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4.02 Vacation

Origination date: 10/1/93

Revised: 01/01/2000, 04/13/2004, 12/01/2014, 7/01/2016, 04/01/2018, 11/20/2020

Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Service Professionals, Fiscal Year Faculty, and Postdoctoral Scholars.



The purpose of the vacation benefit is to allow employees paid time away from work.


Regular employees, except faculty working a contract period of less than 12 months, are eligible to accrue and use vacation.

Student workers, graduate assistants, temporary faculty or staff are considered variable hour employees and are not eligible for paid vacation time.

Earning/Accrual of Vacation

Full time classified staff accrue vacation time at the following rates:

Full time appointed personnel (service professionals, administrators, administrative faculty serving as deans or chairs, academic professionals, faculty on fiscal-year appointments) accrue vacation at a rate of 22 working days, not to exceed 176 hours per year.

Postdoctoral scholars accrue vacation at a rate of ten (10) days of vacation time during the first year of appointment and fifteen (15) days per year for subsequent appointments. Vacation time does not carryover from year-to-year and is not paid out upon termination.

All vacation time is accrued on a per pay period basis, based upon hours worked. Holiday pay, paid compensatory time, approved vacation, and sick time pay also constitute hours eligible for accruing vacation time. The maximum accrual rate is based upon 40 hours per week. Any employee working less than 40 hours per week will have their vacation accrual prorated based upon hours worked or period of time on contract. 

Carry Forward of Accrued Vacation

An employee is encouraged to use accrued vacation time each year, rather than permitting vacation to accumulate. Unused vacation time may be accumulated and carried forward from one calendar year to the next in a total amount not to exceed 320 hours. This applies to all employees who accrue vacation time except postdoctoral scholars whose vacation does not carryover year-to-year.

The amount of vacation time carried forward, plus that earned during the current year, will constitute the amount of vacation time available to an employee.

Vacation Time upon Termination

In the event an employee entitled to vacation benefits retires, resigns, is discharged, dismissed, or otherwise reverts to an employee status that is not eligible for vacation benefits, the employee will be paid a lump sum amount for accumulated vacation time at the employee's compensation rate at the time of such change. In no event will such terminal vacation pay be allowed for more vacation time than the amount earned during the employee’s last year of service. 

Depending on operational needs and departmental budget restrictions, the university reserves the right to schedule an employee to use vacation prior to the effective date of an employee’s change in vacation eligibility or separation.

Employees are required to physically work on their last day of employment.

Postdoctoral scholars’ vacation balance is not paid out upon termination. The effective termination date shall always be the last day the employee physically works on the job, except in the case of an approved leave of absence.

In the event of death, an employee's estate shall be paid for all accumulated vacation time at the rate of pay in effect at the time of the employee's death. If an employee is rehired within 12 months of termination, prior months/years of service will be restored for vacation earning purposes.

Time Charges

Employees are required to use approved university procedures and systems to accurately request time off and record all vacation taken. Vacation taken off in excess of vacation time earned is not allowed. Sick time can be substituted for vacation previously authorized only when the employee has a major illness or injury and is unable to continue the vacation activity. A physician's written statement may be required to verify such an illness. Refer to Policy 4.03 Sick Leave.

Holidays falling within a vacation period will be treated as holidays and therefore not be charged as vacation time. Refer to Policy 4.0 Holidays.

A supervisor shall allow an employee reasonable amounts of time off from regular duties in order to conduct business with the equity and access office, the employee assistance and wellness office or the human resources department or other approved employee resources office without being required to take vacation time, leave without pay, or make up the time at a later date. However, work time taken to conduct business with any approved employee resource office must be approved in advance by the supervisor to ensure that continuity of the department functions are maintained. To preserve confidentiality an employee may indicate to their supervisor that they are meeting with one of the employee resources offices and is not required to specify which one. A supervisor who believes an employee may be abusing this flexibility, may contact human resources.

Requests and Approval of Vacation Time

Vacation hours are available for use by eligible employees after the end of the pay period during which they are accrued. The use of accrued vacation time must be approved by the supervisor. Employees should request vacation time from their supervisor in advance of time taken with sufficient prior notification to avoid scheduling conflicts and allow for continuity of operations. 

Eligible fiscal-year faculty must use vacation time during periods that will not interfere with teaching or other instructional responsibilities (e.g. spring break, semester breaks and non-class periods).

Reports and Records

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that vacation time taken off is requested, approved and recorded accurately and timely by their employees in the university request of absence system. All records of absence must be recorded not later than the pay period in which the time was used except for emergencies and in that case, recorded by the next pay period.