Vacation & Personal Days

Temporary Vacation Cap Increase Expires

Per the email from University Communications dated 7/16/20 - PSU has temporarily raised the vacation cap to 305 hours for all employees who are eligible for vacation leave.

This will allow employees to continue to accrue vacation leave from July through September when many are not able to use leave due to the requirements of the Work Share program or reduced hours because of staffing due to COVID-19.

This extension of the vacation cap will end on August 30, 2021.

How this will work:

  • Beginning with July 2020 payroll, the vacation cap was raised to 305 hours for classified and unclassified vacation-eligible employees.
  • At the end of the program the cap will be restored to 250 hours for classified employees and 260 for unclassified employees.
  • These restored limits will be updated after the processing of June’s payroll in 2021.
    • This will allow for the leave taken in the month of May to post to leave balances before the cap is lowered.


  • What will happen if I’m not below the cap of 250/260 hours on June 1, 2021?
    • Vacation hours that are still in excess of the 250/260 cap will be lost.
    • There will not be an appeal process.
    • This is the same as the current process for hours accumulated above the vacation cap.
  • What if I reach the maximum vacation limit after it is increased to 305 hours?
    • 305 hours should allow everyone to accrue for 3 additional months.
    • PSU values work-life balance - please take vacation time!
    • Per the SEIU contract, if you are a classified employee with an accrued vacation leave balance over 250 hours and still cannot take leave due to business constraints, you can cashout up to 40 hours (after denial of your leave request and per the process outlined below). Classified employees may also take advantage of the year-end cashout: forms are due in December for cashout in January, 2021
  • I’m on Work Share, will taking vacation have an impact?
    • Employees who take vacation will not be eligible for Work Share that week.
      • Your total hours (work + vacation) for the week should add up to your FTE between work and vacation. No furlough (LW7) needs to be applied for weeks that employees are not eligible for Work Share.


Employee Eligibility and Accrual

Eligible employees accrue vacation on a monthly basis, beginning with date of hire, and prorated during the first month. Vacation accrues on the last day of the month and is available for use the first day of the next month subject to the required "Wait Period and Maximum Balance" provisions outlined in this text.

Unclassified employees employed at .50 FTE or more on a 12-month benefits eligible appointment and all Classified employees are eligible to accrue vacation benefits. 9-month benefits eligible appointment employees are not eligible to accrue vacation benefits.

Accrual Schedule by Employee Type

Employee Type Vacation Personal Days
Classified—Full Time* Accrual starts at eight hours per month and increases every five years by two hours up to a maximum of 18 hours per month. 24 hours per fiscal year (7/1 through 6/30 each year)
No carry over allowed**
Classified—Part Time* Full Time accruals are prorated for part-time staff based on actual hours worked. 24 hours per fiscal year (7/1 through 6/30 each year)
No carry over allowed**
Unclassified—12 month term of service* 15 hours accrued per month; prorated for less than 1.0 FTE employees based on actual hours worked. Not Applicable

*Any leave without pay during the month will reduce the amount of vacation accrued for that month, including leave without pay, sabbatical leave, and educational leave.

** Personal Leave is prorated based on FTE as of July 1 each year, provided it is anticipated the employee will work 1,040 hours or more during the fiscal year. Failure to work 1,040 hours will result in a recovery of any personal hours previously paid by PSU.


Wait Period and Maximum Balance

Vacation accruals and personal leave days are available for use after the employee has met a six-month wait period. During the wait period vacation hours accrue as outlined above, but are not available for use until the seventh month of employment.

Unclassified employees may accrue no more than 260 hours. Any accrued vacation leave in excess of this cap will be lost.

Classified employees may accrue no more than 250 hours. Any accrued vacation leave in excess of this cap will be lost. To avoid losing vacation a classified employee may:

  • Request a cash payment of not more than forty hours if hours are approaching the maximum; or
  • Based upon supervisory discretion, instead be scheduled with time off within thirty days prior to the date the vacation leave balance reaches 250 hours;
  • Classified employees may also request in December a cash-out of up to forty hours. This request may only be made once within a 12 month period and the employee must have a minimum of eighty hours of accrued vacation leave remaining after the cash-out.

An employee who separates from OUS employment before completing the six month wait period receives no vacation and is not eligible to receive a vacation payout of the accrual. Unclassified employees who have satisfied the wait period and later separate employment are subject to a maximum payout of their balance at separation of up to 180 hours.


Scheduling and Use of Vacation Leave

Vacation time off is generally scheduled in advance cooperatively with the approval of the employee's supervisor. Vacation time off should be scheduled in such a manner as to minimize the disruption to the operations of the department and organization, within reasonable supervisory discretion. As a general rule, requests to use five days of vacation or more should be submitted in writing 15 days before the desired starting date; requests for fewer than five days should be submitted within five days advance notice.

Each department may establish guidelines for employees in addition to this in order to meet customer service and operational needs of the department. A supervisor may within their discretion grant a vacation request on less notice depending on circumstances present in the department and for the employee at that time. Where the result of a denial would result in the forfeiture of accrued vacation a supervisor may not unreasonably deny a vacation request.



Employees must record and submit usage of vacation and/or personal days accurately on the applicable timesheet and/or leave roster within established payroll deadlines.


Inter-Institutional Transfers and Job Classification Changes

When an eligible unclassified employee transfers to another unclassified position within the University or OUS, the employee shall transfer all accrued vacation leave to the new position. However, if there is a break in service of more than 30 days, all accrued vacation pay will be paid off by the sending institution and the employee will be considered a new hire in the new position. Moving from position to position within the same institution shall not be considered a transfer or break in service for purposes of this rule.

When a classified employee eligible for vacation leave receives an unclassified vacation eligible appointment, the employee may bring up to 80 hours of vacation leave to the receiving department and receive cash from the sending department or institution for any remaining accrued vacation leave. The employee is not required to serve a six-month wait period to use accrued vacation. In addition, the receiving department or institution may agree to accept up to 250 accrued hours at their discretion.


Vacation Borrowing and/or Donation

Unclassified employees may not transfer, donate or borrow vacation time.

Classified employees may donate hours under the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement (Article 40, Section 3).


Additional References