2124 - Employee Leave Management

Category

Leave

Audience List

  • Agency Secretaries
  • Agency Undersecretaries
  • Department Deputy Directors
  • Department Directors
  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors

Synopsis

This policy

  • Explains the requirement for all departments to have an employee leave management plan.

  • Identifies the actions appointing authorities, state managers, and supervisors must take to ensure leave is being tracked and accommodated for accuracy.

  • States the existing leave statutes, regulations, policies and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), pertaining to leave that departments should comply with.

  • Explains the employee leave management activities that California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is expected to perform.

  • Reminds departments that some MOU’s require employees use Personal Leave Program (PLP) 2010, PLP 2012, PLP 2020 and Furlough hours before vacation or annual leave.

Introduction

The state established vacation and annual leave benefits with the intent to rejuvenate the workforce (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, §§ 599.742, 599.742.1), ensuring employees maintain the capacity to optimally perform their jobs. Also stipulated in rule, “It is the appointing power's responsibility to provide reasonable opportunity for all employees to take an annual vacation commensurate with their annual accrual rate of vacation or annual leave.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 599.742.1).

Research shows that taking periodic vacations is beneficial to employee health and well-being, allows reconnection with their families, and restores balance between their work and private lives. To both comply with existing civil service rules and adhere to contemporary human resources principles, state managers and supervisors must cultivate healthy work-life balance by granting reasonable employee vacation and annual leave requests when operationally feasible.

California state employees have accumulated significant leave hours over the last several years creating an unfunded liability for departmental budgets. The value of this liability increases for each employee with each passing promotion and salary increase. Accordingly, leave balances exceeding established limits need to be addressed immediately.

A result of excess leave accumulation is when employees separate from state service and departments are obligated to cash-out accrued leave credits at their current salary rates, which in most cases are higher than when much of the leave credits were earned. These payouts amount to millions of dollars each year, and represent an unfunded liability that must be paid from current-year funds. This puts a strain on departmental budgets as they must keep vital positions vacant, redirect from other funding sources, and/or request additional funds.

Statement

Leave Balance Management Plan

In an effort to reduce leave balances that exceed caps found in various MOUs, the state has many strategies departments can employ. Departments should comply with existing leave statutes, regulations, policies and MOUs pertaining to leave such as:

  • Provide the option for leave cash-out for represented employees and excluded employees (Policy Statement 2104).

  • Require employees to use PLP 2010, PLP 2012, PLP 2020 (where applicable), and furlough hours before vacation or annual leave (Policy Statement 2113).

  • Pay overtime in cash and avoid compensating time off (CTO) when operationally feasible.

  • Comply with the regulation requiring departments to cash out CTO for employees transferring to a new appointing authority (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 599.707).

  • Comply with the regulations that require a written leave plan for every employee over their cap (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 599.742.1 and applicable MOU sections).

  • Use CalHR leave plan templates to manage employee leave balances.

Plan Goals:

By emphasizing the importance of employee leave and policies within departments the following goals will be met:

  1. Shift organizational culture by emphasizing and promoting a work-life balance philosophy that improves employee health and job performance through the use of leave hours.

  2. Implement a leave management and monitoring process by auditing departmental leave balances.

  3. Reduce future unfunded leave liability by enforcing CTO and leave policies.

  4. Hold supervisors accountable for monitoring leave balances and leave reduction plans of their direct reports.

  5. Reduce the number of hours over the cap by 15-20 percent each year.

  6. Eliminate all furlough and PLP hours still on the books.

Employee Leave Management Oversight:

Responsible oversight of employee benefit programs requires monitoring, reporting, training and enforcement activities. In conjunction with its plans to establish a more robust review function, CalHR is working to enhance its capability to oversee and manage the state’s leave programs.

The following is a list of employee leave management activities that CalHR expects to perform:

  • Enforce employee leave program laws, rules and policies.

  • Develop and communicate employee leave program policy, procedures, and practices to departments.

  • Provide leave management consultation to departments.

  • Develop guidance and tools to help departments manage employee leave balances.

  • Develop metrics to measure progress of excess leave balance reduction and the status of leave balance hours and cash value.

  • Monitor departments’ leave balance systems and compliance efforts.

  • Track, calculate and publish statewide leave balance hours and cash value.

Application

Employee Leave Management Policy

It is the policy of the state to foster and maintain a workforce that has the capacity to effectively produce quality services expected by both internal customers and the citizens of California. Therefore, appointing authorities and state managers and supervisors must:

  1. Manage and schedule workload in a manner that accommodates employee leave to reinvigorate employees without compromising organizational performance (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 599.742.1); and

  2. Comply with existing leave statutes, regulations, MOUs, and policies pertaining to annual leave, vacation leave, CTO, PLP, and voluntary personal leave; and

  3. Create monthly internal audit processes to verify if leave is being keyed accurately and timely (Policy Statement 2101); and

  4. Create leave reduction procedures in alignment with existing leave statutes, regulations and MOUs for the organization to monitor employees’ leave to ensure compliance with maximum balance amounts; and

  5. Ensure employees who have significant “over-the-cap” leave balances have a leave reduction plan in place and are actively reducing hours.

Vacation/Annual Leave Caps

As a result of the Personal Leave Program 2020 (PLP 2020) some MOUs provide temporary leave cap increases that extend to the related excluded employees. Departments must move forward with leave-reduction plan implementation in compliance with existing CalHR policy, employee MOU language and California Code of Regulation requirements.

Bargaining Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, Exempt and Excluded Employees

Vacation and Annual Leave have a rollover cap/accumulation limit of 640 hours. A department head or designee may permit an employee to carry over more than 640 hours of accrued Vacation/Annual Leave if the employee was unable to reduce their accrued hours as outlined in the various MOUs for represented employees and the California Code of Regulations for employees excluded from bargaining.

Bargaining Unit 5 and Related Excluded Employees

Vacation and Annual Leave have a rollover cap/accumulation limit of 924 hours through July 3, 2024, and may be extended in the event the employer is not able to reduce balances for operational reasons.

Bargaining Unit 6

There is no rollover cap/accumulation limit. If an employee does not use all of the Vacation/Annual Leave credit that the employee has accrued in a calendar year, the employee may carry over his/her accrued Vacation/Annual Leave credits to the following calendar year.

Bargaining Unit 9 and Related Excluded Employees

Vacation and Annual Leave have a rollover cap/accumulation limit of 640 hours. In compliance with MOU sections 5.4.D and 5.12.G, the rollover/cap accumulation limit shall be increased by 192 hours, and will remain in effect through June 30, 2025. A department head or designee may permit an employee to carry over more than the 832 hours of accrued Vacation/Annual Leave if the employee was unable to reduce their accrued hours as outlined in the MOU. Effective July 1, 2025, the rollover cap/limit will revert to 640 hours.

Bargaining Unit 10 and Related Excluded Employees

Vacation and Annual Leave have a rollover cap/accumulation limit of 640 hours. In compliance with the Side Letter Agreement, dated June 25, 2020, the rollover/cap accumulation limit shall be increased by 192 hours, and will remain in effect through June 30, 2025. A department head or designee may permit an employee to carry over more than the 832 hours of accrued Vacation/Annual Leave if the employee was unable to reduce their accrued hours as outlined in the MOU. Effective July 1, 2025, the rollover cap/limit will revert to 640 hours.

Authorities

Resources

Related Policies

  • 2101: Leave Accounting
  • 2104: Leave Buy-Back
  • 2113: Personal Leave Program (PLP)

Web Pages

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Services Branch
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Services Branch
Phone: 916-909-3702
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: psb@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.

History

View History



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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan