Absence From Work

Procedure 41: Vacation

This UCI Personnel Procedure is being revised.
Please contact your Human Resources Business Partner for guidance and

Responsible Office: Human Resources
May 2012

A. References

Personnel Policies for Staff Members

UCI Catastrophic Leave Program

B. Authority and Responsibility

An employee is responsible for requesting vacation leave, normally in advance, from the immediate supervisor.

The employee's supervisor is responsible for notifying the employee when the request for vacation leave is approved and when it cannot be approved. Additionally, the supervisor is responsible for working out an alternate plan with the employee for vacation leave.

Supervisors are responsible for informing employees in advance that they are reaching maximum vacation accrual and for ensuring that employees schedule vacation leave prior to reaching the maximum. For exceptions, see D. Guidelines and E. Procedures.

C. Definitions

Eligible Employee - Career and limited appointment employees who are appointed at 50 percent or more of full time and on pay status at 50 percent or more for six or more months or quadriweekly cycles. Employees with a part-time or short-term limited appointment become eligible to earn vacation on the first day following six consecutive months or quadriweekly cycles on pay status at 50 percent or more.

Quadriweekly Cycles - Two biweekly pay periods designated by the University are considered a unit for the purpose of leave accrual.

Supervisor - For the purpose of this procedure, supervisor includes faculty, principal investigators, managers/department heads, and may include senior management.

Vacation Usage - Vacation leave normally is used for rest, relaxation and renewal; however, the employee may request vacation for illness, disability, or personal reasons. The department may request medical certification; refer to Absence From Work, Vacation Leave and Leaves Related to Life Events.

Qualifying Service - Includes all staff and academic service at the University, service for the State of California (including Hastings College of the Law), the Department of Energy Laboratories, and the California State University; and military leave from the same institutions. Service need not be continuous to be counted.

D. Guidelines

  1. Accrual Rate. An eligible employee earns vacation from the date of eligibility based on the number of hours on pay status (see Absence From Work, Vacation Leave).
  2. Maximum Accrual. Vacation leave may be accrued to a maximum of two times the annual full-time earning rate. If an employee cannot schedule vacation within 60 working days of accruing the maximum due to OPERATIONAL considerations, that employee shall have four (4) additional months within which to take vacation. Supervisor and employee shall develop a written plan for scheduling the vacation leave (see E. Procedures).
  3. Vacation Leave may not be used before it is accrued, except when authorized by the Chancellor for use during a curtailment leave (winter recess). If the Chancellor authorizes the exception and the employee takes vacation time (not yet accrued) during the winter recess, then leaves the University, the employee's earnings shall be offset in the final check.
  4. Retirement. With the Department's approval, an employee's effective date of retirement may be extended through use of accrued vacation.
  5. Separation. Departments are responsible for ensuring that vacation hours owed are included in an employee's final paycheck. See Payroll Guidelines.
  6. Catastrophic Leave. Employees may donate unused vacation leave to another employee whose leave bank has been exhausted due to a catastrophic illness or to the leave bank established for this purpose. See UCI Catastrophic Leave Program.

E. Procedures

  1. Employee notifies supervisor of the need for vacation leave and expected length of leave. Employee may be required to provide request in writing.
  2. Supervisor notifies employee that vacation leave has been approved or denied.

    If leave is denied, supervisor informs employee as to the reason, i.e., scheduling conflicts, workload issues, etc., and works with employee to schedule an alternate vacation leave.

    If leave is approved, usage is recorded on the employee's timesheet and reported via the Time Reporting System.

    1. Non-Exempt employees. Accrued vacation leave usage shall be reported to the nearest quarter hour.
    2. Exempt Employees. Accrued vacation leave usage shall be reported in one-day (8 Hours) increments only, or in increments not less than the portion of a day an employee on less than full-time pay status normally is scheduled to work.
  3. Maximum Accrual. Supervisors are responsible for informing employees in advance that they are reaching maximum vacation accrual.
    1. When OPERATIONAL considerations prevent an employee from taking vacation prior to reaching the maximum accrual, the supervisor is responsible for developing a written plan with the employee. The plan shall include the month, dates and amount of time of the agreed upon vacation leave. Supervisors are responsible for assuring that the vacation leave is scheduled and taken prior to the end of the four (4) month extension allowed in this policy.
    2. Supervisor prepares written verification to the employee reflecting the agreed upon vacation leave plan and provides copies to appropriate levels of management for their department/unit, i.e., department head, dean, chair, etc.
    3. If, for any reason, the agreed upon written plan cannot be adhered to, the employee and/or supervisor shall contact their Human Resources Consultant for further assistance.

F. Applicability

All staff members, except employees who are in a bargaining unit that has an exclusive representative (union) are covered by applicable provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Contract employees may be covered by this policy; refer to the employee's contract to determine applicability.