Paid Time Off (PTO)
With prior approval for time off, employees may use accrued PTO for any reason, including but not limited to vacation, short-term illnesses, and any personal business.
All full-time and part-time (at least .5FTE/20 hours per week) benefits eligible employees are eligible for PTO. PTO does not apply to trainees who receive a separate vacation bank through the Leave Policy for Trainees (MD Anderson Institutional Policy #ACA0097).
You earn PTO accruals beginning on the first day of employment and ending on the last day of work. You earn a full month of PTO for actively working a partial or full month. You are credited with PTO accruals on the first day of each month you are actively employed unless you are on Leave Without Pay for the entire month. If you are on leave on the first day of the month, you may not use the PTO leave accrued for that month until after returning from leave. If you do not return from leave, these hours are not earned and are not included when calculating the final payout of accrued PTO hours.
You accrue PTO based on your length of state service and your full-time equivalency status (FTE). PTO is credited for each month of service in a paid status during the fiscal year (September 1-August 31).
Full-time employees accrue and carry forward PTO as shown in the following table.
|Years of total
|Full-time employees accrue this much PTO per month*||Full-time employees accrue this much PTO per year*||Maximum carry forward PTO per year (150% of accrual) *,**|
|0 up to 2||11 hours||132 hours||198 hours|
|2 up to 5||14 hours 20 minutes||172 hours||258 hours|
|5 up to 10||15 hours 40 minutes||188 hours||282 hours|
|10 up to 15||17 hours||204 hours||306 hours|
|15 up to 20||19 hours||228 hours||342 hours|
|20 up to 25||21 hours||252 hours||378 hours|
|25 up to 30||23 hours||276 hours||414 hours|
|30 up to 35||25 hours||300 hours||450 hours|
|35 or more||27 hours||324 hours||486 hours|
*Part-time employees accrue and may carry forward pro-rated PTO based on their full-time equivalency (FTE).
**PTO accruals carry forward each month, but there is an annual limit on the number of hours that may be carried forward into the next fiscal year. Unused PTO hours, above the maximum limit, will be converted to EIB and placed in the employee’s EIB bank annually.
Credit for a higher rate of accrual will begin on the first calendar day of the month only if your anniversary date falls on that day. Otherwise, the increase in accrual rate will be given on the first day of the following month.
Managers and employees should watch their accruals to ensure that any accruing PTO hours above the carryover threshold are scheduled to be used in advance.
Transferring leave to another state agency
Employees transferring between state agencies (going from MD Anderson to another state agency or a state agency to MD Anderson) may transfer their previous and unused PTO hours to vacation accruals or vacation accruals to PTO hours as appropriate provided that:
- the employment with the state is uninterrupted (direct transfer), and
- you were not paid for the leave.
A few state agencies have different rules about transferring leave accruals than the rules listed above. When considering employment at another state agency, be sure to confirm their rules for transferring leave.
Unused hours from junior colleges and school districts do not transfer to MD Anderson or count toward your years of state service for leave accruals.1,2
1Texas State Government Code Section 661.915
2Texas State Attorney General Opinion MW-165 (1980)
Process for Using
Employees are eligible to use their PTO on their date of hire as there is no waiting period. Managers should inform staff of any departmental procedures for requesting time off, such as additional forms or expectation in scheduling that are above the institutional procedures (as listed below).
Scheduled Time Off - If the need is known in advance:
STEP 1: Employee requests PTO with reasonable advance notice through the timekeeping system and follows their Departmental Time Off Procedures.
STEP 2: Manager approves time off request as appropriate or communicates reasons for not approving a request (e.g., scheduling conflicts, not eligible, etc.)
STEP 3: Manager and employee work to ensure necessary coverage is in place for the employee’s absence.
NOTE: If business needs permit and prior to the leave, employees may work with their managers to make alternative arrangements to make up their time away from work. The time must occur in the same work week.
Unscheduled Time Off - If the need is not known in advance or is due to illness/injury:
STEP 1: Employee notifies their manager promptly of the need to not be at work due to unforeseen personal reasons.
