- Issue Date: April 1, 1994
- Revision Date: February 19, 2008
- Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources
- Responsible Member of Directorate: Vice President of Finance & Administration
- Responsible Office: Human Resources
Policy StatementThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provides payment for absences associated with a variety of personal and professional circumstances. Time away from work must be approved in advance and recorded to protect the interests of both the Institution and its employees.
Reason for PolicyThe Institution wants employees to fully understand their rights to paid time away from work while, at the same time, placing reasonable limits to ensure that business needs are met and that all eligible employees are treated equitably.
Reason for Policy
Who Should Be Familiar With This Policy
Definitions & Responsibilities
Benefits-eligible Temporary Employee
Casual Status Employee
Health Care Provider
Long-term Disability (LTD)
Regular Full-time Employee
Regular ?-time Employee
Regular Half-time Employee
Short-term Disability Income (STD)
Overview & Procedures
Notice and Maintenance of Records
Sea and Ice Duty Compensation
Who Should Be Familiar With This Policy• Eligible Employees
• Managers, Supervisors, and Administrators
• Human Resources Staff
• Payroll Staff
If you have questions about
specific issues or need assistance with the interpretation of this policy,
Payroll Office................................................... x2377
Definitions & ResponsibilitiesThese definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy.
||The act or process of accumulated; an increase.|
|Benefits-eligible Temporary Employee
||A temporary employee expected to work at least forty (40) hours per pay period with an appointment for twelve (12) or more consecutive months. Benefits-eligible temporary employees are eligible for the same full benefits as regular employees.|
|Casual Status Employee
||An employee expected to work less than 40 hours per each pay period worked.|
||An employee who is classified as exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)|
|Health Care Provider
||A primary care physician or other healthcare professional that helps in identifying, preventing, and/or treating illness or disability.|
|Long-term Disability (LTD)
||Salary continuation at 60% for qualified employees whose illness or injury prevents them from working beyond six (6) months.|
||An employee who is not exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).|
||To divide or distribute proportionally.|
|Regular Full-time Employee
||An employee expected to work no less than eighty (80) hours per pay period for an indefinite period of time, but at least twelve (12) consecutive months.|
|Regular ?-time Employee
||An employee expected to work at least sixty (60) hours per pay period but less than eighty (80) hours per pay period for an indefinite period of time, but at least twelve (12) consecutive months.|
|Regular Half-time Employee
||An employee expected to work at least forty (40) hours per pay period but less than sixty (60) hours per pay period for an indefinite period of time, but at least twelve (12) consecutive moths.|
|Short-term Disability Income (STD)
||Salary continuation for qualified employees who are out of work for more than two (2) consecutive weeks due to illness or injury. The amount of salary continuation is calculated via a formula based on years of service.|
||A temporary employee expected to work at least forty (40) hours per pay period with an appointment less than twelve (12) consecutive months. Temporary employees are not eligible for full benefits, but do accrue vacation time, do receive holiday pay, and may charge time to occasional illness.|
Overview & Procedures
|Notice and Maintenance of Records
||When there are planned absences, employees are expected to give as much advance notice as possible. For certain absences, such as those associated with vacations and floating holidays, advance approval is required before the absence takes place.
For all paid absences covered by this policy, employees and departments are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of time records.
||Regular full-time, ¾-time, half-time, benefits-eligible
temporary employees, and temporary employees are eligible to accrue vacation.
Eligible full-time employees earn vacation per pay period
in accordance with the following schedule:
|Length of Employment
Up to completion of 5 yrs
||16 days per year
Beginning of year 6 through year 19
||20 days per year
Beginning of year 20 on
||26 days per year
Length of employment is all service during which the
employee was eligible to earn vacation.
Regular employees working less than eighty (80) hours per
pay period, but a minimum of forty (40) hours in a pay period, will earn
prorated vacation based on actual hours worked (not including overtime).
Temporary employees will earn vacation equivalent to a regular
employee with less than completion of five (5) years service, prorated based
on actual hours worked in a pay period (not including overtime).
Members of the Resident Scientific Staff who hold tenured
positions, Senior Research Specialists, Principal Engineers and Senior Information
Systems Specialists earn vacation at the rate of twenty-six (26) days per
Masters and Chief Engineers of Institution vessels and Alvin
Group Expedition Leaders will earn vacation at the rate of twenty-six (26)
days per year.
