How to accumulate and use paid time off

Illustration by Bo Brown

Dear Benny,
I’ve been at Penn for six years, and I still don’t know how my vacation time accumulates, or when I can use it.

—Needs a Break

Dear Needy,
According to the Human Resources Policy Manual, if you have been employed at Penn in a year-round full-time position for at least five years, you receive two days paid time off each month. Part-time employees accumulate days off based on a percentage of the full-time rate.

The maximum number of days off an employee can accumulate is 24; once that number is reached, no more days accumulate until time off is used.

You can use your paid time off for any purpose, including personal business. If an emergency occurs, the use of paid time off for the emergency is at the discretion of your supervisor.

For complete details about the University’s paid time off policy, see on the Web.

Dear Benny,
What’s the deal with the dolphin on the University’s coat of arms?

—Wild About Heralds

Dear Wild One,
The dolphin is one of the elements found in the Franklin family coat of arms. According to the University Archives, Penn’s arms incorporate elements from the coats of arms of two families that figure significantly in the University’s history, the Penn and Franklin families. Without them, there would be no Pennsylvania and no University. The three silver plates in the blue chevron on Penn’s arms come from the Penn family arms.

Got a question for Benny? You can ask Benny about benefits, worklife issues, University history or trivia, or other matters pertaining to life at Penn. Send your questions for Benny via e-mail to or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

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Originally published on February 7, 2002