STEP 2: Employee keeps the manager informed of their status and the expected date of return, if known.
STEP 3: Timekeeper codes time while the employee is on leave.
STEP 4: If the employee is on leave for 4 or more workdays due to unscheduled illness or injury:
- The employee must use PTO (or other applicable leave) for the first 16 hours (prorated for part-time employees) and then use time from their EIB. In some situations, an employee may have direct access to EIB. Read more in EIB Special Rules and Exceptions.
- If the absence is for a serious health condition, the employee (or manager if the employee is unable) must call the HR Leave Center at 713-745-6947 (5-FMLA) to initiate a Family Medical Leave request to run concurrently with the paid leave to ensure job protection.
- The manager has the right to request a physician’s report if the employee does not initiate FML.3
- If the absence included a 24-hour hospital stay, the manager or the HR Leave Center (if FML is taken), has the right to request proof of the hospital stay.
- Prior to the employee returning to work, the manager has the right to request a physician’s report documenting the employee's ability to resume working in their position.
STEP 5: If the leave was not coded by the Leave Center, upon return to the office, the employee requests time off using the timekeeping system and follows their departmental time off procedures.
Rules & Exceptions
Major Disaster Donation Pool
During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are able to donate PTO to the Major Disaster Donation Pool.
- If you change your status from regular full-time or part-time to either hourly and/or temporary, you are not eligible for accrual or use of PTO leave until you change back to a benefits-eligible status. Accrued but unused balances are “frozen” until you become benefits-eligible again or terminate employment.4
- If you start on a temporary appointment, you may be credited with time earned if your status is changed to a benefits-eligible status.
- If you change status from hourly/per diem to regular full-time or part-time status, you will begin accruing PTO effective with your change in status payroll date.
- If you change your status from an EDU to a faculty, administrative or classified benefits-eligible position, your remaining vacation balance is forfeited on the date of the transfer and you will begin accruing PTO.
- Unless you are transferring to another state agency, when your employment ends at MD Anderson, you will receive pay for the total number of PTO hours earned but not used as of your last day of work.5, 6
- You cannot use accrued but unused PTO hours to extend your separation date for the purpose of accruing leave. Your actual last day worked determines your benefits.7
- You may be rollover all or portions of your excess PTO and Earned Holiday Bank balances into a 457(b). Read more or call 5-myHR for more information.
- Payroll Services issues terminating leave-eligible employees a check for any unused accrued PTO leave within 30 days after the employee’s last workday.
- Lump sum payments to terminating employees will normally be computed using the base salary at the time of separation. Terminating employees whose PTO bank was previously “frozen” will receive a lump sum payment computed using the last salary rate while in the position held that accrued PTO.
- Lump sum payments will include holidays that occur between the termination date and the number of workdays provided by the PTO balance at termination.7
- Lump sum PTO payments will not include longevity or hazardous duty pay and are not included as creditable compensation for Teacher Retirement System.
- In the event of your death while an active employee, your unused accrued PTO leave balance is paid to your estate.
- Purchase of TRS Service Credit: EIB and PTO hours may be used to satisfy Teacher Retirement System (TRS) requirements for the purchase of a year of service credit for retirement purposes. You will need to directly contact TRS at 1-800-223-8778 or visit the TRS site.
- Most retirees who return to work at a state employer will earn PTO based on their service after retirement.
Change in Schedules:
- Department leadership has the authority to adjust an employee’s work schedule during the same week if the standard hours of the employee are met.
- Example: If an employee is scheduled to take 8 hours of PTO off on Friday and by Thursday has worked 40 hours, then the manager may cancel the scheduled leave for that Friday. Employees may also request in advance of the time off, except for illness, to cancel the scheduled leave day, if their standard hours are met for the week.8
4Texas Government Code Section 661.063(b)
5Texas Government Code Section 661.063
6Texas Government Code Section 661.062
7Texas Government Code Section 661.067
8MD Anderson Legal Opinion