myPTO Program

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

PTO FAQs

  • What is a paid time off program?

    A paid time off program is a system of pooling and managing leave that is commonly used in the marketplace. It is a more modern approach to providing time off that gives employees a bank of hours to use as needed for scheduled and unscheduled absences.

    A PTO program’s primary focus is on when time off is taken and not the purpose or the reason for the time off.

  • How does a PTO program differ from a traditional leave program?

    With a traditional leave program, paid time off is separated into different categories such as vacation, holiday and sick leave. Employees earn a specific number of hours for each category, and the time off can only be taken for that purpose.

    A PTO program does not separate leave into categories. It uses a single pool of time off to give employees more control over how they spend their time away from work — whether it is for vacation, an illness, a field trip with a child or any other personal reason.

  • Why is UTMB transitioning from the state-sponsored vacation and sick leave plans to the myPTO program?

    Transitioning to the myPTO program will:

    • Provide a more balanced approach in the application of leave
    • Ensure our leave practices are comparable with other organizations in our market
    • Allow UTMB to reduce the financial liability related to vacation leave balances and invest in other programs and services
    • Promote a culture of wellness that encourages employees to use their earned time off to focus on themselves and their families
    • Make UTMB more attractive to those who value discretionary time off
  • When will the myPTO program be effective?

    The myPTO program is expected to launch March 28, 2022, and its provisions will apply to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff.

  • Can employees opt out of the new program?

    No. Employees cannot out of the myPTO program.

  • What will happen to employees existing vacation and sick leave balances?

    Employees will not experience any loss of their existing vacation and sick leave balances with the transition to the myPTO program. All leave hours previously accrued by employees under the state-sponsored plans will be deposited into their PTO and EIB on March 28, 2022.

  • What is changing under the new program?

    Under the myPTO program, employees will have immediate access to their PTO and EIB accruals. This means new hires will no longer be required to wait until the completion of their six-month probationary period to take time off.

    Employees will also have access to income assistance through UTMB’s new reduced paid leave benefit and a temporary recovery bank for declared major disasters.

  • Will employees still have access to other types of state-sponsored leave?

    Yes. Eligible employees will still be able to take time away from work without a loss of accruals for these state-sponsored paid leaves:

    • Assistance Animal Training Leave
    • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer Leave
    • Funeral Leave
    • Jury and Witness Service
    • Leave for Employees Certified as Firefighter, Emergency Medical Service Volunteer, Disaster Service Volunteers, Amateur Radio Operators, and Reserve Law Enforcement Officers
    • Leave for Employees Donating Organ, Bone Marrow or Blood
    • Military Leave
    • Time Off for Voting
    • Veterans Health Leave
  • How does the new program affect leave taken under the FMLA?

    The myPTO program will coordinate with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and will not affect the criteria for taking this type of leave. FMLA will continue to run concurrently with employees’ paid leave accruals, which means employees granted FMLA must use their PTO, EIB and other available accruals to cover some or all of the leave period.

    It is important to note that employees on approved or pending FMLA leave will be able to directly access their EIB without first using 16 hours (prorated for FTE status) of PTO or other accruals.

  • How does the myPTO program affect the Sick Leave Pool?

    UTMB will discontinue its Sick Leave Pool on March 28, 2022. Withdrawal requests from the Sick Leave Pool will continue to be considered and hours will be granted until the discontinuation date. No hours will be granted after the discontinuation date. If an employee is on leave when the Sick Leave Pool ends, they are permitted to use previously granted Sick Leave Pool hours until the hours are exhausted or until they return to work.

    After March 28, 2022, employees who exhaust all their accruals and need more time away from work for a personal illness/injury, the catastrophic illness/injury of an immediate family member or parental leave may be eligible for expanded income protection through UTMB’s reduced paid leave benefit.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO FAQs

Reduced Paid Leave (RPL)

PTO FAQs

Extended Illness Bank (EIB)

PTO FAQs

Official Holidays

PTO FAQs

Major Disaster Recovery Bank (MDRB)

PTO FAQs

  • Who is eligible for the MDRB?

    All employees who are appointed to work at least 20 hours per week (0.5–1.0 FTE) in a benefits-eligible position that does not require student status as a condition of employment will be able to donate accruals to and request withdrawals from the MDRB. 

  • How does the MDRB work?

    The UTMB President will have the discretion to activate and inactivate the MDRB and to establish the employee eligibility criteria associated with each activation.

