Out of Date Staff Paid Time Off Policy

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Sick and Vacation Policy: This policy applies to all workers paid by Free Geek.
List of Policies - Policy Development


Current version approved at a staff meeting on June 19, 2009. (Previous version at staff meeting April 4, 2008.)

Rate of Accrual

Collective members accrue Paid Time Off (PTO) as combined sick and vacation time at the rate of 3.6 weeks per year. This is a straight fraction of every hour paid that works out to 0.0692 hours for each hour worked. Committed non-collective members and permanent staff members accrue PTO at the rate of 1 week per year (0.0192 hours for each hour worked). There is no difference between sick and vacation time in terms of accounting.

Taking hours before they have accrued
Staff members must have already accrued PTO prior to taking it. In the event that a negative PTO balance is nevertheless accrued, the balance will be converted into dollars at the worker's current pay rate and docked from their pay on their next paycheck. If this creates an unreasonable hardship for the worker, that worker may apply for an advance on their payroll.
Staff members not referred to above are covered by the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Limits on PTO accrual

  • Staff collective members earning PTO time must take it within two years of having earned it.
  • Unused PTO time that exceeds that limit must be scheduled or will be lost to the collective member.

Vacation Notification

Workers should use common sense in announcing general vacation plans as far in advance as is possible within reason.

Workers must request vacation time in advance with the specific times they will be away from work clearly stated. This should be done as a regular schedule request (sent to schedule@freegeek.org) with the words "vacation request" made clear in the request. All requests should be posted to the staff schedule as soon as feasible.

If there is enough lead time, discussion should take place at an HR meeting, rather than on the list.


The HR committee can can grant or deny specific vacation requests. However, the staff collective may override such HR decisions. When denying a vacation the the reason for denial must be clearly stated. HR must make efforts to accommodate any worker asking for vacation providing the worker has accrued the hours required for the vacation and gave a reasonable amount of notice. However, HR may set a maximum number of staff allowed to be away simultaneously (on vacation or otherwise). The current number is 2. If a vacation request would cause more than that number to be away at the same time, then the request will be denied unless overruled after discussion at an HR or staff collective meeting.

In the event that workers want overlapping vacations, the staff may determine that there is a conflict and will need to decide which worker may take the vacation. In that event the following procedure must be followed:

  • First, the contending workers should be asked to try to work out the conflict.
  • If the conflict cannot be resolved, the staff should grant vacation using the following priority:
    • Already approved requests receive the highest priority.
    • If neither request has yet been approved, the worker with the most seniority receives the next highest priority.
    • In the event that two workers have equal seniority, the vacation will be decided by a coin toss.

Payment to exiting staff members

  • If a staff member is owed PTO when he or she resigns, is laid off, or is otherwise terminated the amount of PTO owed shall be calculated and reported to the staff member, and the amount shall be included in their final paycheck.

Vacation procedures

(This is a list of steps that can be taken to ensure the above policy is followed.)

  • Staff collective members will tell their paid interns about these policies (as will the intern's buddy).
  • It is the responsibility of each collective member to review this and schedule vacation time before reaching the maximum PTO accumulation. Available hours accrued appear on pay check stubs and in the payroll reports.
  • Upon hiring a new collective member, their maximum accrual amount will be reported to them.
  • The HR committee will review all collective members accumulated vacation time owed at least twice per year and notify all collective members that are approaching their maximum.

Accrual Chart

This table shows sample amounts of hours allowed to accumulate, depending on the accrual rate and the number of hours worked per week:

weekly collective committed
hours  0.0692     0.0192
-----  ------     ------
24     173        48
28     202        56
32     230        64
36     259        72
40     288        80

Old staff vacation policies

The following policies were superseded when we adopted the above text.

Asking for vacation
The process for getting vaction days approved
Limits on Vacation Accrual
How much vacation can staff members build up?
Retroactive Vacation Credit
What about the folks that were working here before we had a vacation policy?