February 22, 2008

Elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: If VUMC employees accrue vacation time based on hours worked, why does vacation accrual stop when overtime work begins? Shouldn't we reward an employee's willingness to pitch in and work overtime?

Answer: Interesting question with a very straightforward answer: Because opportunities for overtime vary from individual to individual and across the institution as a whole, vacation and sick leave don't accrue on overtime hours.

Paid vacation is an employee benefit that Vanderbilt seeks to apply consistently throughout the organization.

Individuals are assigned to various leave plans based on their years of service, with each plan having an accrual rate and an accrual limit completely unaffected by overtime.

You'll find that this is a standard practice across many industries. Like other employers, Vanderbilt rewards overtime with increased pay at a rate of one and one half times the individual's base rate of pay, including any applicable pay differentials (weekend, holiday, etc.).

The higher pay rate serves to attract staff members to spend some of their free time at work.

— Jane Bruce, director, HR benefits administration

— Susan Mezger, director, Human Resources