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Civic Engagement Leave

Policy Number: HR-70
Effective Date: February 1, 2019
Last Revision: May 2019
Responsible Officer: President of Drexel University Online


This policy provides the process for requesting a Civic Engagement Leave not covered by another policy.


This policy applies to all eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit, provided that the Professional Staff Member is in good standing (e.g., not on a Performance Improvement Plan); (2) the Civic Engagement Leave creates no conflict of interest according to the Conflict of Interest and Commitment (CPO-2) policy; and (3) the Civic Engagement Leave is orchestrated through approved Civic Engagement partners found on Career Pathway accessed via DrexelOne or has been approved as an independent civic engagement activity by the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement.


Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.


The President, is the Drexel University Online official responsible for the administration of this policy. The Lindy Center for Civic Engagement is responsible for the orchestration of civic engagement activities open to all non-faculty Professional Staff Members, the communication with individuals seeking to create a department-only civic engagement activity, and the approval process for individuals seeking to complete an independent civic engagement activity.


Eligible Professional Staff Members may request a Civic Engagement Leave for up to 16 hours each fiscal year. The length of the leave, and Drexel University Online's ability to grant it, will depend upon the department's or college's/school's ability to make personnel adjustments that will ensure its continuous and satisfactory functioning during the Professional Staff Member's absence. Approval of a Civic Engagement Leave is discretionary, and such a request must be approved by the Professional Staff Member's immediate supervisor via Career Pathway on DrexelOne.


Department Head is defined as the highest ranking administrator in a department or college/school/center/institute of the University (e.g., Vice President, Dean or Department Chair).

Occurrence is defined as a single period of absence, which may consist of one, eight (8) hour day, for a civic engagement activity.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed full time in any non-faculty category by Drexel University Online, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Civic Engagement Leave is defined as an excused absence of up to 16 hours within a 12-month fiscal year period once approved by the Professional Staff Member's immediate supervisor. Civic Engagement Leave may be taken in any increment of time between one (1) and eight (8) hours in one day. Civic Engagement Leave must occur during the Professional Staff Member’s regularly scheduled hours.


1. Leave Request

  1. Civic Engagement Leave is to be used only for Dragon Volunteer opportunities found in Career Pathway or approved by the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement as an independent civic engagement activity. Requests for Civic Engagement Leave are approved at the discretion of the Professional Staff Member's immediate supervisor. Civic Engagement Leave requests should be completed using the instructions listed on the Dragon Volunteers webpage. A request for Civic Engagement Leave must be made at 30 calendar days before commencement of the leave, if foreseeable. If the need for a Civic Engagement Leave cannot be reasonably foreseen within 30 calendar days, the Professional Staff Member must give as much advance notice as possible. Note: Professional Staff Members hired during the last quarter of the fiscal year (April 1 through June 30) do not qualify for Civic Engagement Leave. At the start of the next fiscal year (July 1), Professional Staff Members will qualify for up to 16 hours of Civic Engagement Leave, which will be pro-rated for part-time Professional Staff Members.
  2. The immediate supervisor is responsible for ensuring proper staffing levels when approving Civic Engagement Leave requests. Occasions will arise such that the needs of the department or an emergency situation may require the supervisor to deny the request and for the Professional Staff Member to reschedule Civic Engagement Leave.
  3. The maximum amount of time that may be taken by a full-time Professional Staff Member for a Civic Engagement Leave is 16 hours in a 12 month period. Civic Engagement Leave for part-time Professional Staff Members is pro-rated based on the number of hours per week the Professional Staff Member is regularly scheduled to work. A Professional Staff Member's request for additional leave in excess of the allotted Civic Engagement Leave must be submitted for approval as a floating holiday or vacation leave using the department's preferred request process. Unused Civic Engagement Leave hours cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year.
  4. Absences as a result of an approved Civic Engagement Leave will not be included when considering a Professional Staff Member's attendance record. These absences should be documented, but may not be treated as an Occurrence when determining absenteeism or lateness for other purposes, including performance improvement purposes.
  5. A Professional Staff Member must keep their immediate supervisor apprised of any changes in the scheduled Civic Engagement Leave.
  6. A Professional Staff Member is expected to return to their workplace at the end of their approved Civic Engagement Leave, except when the Leave constitutes an eight (8) hour work day. In that latter instance, the Professional Staff Member should return to their workplace on the next business day. Failure to return to work as agreed may be considered job abandonment and may constitute grounds for termination.
  7. A Professional Staff Member on a Civic Engagement Leave will be terminated if they engage in a Civic Engagement activity that constitutes a conflict of interest as indicated in the Conflict of Interest and Commitment (CPO-2) policy and does not adequately disclose the conflict using the methods indicated in the CPO-2 policy.
  8. If a request for Civic Engagement Leave is not approved by the immediate supervisor, the Professional Staff Member may appeal directly to the Department Head. If the request for Civic Engagement Leave is not approved by the Department Head, the Professional Staff Member may appeal to the most senior level department or college administrator (e.g. member of Drexel University Online's Executive Committee or President) for review and decision. The senior administrator's decision is final.

2. Compensation and Benefits

  1. A Professional Staff Member will be required to utilize Civic Engagement Leave time while on a Civic Engagement Leave. Should a Professional Staff Member exhaust all of their Civic Engagement Leave time, the remainder of the Civic Engagement Leave, if approved, will be taken from the Professional Staff Member's floating holiday or vacation leave time, if any.
  2. Civic Engagement Leave time cannot be used towards accruing hours that would result in overtime pay. A Professional Staff Member is not permitted to use Civic Engagement Leave time that would constitute overtime payout. For example, an employee with 35 regular hours in a work week would not be permitted to work more than five (5) hours of Civic Engagement time for that work week. It is the responsibility of the Professional Staff Member to adjust their schedule in accordance with their supervisor's approval.
  3. Professional Staff Members in an inactive pay status are not entitled to Civic Engagement Leave time.

3. Separation from Employment

  1. Professional Staff Members will not receive payment for unused Civic Engagement Leave time upon separation from employment with Drexel University.


Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member. Drexel University Online at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.