Did you know that NAPE members cannot be forced to forfeit your vacation leave? As an earned benefit under our NAPE contract, it is the state’s responsibility to provide you with a reasonable opportunity to use your accumulated vacation leave. However, if an employee has over 280 hours of vacation time, the excess will be forfeited at the end of each calendar year. This means that as long as an employee has made a reasonable effort to put in a written request to use vacation time, the state cannot force them to forfeit your remaining leave. If the vacation request is denied, then the state must either pay out any unused accumulated leave or allow the remaining leave to roll over into the next calendar year.
Recently, three NAPE members from the Beatrice State Developmental Central, Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home (Kearney) and Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home (Bellevue) all found themselves in use or lose status at the end of last year in spite of making a reasonable written request to use their remaining vacation time. Fortunately, these members contacted NAPE right away and grievances were immediately filed on behalf of each individual. In each grievance, our members prevailed, and the state allowed two of the members to roll their vacation over into this year and the other was paid out for the forfeited vacation time..
If you find yourself in a use or lose situation regarding vacation leave, make sure to contact NAPE for assistance right away. Without union representation, it would have been difficult to protect our members from losing their earned benefit.