Leaves and Holidays
Absence Notification and Documentation
Faculty members are responsible for notifying their department head/chair before any planned absence from a scheduled class, office hour, or other scheduled work related activities, and are required to provide as much advance notice as possible. Depending upon the nature of the leave, the faculty member shall seek approval from the dean and provide written documentation as specified in the appropriate section(s) below. This requirement applies even when they are able to arrange adequate coverage for class instruction during their absence.
Faculty are also expected to notify their department head/chair immediately in the case of sickness or any other emergency situation which prevents the faculty member's presence on campus. (See following section on Sick Leave).
In the case of any faculty absence of one day or greater, whether planned in advance or for sickness or any other emergency purposes, the department administrator or designee shall submit appropriate documentation for payroll reporting purposes. The faculty member should submit sick leave usage and/or personal holiday usage as appropriate through Absence Management Self-Service, but if faculty are unable to complete this requirement for whatever reason, the department head/chair is responsible for and authorized to submit the leave usage on their behalf. The college dean/equivalent or their designee will serve as the final authority to approve all faculty absences and leave usage within their college/unit.
Full-time employees earn 8 hours of sick leave credits per month following completion of one month of continuous service and for each additional qualifying pay period thereafter, and are charged 8 hours of sick leave for each consecutive academic workday missed from the onset of the illness/injury until the day they resume their duties (or notify their dean or department head of their availability to resume work). When the quarter is in session and there is not an academic holiday, all weekdays (Monday through Friday) are scheduled work days including days for which a faculty member is not scheduled to teach. Part-time employees accrue credit for sick leave on a pro-rata basis, and are charged pro-rata sick leave for each academic workday missed from the onset of the illness/injury until the day they resume their duties (or notify their dean or department head of their availability to resume work). Article 24.10 specifies the absences for which sick leave may be used. Per Article 24.7, appropriate medical verification of the need for sick leave is required for any absence in excess of three consecutive days, and such verification should be provided by the faculty member to the department head/chair and/or dean. In emergency situations and with appropriate approvals, up to 40 hours of accrued sick leave credit may be used for family care during any one calendar year (see Article 24.13 for additional information). There is no limit to the number of sick leave credits that can be accumulated.
Faculty classified as “academic year” employees, are entitled to all days designated in the campus academic calendar as academic holidays or any other day designated by the Governor as a public fast or holiday. Academic holidays are not compensatory. The academic calendars are located on the Office of the Registrar's Academic Calendars web page. The 12 month employee work schedule is located on the Human Resources website under Quick Links.
All academic employees are entitled to a one-day Personal Holiday each calendar year. If the Personal Holiday is not taken before the end of the calendar year, it is forfeited. Scheduling of the Personal Holiday must be agreed on by the employee and dean.
Full-time faculty employees with a 10- or 12-month work year earn vacation at the rate of two days per qualifying month of service (part-time employees accrue vacation on a prorated basis). Faculty employed on an academic year basis do not earn vacation credit Vacation credit is cumulative to a maximum of 320 working hours (48 days) for 10 or less years of service or 440 working hours (55 days) for more than 10 years of such service. Accumulated vacation hours exceeding these maximum amounts as of January 1 of each year shall be forfeited. After one full year of employment, employees should take at least 40 hours of vacation each calendar year. Any part of the 40 hours not taken during the calendar year is forfeited on January 1 of the following year. Under certain conditions, the President may permit an academic employee to carry over more than the allowable credits.
Accrued vacation may be taken after completing one qualifying pay period. Except in an emergency and with prior written approval of their dean, employees are not to take vacation time off during any quarter in which they are teaching.
Requests for scheduling vacation must be submitted in writing to the department head/chair at least thirty days in advance. Whenever possible, vacations shall be scheduled by mutual agreement of the faculty member and department head/chair. The scheduling of vacation may also arise from the needs of the institution. Although vacation credits are a right, the time vacations are taken must be convenient to the University and approved by the dean or equivalent administrator.
