When You Need to Get Away

Duke University Health System (DUHS) recognizes a staff member's need for flexibility in scheduling personal time off to meet family needs and to balance work and personal life. DUHS has created consistent policies for each facility for Paid Time Off (PTO), and the policies on leaves of absence, voting time, and funeral leave that support employees in scheduling time away from work.

  • One system inclusive of Vacation, Sick, Holiday and Funeral Leave benefits.
  • You may use time in short-term bank to arrange necessary time off.
  • No set number of days.

Family Medical Leave (FMLA)

Consolidate FMLA, Maternity and Illness/Injury leaves. The first 7 days (56 hours) of either continuous or intermittent Family Medical Leave will be deducted from the Short-Term Bank (STB).  With continuous leave, the 7 days are consecutively scheduled days. In intermittent leave, the first 7 days may or may not occur as consecutively scheduled days. After the first 7 consecutive days you may use hours in your Carry Over and/or Long-Term Banks (LTB). When the COB and LTB are depleted, you will return to the hours remaining in your STB.

Personal Leave

Consolidate Personal and Educational leaves. You may use STB to maintain salary. You may use STB, LTB and COB for maternity or illness/injury event if you have less than 1 year service or less than 1250 hours worked in a 12 month period.

Military Leave

Eligible staff may use STB for Temporary training Duty and Pre-Induction Military Physical.

Voting Time

If you need time away from work to vote, you must schedule the absence from work using PTO or time off without pay.

Getting to Work

Duke University Health System (DUHS) depends on the prompt and regular attendance of each staff member to provide the most consistent and highest quality services. The policies on availability for work and severe weather are intended to support and encourage successful performance and, as necessary, to correct or modify undesirable performance. Under the new Availability for Work policy, unscheduled time off is time away from work that is unapproved in advance by the supervisor. This includes reporting to work after more than 50 percent of the shift has elapsed, or absence due to unexpected illness. Tardiness is not being at one's workstation ready to work at the scheduled start time, such as the beginning of the shift, returning late from breaks, or leaving work early.

Availability for Work

Appropriate progressive corrective action (oral warning, written warning, final written warning, termination) would take place if:

  • You have 6 or more instances of unscheduled time off or tardies within a rolling 12 month calendar.
  • You demonstrate patterns in absenteeism or tardiness.


Redemption period is 6 months with no further instances of unscheduled absence or tardiness.


An employee will be terminated after 3 consecutive days without notifying his/her supervisor.

Severe Weather Plan

All DUHS hospitals staff members are considered to be essential unless otherwise directed by his/her supervisor: their presence is required to perform essential duties. For more information, please see Severe Weather Policy & Guidelines.

Grace Period: When a non-exempt staff member arrives within one hour of the start of the shift, pay will be provided from the shift start time.

Leaving DUHS

You may accrue up to 55 days of PTO in your Short-Term Bank (STB). When you resign:

  • If your service is less than 90 calendar days you will receive no payment for accrued STB.
  • If your service is greater than 90 calendar days but less than one year, you receive 50% of accrued/unused STB.
  • If your service is one year or greater, you receive 100% of accrued/unused STB hours.
  • When you retire from DUHS and if you are age 55 or older, you will receive:
    • 100% of accrued/unused STB and Long-Term Bank (LTB) hours in a lump sum at the current rate (PTO does not accrue during this pay out period)
    • 100% of current base rate of pay/benefits for each STB and LTB hour until all hours are used, extending service to retirement date. (PTO does not accrue during this pay out period)

Bi-weekly paid staff members who retire will have time in the COB applied to credited years of service for the Employees' Retirement Plan (ERP).

If you are laid off, you will receive:

  • 100% payment for accrued/unused STB.
  • 50% payment for accrued/unused LTB.

Continuous Service Date

The Continuous Service Date is defined as the most recent date of hire. No credit for prior service with a break in service will be granted unless a staff member returns from layoff status within one year of departure. 

Duke Disability Coverage

For qualified employees who work within Duke University Health System (DUHS), Duke will provide short-term and long-term disability coverage.  Benefit eligible employees who work 30 hours or more per week with 3 or more years of continuous service or who have satisfied the Duke Disability Service Requirement Waiver may qualify for this coverage.

Duke Disability (LTD)

  • Approved benefits begin after 90 calendar day waiting period
  • 60% of base salary (up to $25,000/mo).
  • While receiving total Duke Disability benefits (60%), your Short-Term Bank (STB), Long-Term Bank (LTB) or Carry-Over Bank (COB) may be used to supplement the remaining 40% of base salary for weeks 13 through 25 of disability only.

Workers' Compensation

  • PTO/vacation sick leave may be used during the initial 7 day waiting period.

Starting a New Job

Duke University Health System (DUHS) requires a probationary period of 90 calendar days for both bi-weekly and monthly paid employees. The purpose of this period is to provide time to familiarize the employee with his/her department and job responsibilities. During this 90 day probationary period, an employee accrues Paid Time Off, but is not eligible to use it except on designated holidays until after the 90 day probationary period.

If an employee transfers to a new job a 90-day trial period begins. Employees will continue to accrue PTO during this period and will be able to use it with supervisory approval.

Orientation and Evaluation Period

  • 90 day period for bi-weekly and monthly paid staff members.
  • Required 90 day period for bi-weekly and monthly paid staff members who transfer to a different position.