Policy Manual


CAREPET Leave      

Type: Procedure                 Category: Human Resources                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care Employees and Contractees

Printer Friendly Version: http://apps.comcareme.org/policymanual/default.aspx?code=7.MEP.3&nonav=yes

Supporting References: 

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
N/A  1-1-2001  Executive Director  3/07, 6/07, 1/11  1-1-2011
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type

Procedure:   7

General Information

Eligible employees of Community Care earn paid time off through CarePET. Eligible employees are those that are defined as Full-Time Classification (34-40 hrs) or Part-Time High Classification (24-33 hrs). Employees working less than 24 hours do not accrue and are not eligible to use CarePET leave.


CarePET is made up of two earned time accounts: the Vacation Account and the Personal Account. To request CarePET, employees must have an available vacation balance or personal balance before they can take time off with pay, and they can only request for payment what time has accrued and is available. Employees cannot borrow from anticipated accruals. When vacation time is requested, vacation-balance time is to be used first; then if necessary, personal time-balance can be used.


Part-Time High (24-33 hrs) employees accrue at 50% of Full-Time (34-40 hrs) employee rate.


Other paid-time-off benefit days include four holidays that are traditional and that clients typically do not request service and therefore are predetermined – these are referred to as “the core four”:  Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Full time and part time high employees will be paid a pre-set number of holiday hours for these 4 days.  Full time employees will have 8 hours coded and part time high employees will have 6 hours coded for each of these days into their timesheet.  Part time low employees receive no holiday pay for these days.


Calculation of CAREPET Hours:

CarePET hours earned will be calculated at the end of each pay period (every two weeks). Accruals will appear on the employee's pay stub. For hourly employees, hours are earned based on the number of hours worked during the pay period plus any CarePet vacation or personal hours claimed in that pay period, but personal and vacation time is not accrued on overtime hours. Employees who terminate their employment during a pay period will earn CarePET hours on a pro-rated basis in their last pay period. Employees who terminate during the first pay period will not accrue any CarePET.


CAREPET Accrual Schedules:

Leave Benefit Full Time 34-40 hrs



Vacation Days

Personal days

Total Days per year

Carry Over Cap

Personal Time

Salaried 0<2 (0-23 months)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 2<5 years (24 – 59 months)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 5<10 years (60 – 119 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 10<15 years (120 - 179 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 15<20 years (180 – 239 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 20<25 years (240 – 299 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Salaried 25+ years (300 + months)




208 hrs/26 days



(PT pro-rated amount)


*Vacation Days


*Personal days


*Total Days per year


*Carry Over Cap Personal Time

Hourly 0<2 (0-23 months)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 2<5 years (24 – 59 months)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 5<10 years (60 – 119 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 10<15 years (120 - 179 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 15<20 years (180 – 239 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 20<25 years (240 – 299 mo.)




208 hrs/26 days

Hourly 25+ years (300 + months)




208 hrs/26 days

*Carepet is calculated on a per hour basis – example is calculated on 40/hour workweek for a year’s period.


CarePET and FMLA Extended Illness Accrual Account Coordination:

Eligible employees who have been with the agency for at least one year can use leave time under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act provisions. (See FMLA Policy) FMLA leave time will be unpaid time unless the employee has accrued hours in their FMLA account, or chooses to use Vacation or Personal time, or any combination of these. While on FMLA leave, vacation and personal time need to be used down to a combined total of 40 hours and then FMLA hours can be used. If the employee has no FMLA hours, vacation and personal time can be used down to zero.


When an employee has accrued 80 hours of Vacation or 208 hours of Personal time, up to 80 of those hours can be transferred at a 50% rate to their FMLA account to fund potential FMLA leave. Transfers can also occur just prior to the employee’s anniversary date one time a year. The FMLA account balance can be carried over from one year to the next to a maximum of 480 hours. FMLA hours are not paid to the employee when their employment ends.


Vacation Time:

Time away from work is critical to the well being of employees in any organization. To that end, we encourage employees to utilize their CarePET time, as it is intended, as a break from work to refresh and recharge.


Vacation time is used when taking 3 or more days off in succession, up to 10 consecutive days off, with the approval of the immediate supervisor. Vacation time may also be used when taking less than 3 days and is actually encouraged as a way to avoid losing earned time. However, an employee may transfer up to 10 days, at a 50% rate, to their Personal or FMLA account twice a year: once on their anniversary date and one other time a year when the cap of 80 hours is reached. An employee may buyout up to 10 days, at a 50% rate, on their anniversary date and once a year when the cap of 80 hours is reached. Vacation time can be used for paid holidays. Vacation days are NOT carried over into the next anniversary year. Conversely, in the unlikely event that an employees does end up with a negative vacation balance at their anniversary date, that negative balance will be carried forward until vacation time is accrued to cover that deficit. Vacation days are paid out when employment ends, minus any money owed to the agency.


Personal Time:

Personal days are used when taking time off for personal use. If more than 3 consecutive days of unplanned time are taken, the supervisor may request medical documentation or the time may be considered vacation time. The purpose of the 3-consecutive-day limit on the use of personal time is to ensure that employees use available vacation hours instead of personal hours to cover vacations. If employees have no vacation hours remaining in there vacation account, they may access more than three days of personal time to cover approved vacations.

Up to ten (10) days of Personal time can be transferred to the employee’s FMLA account, at a 50% rate, on the employee’s anniversary date and once a year when the 240-hour cap is reached.

Personal time accrues to a maximum of 240 hours. No additional personal hours will accrue until the account is reduced below 240 hours. Personal time can be used for paid holidays. Personal days are not available for buyout. Personal time is not paid out when employment ends.