    Depending on the nature of the declared major disaster, employees will be able to donate PTO and/or EIB hours to the MDRB. Donations will be accepted for the duration of the MDRB event, and it is important to note that employees may only donate hours accrued under the myPTO program. Hours accrued under the state-sponsored vacation and sick leave plans will not be eligible for donation. 

  • Are the donations subject to taxation?

    No. Donations to the MDRB are not subject to taxation. 

  • How many PTO and/or EIB hours can employees donate to the MDRB?

    Employees may donate:

    • A minimum of 8 PTO hours up to their maximum annual accrual of PTO hours.
    • A minimum of 8 EIB hours up to a maximum of 200 hours, only if EIB donations are accepted into the MDRB.

    When making a donation, employees must maintain a PTO balance of at least 80 historical and new hours and an EIB balance of at least 80 hours.

  • What are the criteria for receiving withdrawals from the MDRB?

    An employee may request to receive withdrawals from the MDRB if they have exhausted their available accruals and a declared major disaster has caused severe hardship to the employee and/or to an immediate family member, resulting in the employee being unable to work. 

  • What is the maximum number of hours an employee can receive per MDRB activation?

    Employees may receive up to two grants of MDRB hours per activation of the temporary recovery bank, not to exceed 80 hours per grant (for a total of 160 hours). If the temporary recovery bank is activated multiple times in a fiscal year, then the maximum MDRB hours that may be granted to an employee for all activations is 300 hours.

  • How are the number of MDRB hours granted to an employee determined?

    MDRB hours are granted based on the employee’s eligibility, the order in which the request was received and the number of hours available in the temporary recovery bank.

  • Can granted MDRB hours be used intermittently?

    Yes. Granted MDRB hours may be used intermittently.

  • How are recipient employees paid for granted MDRB hours?

    Granted MDRB hours will be paid at the recipient employee’s monthly or hourly base pay rate at the time of use.

  • What happens to granted, unused MDRB hours if a recipient employee moves from a benefits-eligible position to a non-benefits eligible position?

    If a recipient employee moves from a benefits-eligible position to a non-benefits eligible position, any granted, unused MDRB hours will be returned to the temporary recovery bank.

  • What happens if a recipient employee separates or retires from UTMB with granted, unused MDRB hours?

    A recipient employee who separates or retires from UTMB with granted, unused MDRB hours will not receive payment for these hours. The hours will be returned to the temporary recovery bank. 

  • What happens upon inactivation of the MDRB?

    Upon inactivation of the MDRB, unused PTO and/or EIB hours will be returned to the donor employees. This includes unused hours granted to recipient employees and unused hours remaining in the temporary recovery bank.

  • How much time will be returned to donor employees?

    Unused PTO and/or EIB hours will be returned in the same proportion as the number of hours an employee donated relative to the total hours donated for the disaster event, unless the remaining amount is so small that accounting for it is unreasonable or administratively impractical.

    Example: If an employee donates 200 hours and the temporary recovery bank receives a total of 10,000 hours, then 0.20% of any unused hours will be returned to the donor employee at the end of the MDRB event.

  • What happens to returned PTO and/or EIB hours if a donor employee separates or retires from UTMB prior to the inactivation of the MDRB?

    If a donor employee separates or retires from UTMB prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank, the employee will be paid for any returned PTO hours. Payment will be calculated at the employee’s monthly or hourly base pay rate at the time of separation.

    If a donor employee separates from UTMB prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank and is reemployed by the state within 31 calendar days to 12 months of the date of separation, any returned EIB hours will be restored to the employee’s EIB balance.

  • What happens to returned PTO and/or EIB hours if a donor employee transfers to another state agency prior to the inactivation of the MDRB?

    If a donor employee transfers to another state agency prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank, UTMB will notify the new agency about the additional PTO hours to be added to the employee’s PTO/vacation leave balance.

    If a donor employee transfers to another state agency prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank and meets the new agency’s EIB/sick leave reinstatement requirements, the returned EIB hours will be sent to the new agency for crediting to the employee’s EIB/sick leave balance.

  • What happens to returned PTO and/or EIB hours if a donor employee dies prior to the inactivation of the MDRB?

    If a donor employee dies prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank, UTMB will pay the estate of the deceased for any returned PTO hours. Payment will be calculated at the employee’s monthly or hourly base pay rate at the time of death.

    If a donor employee dies prior to the inactivation of the temporary recovery bank, UTMB will pay the estate of the deceased for one-half of the returned EIB hours, providing the 336-hour payout maximum has not been reached.