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Policy 345: Annual Leave

Section: Personnel Policies
Sub-Section: Benefits
Policy Number: 345
Subject: Annual Leave
Covered Employees: Fiscal Year Benefit Eligible Employees
Origin Date: January 24, 1997
Revision Date(s): July 1, 1999; April 1, 2010; January 12, 2018
Effective Date: January 12, 2018
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345.1 POLICY

1.1 Eligibility

1.1.1 Fiscal Year Base

Benefit Eligible employees with a fiscal year base appointment at 50% time or greater earn annual leave on a pro-rata basis. Fiscal year faculty do not accrue annual leave during sabbatical leave (see Policy 365 Sabbatical Leave).

1.1.2 Academic Year Base

Benefit Eligible employees with an academic year base appointment (e.g., 9-month faculty) do not earn annual leave benefits.

1.2 Accrual

Annual leave is earned and accounted for on a calendar-year basis. Annual leave accruals begin on the effective date of the employee's University appointment and will be pro-rated for the first month of employment. Employees do not earn annual leave during leaves of absence without pay that last longer than half of the working days in a month, nor during Special Development Leave. Recognized University holidays that occur during a period of annual leave will not be charged against annual leave.

Fiscal year faculty and exempt employees earn annual leave at the rate of 14.67 hours per month for each month of service. For each 12 months of employment, 22 days of annual leave are earned.

Fiscal year non-exempt employees earn annual leave according to the following schedule based on years of eligible service:

Service YearsLeave Earned
Hire date to 5 years12 days/year
5 to 10 years18 days/year
10+ years of employment22 days/year

The above table is based on 100% FTE employees. For employees with less than 100% FTE, the number of days earned per year will be prorated.

Non-exempt employees who have previously worked in a benefit-eligible position at Utah State University or another State of Utah institution of higher education will receive credit for the number of years of prior service when calculating annual leave allowances.


2.1 Deferral of Annual Leave

Fiscal year faculty and exempt employees may defer, to the following calendar year, up to half of the annual leave earned in a year (11 days). The remainder of the unused annual leave will not carry over into the next calendar year. Fiscal year faculty and exempt employees hired after June 30 of any calendar year are not required to use half of their accrued leave until the next full calendar year. Non-exempt employees may defer to the following year all annual leave earned in that year.

For eligible employees, a maximum of 30 days of earned annual leave may accumulate and be deferred from one calendar year to the next. Any annual leave over 30 days which has not been used by the end of a calendar year may not be deferred and will be forfeited, unless the department head or director allows the carryover of leave into the next calendar year. The Office of Human Resources must be notified of the leave carryover by January 15.

Coaches employed by the University Athletics Department are not eligible for the deferral of annual leave from one calendar year to the next. All annual leave must be taken in the year in which it is earned.

When an employee transfers to another University department, the two administrators will negotiate the disposition of the leave obligation when significant funding issues occur, such as accepting the leave obligation on a contract/grant. In cases where the leave balance cannot be transferred to the new department, the employee may be required to take unused annual leave before the transfer, or the current department may transfer funds to the new department to cover the obligation of the unused annual leave. No leave payout will be given when transferring between departments.

2.2 Payment When Employment Ends

2.2.1 If an employee’s status changes from a fiscal year base (eligible to earn annual leave) to an academic year base (not eligible to earn annual leave), the department will pay out accrued annual leave up to a maximum of 30 days at the time of status change.

2.2.2 When employment ends, employees are entitled to receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave up to a maximum of 30 days. Supervisors may require employees to use accrued annual leave before their employment ends, if sufficient time is available.

2.2.3 Compensation for unused annual leave will be based on the employee's current annual base salary.

2.2.4 Leave earned during a contract/grant funding period must be used during the contract/grant period. Employees hired in positions funded by contracts/grants are to be informed in writing of this requirement at the time of employment. Before a contract/grant ends, employees paid from that contract/grant will be notified by their department of their current leave balance and the time period available for using the leave. When employees are given sufficient notice and opportunity to use their earned leave, they are required to do so and the leave obligation on those funds will be zeroed and cannot be carried over to other funds. When employees do not receive sufficient notice, the department will be obligated to pay the employees for their unused leave balances, up to the maximum amount specified in this policy.

2.2.5 Coaches employed by the Athletics Department will not be paid for unused leave at termination of employment.

2.3 Application for Leave

All eligible employees (fiscal year faculty and staff) must report all annual leave used.

University administrators are responsible for approving, coordinating, and recording the annual leave of staff and fiscal year faculty in their respective units. All annual leave, except for emergencies, must be authorized in advance and will be used at times when it will have the least interference with the employee's professional services at the University. The individual applying for annual leave and the department head, director, or supervisor approving the leave will make every effort to arrange for the use of annual leave during the calendar year in which it is earned.

Annual leave taken by fiscal year faculty, administrators, and exempt employees should be reported in half-day increments. If the amount of annual leave taken is less than half a day, it should not be reported. Annual leave taken by non-exempt employees should be reported in 15-minute increments.


3.1 Department Heads and Supervisors

Responsible for approving, coordinating, and recording the annual leave of staff and eligible faculty within their departments.

3.2 Employees

Responsible for requesting leave from their supervisor in advance and reporting leave taken using the university authorized processes in a timely manner.

3.3 Office of Human Resources

Responsible for keeping a centralized data base on annual leave.