Frequently Asked Questions
There are questions that staff members frequently ask the University Staff Advisory Council to bring before Vanderbilt University administration.
The USAC Staff Life Committee respectfully offers these answers to these frequently asked questions.
If you have a question not answered here, please contact us.
- Why is the day after Thanksgiving not a paid holiday?
- Where can I find my benefits and discounts?
- Where is the tuition benefits description located?
- Where can I find information about dependent benefits?
- Where can I find the university's list of paid holidays?
- Where is the payroll calendar?
- What is Vanderbilt's policy on maternity leave?
- Does Vanderbilt have a sick bank?
- What is the staff hardship fund?
- Do employees receive discounts at campus dining facilities?
1. Why is the day after Thanksgiving not a paid holiday?
Now it is a paid holiday! Read this article for details.
2. Where can I find my benefits and discounts?
Vanderbilt benefits are described in detail on the Human Resources website, on the benefits tab: http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/benefits/.
The discounts tab shows companies that offer discounts to Vanderbilt employees. These are not endorsed by Vanderbilt, nor does Vanderbilt lend support to the companies. Typically, these companies sign a one-year agreement to offer their discounts and the list is updated each January.
3. Where is the tuition benefits description located?
The tuition benefits are described in the Educational Assistance Program policy and can be found on the policies tab of the HR Web site (http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/). That page also has a very informative FAQs page for tuition benefits for children and tuition benefits for staff and spouses.
4. Where can I find information about dependent benefits?
Vanderbilt benefits are described in detail on the Human Resources Web site, under the benefits tab: http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/benefits/. Click on "Benefits Details" for information. The insured benefits available to dependents include health, life, dental, vision, and accidental death & dismemberment.
Information on the dependent tuition program can be found on http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/.
5. Where can I find the university's list of paid holidays?
The specific days for each year are shown at https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/holiday-calendar.php.
6. Where is the payroll calendar?
The payroll calendar (and helpful "Payroll Pointer" flyers) is shown on the HR Web page under the Performance and Pay tab at http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/compensation/VanderbiltUniversityHumanResources.htm
7. What is Vanderbilt's policy on maternity leave?
Vanderbilt complies with federal and state regulations that apply to maternity and other types of family leaves. The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for specific family/medical reasons, and the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act (TMLA) allows an additional four weeks of leave following pregnancy and childbirth. See the FMLA section of the HR website for more details, including eligibility guidelines.
Being approved for FMLA/TMLA alone does not mean your leave will be paid. To be paid during your time away, you will need to use paid time off (PTO), parental leave, or disability insurance. The FMLA section explains the pay options you may qualify for as well.
8. Does Vanderbilt have a sick bank?
No. Offering a 'sick bank' would significantly increase Vanderbilt's costs. Currently, when grandfathered sick time is not used, the university is not liable to pay it out. Employees with illnesses or injuries lasting beyond two weeks may be eligible to use short-term disability.
The 2010-2011 Staff Life Committee investigated this issue again and filed their report entitled Sick Bank Report.
For more information about disability insurance, see the HR Web site at http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/benefits/benefitspackage.htm.
9. What is the staff hardship fund?
The Faculty/Staff Hardship Fund was established in 1994 to financially assist Vanderbilt faculty and staff employed at Vanderbilt for over a year who are experiencing a temporary hardship due to an emergent event (the death of a loved one, a fire, an acute illness keeping us from work, etc).
The Vanderbilt Hardship Fund is funded by faculty and staff donations and matched by the Fringe Benefit Fund. A Committee of Vanderbilt employees volunteer their time to review the applications weekly and match them with the established criteria so that the approval or denial of requests is consistent. The program is administered through the Work/Life Connections EAP program. Work/Life Connections-EAP counselors serve as a liaison between the applicant and the Committee.
To apply for an award from the Fund, a faculty/staff member would schedule an appointment with a Work/Life Connections - EAP counselor (call (615) 936-1327) who will advise as to eligibility for the Fund and/or potential community resources. Awards are subject to payroll tax.
For more information, visit: vumc.org/health-wellness/news-resource-articles/faculty-and-staff-hardship-fund
10. Do employees receive discounts at campus dining facilities?
For faculty and staff, Vanderbilt Campus Dining offers a discounted meal plan that consists of 10 meals for $79.50 (plus applicable tax). A standard meal includes an entrée, two sides and a beverage. Discounted meal plans can be purchased here.
In addition, USAC is excited to announce that Campus Dining has generously agreed to make their faculty/staff meal plan offer of 15 meals for the price of 10 available twice a year instead of once. Historically, this offer is available the week following Commencement. It will now be available the first week of Winter Break as well. There is a limit of one discounted meal plan per person each time it is available.