Certain senior administrative personnel, designated by the
Executive Vice President, will earn vacation at a rate of twenty (20) or twenty-six
(26) days per year. The accrual rate
is at the discretion of the Executive Vice President.
All vacation will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of
Requests for vacation must be approved in advance by the
supervisor. Approval is dependent upon
staffing and workload.
Vacation may be coordinated with STD or LTD income
benefits. Coordination is up to 100%
of the employee’s regular rate of pay.
An employee on vacation who incurs an illness or
disability may charge the respective time to Occasional Illness. Appropriate documentation from the
attending health care provider may be required.
If an Institution Holiday falls within an employee’s vacation
period, time for that day should be recorded as Holiday.
If an employee is on vacation when the Institution closes
due to inclement weather (Emergency Leave), the employee’s time off should
continue to be reported as vacation.
Vacation may be accrued for up to two years, based on the
accrual for the prior fifty-two (52) pay periods.
to Note: All vacation in excess of this limit will be forfeited at the
end of the first pay period in April of each year.
Forfeiture of vacation does not apply to marine crew
members or Alvin Operations Group members on WHOI research vessels. Marine crew members and Alvin Operations
Group members assigned to WHOI research vessels may request pay in lieu of
time off for any accrued vacation. The
Vice President of Marine Operations must approve such payment in advance.
It is not the intent of the Institution to allow negative
vacation balances to accumulate.
However, a negative balance up to 40 hour may be allowed if the
employee can reasonably justify the need for this. If an employee terminates with a negative
vacation balance, her/his final paycheck will be adjusted at the current rate
of pay. If an employee’s status changes
to Casual with a negative vacation balance, his/her next pay will be adjusted
at the current rate of pay.
An employee who leaves the Institution will be paid for
accrued, unused vacation to which s/he is entitled. The maximum payment in lieu of vacation is
for the vacation earned in the previous 52 pay periods. (This maximum does not apply to marine crew
members or Alvin Operations Group members.)
Any payment in lieu of vacation will be at the employee’s current rate
of pay at the time of separation.
Pre-retirement employees may request to use their accrued vacation
in conjunction with an impending retirement.
Vacation will continue to accrue if the employee returns to work on
the last day prior to commencement of retirement benefits. However, if the employee elects to
terminate from vacation, there will be no accrual of vacation during this
|Sea and Ice Duty Compensation
||A regular full-time or casual employee of the Institution
(other than marine crew members or Alvin Operations Group members) who is a
member of a scientific party, will earn Sea and Ice Duty Compensation at the
rate of four (4) hours for each seven (7) consecutive days of sea/ice duty
while participating in research cruises on WHOI research vessels or vessels
from other institutions or at ice camps.
Time spent in port prior to ship departure or following ship arrival
is not ‘at sea’ time. An employee
joining and/or leaving a vessel at intermediate ports will include the date
of reporting on board and/or leaving in the calculation of consecutive days
Sea and Ice Duty Compensation that is not paid to the
employee may be taken as time off. Any
employee who wishes to take this compensation as time off, rather than being
paid for it, must check the appropriate box on the pink Overtime Report (or
the Report of Cruise Leave and/or Sea Duty) requesting that the compensation
be recognized as time off. Otherwise,
earned Sea and Ice Duty Compensation will automatically be paid when the
Payroll Office receives the report.
to Note: Sea and Ice Duty Compensation can only be earned if the grant or
contract supporting the research activity has provided specific funding for
Any Sea and Ice Duty Compensation being held for time-off
will be paid to the employee if it is not taken within six (6) full pay
periods after the end of the leg/cruise/trip on which it is earned.
Sea and Ice Duty Compensation will be paid at the earned
rate of pay whether paid immediately or at a later date.
If an employee has an available balance of Sea and Ice Duty Compensation
which has been held as time-off, he or she must charge absences against
this balance prior to using any accrued vacation time. If an employee
charges vacation time when he or she has a balance of unused Sea and
Ice Duty, Payroll will correct the timecard accordingly. The timecard
will be returned to the employee for acknowledgement and initialing.
||An exempt employee (regular or casual) who is a member of
a scientific party may earn Cruise/Ice Leave while participating in research
cruises on research vessels and/or ice camps.
to Note: Cruise Leave can only be earned if the grant or contract
supporting the research activity has provided specific funding for such
xempt employees, Fellows, students, guests, etc., are
not eligible for Cruise/Ice Leave.
Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay as outlined in the
policy for ‘Payment for Overtime.’
Cruise/Ice Leave is computed on the basis of one day for
each Saturday, Sunday or holiday at sea/ice, traveling, or working in ports
other than Woods Hole. This is reduced
by equivalent days taken off while in these ports.
Cruise/Ice Leave will be paid to the employee unless the
appropriate box is checked on the Cruise/Ice Report requesting time
off in lieu of pay. However,
if Cruise/Ice Leave is to be taken as time off and is not used within
six (6) full pay periods, it will be paid to the employee.
All payments will be made at the rate the Leave was earned. Compensation for properly reported and approved
Cruise/Ice Leave will be added to the employee’s regular earnings on
the next regular pay day following receipt by the Payroll Office prior
to the payroll cutoff for that pay period.
If an employee has an available balance of Cruise/Ice Leave which has
been held as time-off, he or she must charge absences against this balance
prior to using any accrued vacation time. If an employee charges vacation
time when he or she has a balance of unused Cruise/Ice Leave, Payroll
will correct the timecard accordingly. The timecard will be returned
to the employee for acknowledgement and initialing.
||For information concerning Shore Leave, Marine Crew
members should refer to the ‘Marine Crew Member Procedures,’ and members of
the Alvin Operations Group should refer to the policy on ‘Operational
||For information on what was formerly designated as Sick
Leave, refer to the policy on ‘Occasional Illness.’
The Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents, Department
Chairs and Administrative Managers are authorized to grant paid Emergency
Leave to regular employees. Emergency
leave is in addition to vacation or Occasional Illness Leave, and will be
granted to cover absences associated with either:
To ensure equal treatment for all eligible employees, and
consistency among supervisors in granting Emergency Leave, the following
- Death in the immediate family or household
- Inclement weather
|Category A (up to 5 days)
|| Category B (up to 3 days)
|| Other relatives residing in theemployee’s home
In the event the Institution officially closes due to
inclement weather, Emergency Leave may be charged for this absence.
See Inclement Weather Policy.
||A regular employee subpoenaed as a witness or juror in
Federal or Commonwealth courts will be granted Jury Duty leave. The following also applies for when
subpoenaed as a witness by an official committee or board or a federal or
Federal: Jurors and witnesses, by statute, receive
compensation for each day of attendance.
Upon employee submission of a copy of the court summons, the
Institution will pay the difference, if any, between the employee’s regular
salary and the Federal court allowance.
While absent for jury duty, if the court duty permits, the employee
must report for schedule work on a part-time basis.
Commonwealth: The Institution will pay the difference
between the eligible employee’s regular salary and the State court
allowance. While absent for jury duty
the employee must report for work on a part-time basis as court duty
permits. Upon receipt, the employee must
submit a copy of the juror’s certificate of attendance to the
Institution. (Certificates are mailed
to the juror by the court approximately one week after the first day of
For purpose of State jury service, ‘regular’ employment
includes part-time, temporary and casual employment as long as the employee’s
hours may be determined by a schedule or by work pattern established during
the three-month period preceding the term of service of the juror.
Under State statute, a witness in Commonwealth courts
receives compensation for each day of attendance. The difference, if any between the State’s
fee and the employee’s regular salary will be paid by the Institution. The employee must report for work on a
part-time basis as court duty permits.
Upon receipt, the employee must submit appropriate court documentation
to the Institution.
In all cases above, the Institution pays the employee’s
regular salary. When the employee
receives payment from the court, s/he must properly endorse the check and present
it to the Payroll Office.
The employer copy of the Juror Service Certificate must be
received in the Payroll Office no later than one month from the date of
service. An employee who is unable to
provide confirmation of juror service within this time period must submit a
revised time report, charging the absence either to vacation or time without
||A regular employee who is required to participate in
active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training as a member of a
reserve or National Guard organization of the U.S. Armed Forces will be
granted Military Leave. During such
leave, the employee will be paid for up to 15 days (120 hours, prorated for
part-time and half-time employees) of such leave, at her/his regular Institution
Last updated: February 8, 2010