from certain workplace uncertainties, allowing uniformed service members to leave their civilian posts to serve their country without having to worry about job security, delayed compensation, revoked benefits, or other adverse reactions by an employer.

Leave for military duty is unpaid. Under the law, an employee in a regular position who has been called to duty may take the necessary leave time. The university allows an employee to use accrued annual and/or sick time for part or all of the period of military duty.

The manager may fill the vacated position with temporary or contract workers for the duration of the uniformed service member’s service. The manager is responsible for notifying the temporary workers when uniformed service members are slated to return and for keeping the position open for the returning employee.

Administration of Military Duty Leave

An employee needing military leave must follow the application process outlined on the GW Benefits website and must also notify their manager as early as possible. In certain emergency circumstances, verbal notification is appropriate, although GW Benefits requests that employees submit written confirmation, including copies of the employee’s military orders, when available.

Managers should submit a Personnel Action Form (PAF) to GW Benefits for action on the Military Duty Leave. Paperwork relating to the employee’s military duty leave will be included in the employee's official employee leave record.

Reinstatement Following Military Duty Leave

The university must reemploy uniformed service members when they return from active duty as required by USERRA. Uniformed service members must return to their jobs within a predetermined period after they are deactivated based on how long they were on military duty leave.

Federal law requires that the university reinstate, without the loss of seniority, an employee who leaves a regular position to perform military duty. There are certain conditions attached to this right to reinstatement, and a manager whose employee is seeking reinstatement should contact GW Benefits for assistance.

Reasonable accommodation must be made for returning employees who have become disabled during their service. If the employee’s manager is unable to make reasonable accommodation within the old job, the university will offer another position for which the employee is qualified or could become qualified. Reporting or application deadlines are extended for up to two years for disabled veterans who are hospitalized or convalescing.

Parental Leave Under the District of Columbia Parental Leave Act

The university follows the District of Columbia Parental Leave Act. This Act provides an employee who is a

  • parent,
  • guardian,
  • custodian,
  • aunt,
  • uncle,
  • grandparent, or
  • spouse or domestic partner of any of the aforementioned,

with a total of 24 hours of unpaid leave during any 12 month period to attend or participate in school-related events for his or her child. A school-related event is an activity sponsored by either a school or an associated organization such as a parent-teacher association.

An employee should try to submit a written request for parental leave to their manager at least 10 calendar days in advance of the leave unless the need for parental leave could not be reasonably foreseen. A manager may deny D.C. parental leave only if it will create an undue hardship on the department's operations. D.C. parental leave is unpaid, although an employee may elect to use his or her paid annual time for these school-related events.

Employees may request a personal leave of absence for situations that do not fall within the provisions of other university leave categories. Employees may use a personal leave of absence for educational or training purposes, to extend a vacation, or if they have exhausted the leave period in another category, such as family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The duration of the personal leave of absence depends on an employee's length of service and the department's operational needs.

Eligibility

Employees who have successfully completed their Introductory Employment Period but have fewer than six months of service in a regular position may request a personal leave of absence for a period not to exceed 10 workdays. Employees who have completed a minimum of six months of service in a regular position may request longer periods of personal leave.

Employees must use all of their applicable accrued annual and sick time during a personal leave of absence. To apply for a personal leave of absence, the employee must submit a written request (see chart below regarding who an employee submits their request to) and receive written approval of that request. If an employee is absent without receiving written approval, the employee will be considered absent without approved leave (AWOL).

Requests for Personal Leave

An employee must submit a written request for a personal leave in advance of the intended leave to their appropriate Department Head, Vice President, or Dean (as defined below), with a copy of that request sent to their immediate manager. The request must include the purpose of the leave, the date the leave is to begin, and the date the employee intends to return to work. Please see the chart below for information regarding requests for personal leave and approval procedures.

Personal Leave Requests
Leave Periods Required Approvals
Up to 10 workdays Department Head
More than 10 workdays Written approval of Vice President or Dean
90 Calendar Days or More Written approval of Vice President or Dean
Leave extension beyond original leave period Written approval of Vice President or Dean
Leave extension beyond 90 calendar days Written approval of Vice President or Dean
New request for leave within six consecutive calendar months following previous leave Written approval of Vice President or Dean

Managers will forward the approved request for personal leave and the Personnel Action Form (PAF), together with the written approval (or denial) from the Department Head, Vice President, or Dean, to GW Benefits. The information is then included in the employee's personnel record.

Reinstatement

An employee who returns to work within the approved leave period is guaranteed reinstatement to his or her former position or an equivalent position. Failure to return to work within the approved period may result in termination unless the employee has requested and been granted an extension.

Effect of Personal Leave on Annual and Sick Time

An employee on unpaid leave will not accrue annual or sick time for each full calendar month of absence. Employees on unpaid leave for a portion of a calendar month receive pro-rated annual time and pro-rated sick time for the portion of the month that they work.

Effect of Personal Leave on Merit Increases

For personal leave periods exceeding 90 calendar days, the amount of merit increase, if any, will be prorated based on time spent at work during that review period.

Effect of Personal Leave on Benefits

While on approved personal leave, employees are eligible to continue specific benefits. Employees should contact GW Benefits for information on benefits continuation.

Employees may request the use of annual time or unpaid leave for religious observances that are not part of the University Holiday Schedule. An employee should provide his or her manager with adequate notice when requesting paid time off or unpaid leave for this purpose. A manager may only deny the use of paid time off or unpaid leave when an employee's absence from work would create an undue hardship on the department's operations. Managers should consult with their HR representative before denying paid time off or unpaid leave for religious observances.