2014-15 Winter Holiday Closure FAQs

1. Who decides if any departments will need to be open between the winter and New Year holidays?

The responsible Dean or Vice Chancellor (i.e. the Organization Head to whom this responsibility is delegated) will identify those services that are essential to remain open and the departments or resources needed.

2. Which working days that fall within the holiday-closure period are not among the University’s paid holidays?

This year, four days (December 26, 29, 30, 2014, and January 2, 2015) are not paid holidays.

3. In the event that a department closes partially or totally for the four working days, what options are available to employees for dealing with these unpaid days?

As in previous years, employees will be given the option of using accrued vacation, accrued compensatory time off, if applicable, or leave without pay. The option of compensatory time off does not apply to exempt employees, who do not earn compensatory time. (See question #7 below.)

4. Can the options listed above be applied separately or in combination?

Yes. These options can be applied either independently or in combination. Staff should arrange in advance with their respective supervisors to utilize either vacation, compensatory time off (if available), or leave without pay for the four days that are not among the University’s paid holidays.

5. Will the announced options apply to represented employees?

Please consult Labor Relations in Campus Human Resources or Health System Human Resources to determine application of collective bargaining contract language to the curtailment period.

6. Can probationary employees use vacation time prior to becoming regular-status employees?

Yes. For the holiday closure, policy-covered probationary employees who may not be eligible otherwise, may utilize vacation accruals before having completed six continuous months on pay status.

7. What about employees who don’t have enough vacation credits accrued?

For this closure period only, staff who wish to use vacation, but do not have sufficient time accrued, may utilize four days of vacation leave in advance of accrual. Alternatively, employees with accrued compensatory time off may elect to use compensatory time to cover the days off. Leave without pay (LWOP) may also be utilized.

8. Will employees who request LWOP for the holiday closure lose vacation and sick-leave accruals for the month of December?

No. For purposes of the closure only, up to four days of unpaid leave shall be considered time on pay status for the purpose of accruing vacation credits and sick leave. In order to ensure that employees receive their full vacation and sick accruals for this period, PTR preparers will need to make manual adjustments. Detailed processing information to PTR preparers will be forthcoming.

9. How will UCRP service credit be affected for employees who request LWOP?

UCRP service credit is earned proportionally to the number of hours paid in the month. So, if someone uses LWOP for the holiday closure, then service credit for December will be slightly less than it would be if they received pay for the entire month.

10. For those employees with insufficient vacation credits, can vacation time be used in advance of accrual? If so, will this require manual adjustments?

Yes. As stated above, to assist those employees who have limited vacation credits available, for this period only, vacation time may be used in advance of accrual. For those employees with insufficient vacation time, PTR preparers should process their regular pay as usual. More detailed information to preparers will be forthcoming.

11. Can sick leave be used in lieu of vacation leave during the closure?

No. Sick leave cannot be used in lieu of vacation leave for purposes of the holiday closure. However, existing policies on sick-leave usage continue to apply. Therefore, if an employee gets ill during this period, he or she shall be permitted to use sick leave based upon satisfactory verification of illness or injury. Additionally, existing policies for maternity leave and family leave continue to apply.

12. Can employees opt to work during the closure?

Only those employees who are required to provide essential services, as approved by the responsible Dean, Vice Chancellor, or designated Organization Head, may work during the closure.

13. Whom do I contact for questions regarding the holiday closure?

For questions regarding personnel policies, contact CHR Personnel Services at (310) 794-3147 or Health System Human Resources at (310) 794-0500. For questions regarding your department’s holiday-closure plans, contact your supervisor.