Utilization of CAREPET LEAVE

A.      Planned Leave

For planned absences equal to or less than two (2) days away from work, Leave Time will need to be requested one week (7 days) in advance of the first day of the anticipated absence. Requests for Leave Time should be submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor for approval.

For planned absences equal to or greater than three (3) days away from work and up to five (5) working days away, Leave Time will need to be requested two weeks (14 days) in advance of the first day of the anticipated absence. Requests for Leave Time should be submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor for approval.

For planned absences equal to or greater than six (6) days away from work and up to ten (10) working days away, Leave Time will need to be requested one month (30 days) in advance of the first day of the anticipated absence. Requests for Leave Time should be submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor for approval.

Planned absences of more than ten (10) working days or two (2) weeks (14 days) will need to be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor and the Executive Director or his/her designee.


B. Unplanned Leave

Unplanned absences due to an illness or other health related disability of the employee or an immediate member of their family (child, spouse, parent, grandparent) or household, other personal emergencies or unforeseen circumstances that prevent an employee from reporting to work and/or performing the required duties of his/her job at his/her normal workplace and during his/her assigned shift should be reported to the employee's immediate supervisor or their designee as far in advance of the commencement of the employee's shift as is possible.


Employees who do not show up for their assigned work schedule and do not notify their supervisor will be considered to be away without leave and possibly disciplined up to and including Termination.

The employee's immediate supervisor may request medical certification of the employee's or immediate family member's illness, the extent and/or nature of the illness, by a reputable physician should the need to remain on unplanned leave extend beyond three (3) days. Physician certification should be forwarded to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee's medical file.

Employees who experience an unplanned absence from the workplace of more than three (3) days due to an FMLA qualifying event will be considered to be on FMLA in accordance with the FMLA policy.

A copy of the approved CarePET request should be forwarded to Human Resources upon the employee's return from an unplanned CarePET Leave.

In all cases, a Leave of Absence (CarePET Leave, CarePET FMLA Extended Illness Account Leave, plus Unpaid Leave, if necessary) cannot exceed twelve (12) weeks unless special arrangements have been made with the employee's immediate supervisor and the Executive Director or their designee has endorsed the request.

Employee's absenting themselves or leaving early from the workplace without approval as noted above will be considered in a leave without pay status and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.


C. Accrual of CarePET while on Leave

All employees who are actively at work or on paid leave such as vacation leave, sick leave or personal days will continue to accrue CarePET. Employees who are on unpaid leave, other than for military duty leave, will not be entitled to continue accruing paid leave benefits, including employees who are receiving income replacement benefits such as short-term disability, long-term disability or workers compensation. When an employee is out on leave that is protected by the FMLA, that employee will continue accruing paid leave as long as the employee is using paid leave benefits such as the items listed above. If an employee on FMLA leave uses all paid leave in accordance with this policy and remains unable to return to work, then the remainder of the FMLA leave will be unpaid. During the period of unpaid FMLA leave, the employee will not continue to accrue paid leave, consistent with the company’s policy for all types of unpaid leave.

D.    CarePET and On-Call Pager Duty

Individuals carrying the Primary Pager on the agency’s No Phones days are considered on-call for the full day and , therefore, will not be required to use either personal or vacation CarePET time. If coverage of the pager is split between two people on one of these days, the individuals will be accountable for using personal or vacation time for the portion of the day when they were not carrying the pager.


E.     Abuse of CarePET and Exceptions

Abuse of CarePET Leave occurs when an employee misrepresents the actual reason for charging an absence to their CarePET Leave account, or when an employee uses CarePET Leave Time for unauthorized purposes.  Unscheduled absences place a burden on other employees who have to perform absent employee’s duties. Unscheduled absences can cause scheduling problems for the department and can adversely affect our ability to serve our clients. For these reasons, unusually high levels of unscheduled absences will also be considered an abuse of CarePET Leave.  Abuse of CarePET Leave Time may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Exceptions to the above mentioned CarePET Guidelines can only be made upon approval of the employees' immediate supervisor and the Executive Director or their designee. Requests for exceptions to the CarePET Guidelines must be made in writing a minimum of four (4) weeks in advance of the initiation date of the proposed exception.


F.      Termination of the Employment Relationship

It is expected that a terminating employee will work the entire time designated by their notice, at the convenience of the company without utilizing CarePET personal or vacation days. Exceptions to this will need to be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor and the Executive Director or his/her designee.

Should the employee owe the agency money as a result of an outstanding loan with the agency, failure to return Community Care property or other extenuating circumstances, the dollar value of these outstanding debts will be deducted from the dollar value of the employee's CarePET Vacation Account prior to reimbursement. Reimbursement will be made within thirty (30) days of termination.


CarePET At a Glance

Vacation Account

Personal Account

Holiday (the “Core Four”)

*use for time off 3 days in a row up to 10

*use for time off as needed

*paid for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day

*transfer to Personal or FMLA up to 2 x year @ 50%

*transfer to FMLA up to 2 x year @ 50%

*hard coded into timesheets (8 hours for FT and 6 hours for PTH)

*buy out up to 2 x year @ 50%

*cannot buyout

*cannot buyout

*no carry over to next anniversary year

*accrues to 208 hours

If one of these holidays falls on Saturday, holiday is observed on Friday

*can be used for holidays not identified as “the core four” holidays

* can be used for holidays not identified as “the core four” holidays

 If one of these holidays falls on Sunday, holiday is observed on Monday

*paid out when leave employment

*NOT paid out when leave employment



FMLA Account (LTS)



*use for own or family medical



*can transfer hours into FMLA from Vacation or Personal



*cannot buyout



*accrues to 480 hours



*NOT paid out when employment ends