Sabbatical leaves with pay may be granted to eligible employees if the research, scholarly or creative activity, instructional improvement, or faculty retraining provides a benefit to the University. Full-time faculty members, except coaches, are eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave after completing six (6) academic years of full-time service in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave and at least six (6) years after any previous sabbatical or difference in pay leave. For more information, please visit Leaves With Pay (Sabbatical and Difference In Pay Leaves). Sabbatical leave compensation for academic year employees is:
- one quarter at full pay; or
- two quarters at three-quarters pay; or
- three quarters at one-half pay
Full-time faculty members, except coaches, are eligible to apply for a difference-in-pay leave after serving full time for six (6) years in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave. For a subsequent difference-in-pay leave, a faculty member is eligible after serving three (3) academic years following the last sabbatical or difference-in-pay leave. This leave must be for a purpose that provides a benefit to the University such as research, scholarly or creative activity, instructional improvement, or faculty retraining. The salary for a difference-in-pay leave for a faculty employee is the difference between the individual's salary and that of the minimum salary of Instructor. For more information, please visit Leaves With Pay (Sabbatical and Difference In Pay Leaves).
Leaves Without Pay
Faculty unit employees may be granted a leave of absence without pay by the dean for a specific period of time, pursuant to Article 22 of the Faculty Unit Contract. A temporary faculty unit employee who is granted a leave under this provision shall maintain any rights under provisions 12.3, 12.7, 12.9, 12.10, 12.12 and 12.13 in the same manner as if that employee had taught their scheduled courses rather than taking a leave. Faculty who replace the temporary faculty member during the leave period will not accrue rights under provisions 12.3, 12.7, 12.9, 12.10, 12.12 and 12.13 for work performed as a replacement for the temporary faculty employee on leave.
Requests for leave without pay must specify whether the leave is for professional or personal reasons. Faculty members on leave of absence without pay shall notify the dean no later than April 1 of their intention to return at the beginning of the next academic year and no later than October 1 of their intention to return at the beginning of the winter or spring quarters.
Professional Leaves Without Pay
A professional leave without pay may be granted if its purpose benefits the University, such as research, advanced study, or professional development. Such leaves shall be considered totally voluntary and for the purposes of workers compensation, the time involved will not be considered time worked. A faculty member on approved professional leave without pay will accrue service credit toward probation, sabbatical eligibility, difference in pay eligibility, service salary increase eligibility, and seniority. Service credit toward retirement is not accrued during periods of unpaid leave, but may be repurchased upon return from professional leave (see CalPERS Service Credit and Buyback information below). Leave applications should be submitted to the college dean via the department head/chair.
Personal Leaves Without Pay
A personal leave without pay may be for purposes of unpaid sick leave, outside employment, maternity/paternity leave, family care or other purposes of a personal nature. Faculty on personal leave without pay do not accrue service credit toward sabbatical eligibility, difference in pay eligibility, salary increase eligibility, or seniority unless otherwise specified in the collective bargaining agreement. Service credit toward retirement is not accrued during periods of unpaid leave. Under certain circumstances, probationary faculty on personal leaves without pay may request that their probationary period be extended. Requests should be submitted to the college dean via the department head/chair.
CalPERS Service Credit and Buyback
CalPERS offers a variety of service credit purchase options. One unique to CSU employees is upon returning to campus from a less than full salary sabbatical leave, difference-in-pay leave, or leave without pay for professional reasons, employees may request to purchase full service credit for the leave period by contributing the additional amount they would have contributed toward CalPERS had they been working full time, and the additional University contribution amount, plus interest that would have been earned from CalPERS prior to the time the employee deposits such funds with CalPERS. Following are the steps for requesting leave service credit cost information:
Complete a Request for Service Credit Cost Information Leave of Absence form (PERS-MSD-371) and mail it to CalPERS Member Account Management Division, P.O. Box 4000, Sacramento, 95812-4000. CalPERS phone number is (888)225-7377. CalPERS will compute the costs of the service credit and notify you through an election form which indicates the costs of purchasing the service credit and offers lump-sum or installment methods of payment. PERS notification may take a year or longer. The election form must be signed and returned to PERS within the stated deadline if you wish to purchase the service credit. An election to purchase service credit is irrevocable.
This cost information may be requested more than once, at any time prior to retirement. For more information, please visit CalPERS under the "Active Members" view, then click on "Service Credit Purchase Options" under "Forms and Publications."
Catastrophic Leave Donation Program
The catastrophic leave program provides leave with pay for up to six months for an eligible employee who suffers a catastrophic illness or injury, is unable to work, and has exhausted their leave credits. The leave is funded through voluntary donations of sick leave and/or vacation leave credits by employees on the same campus as the injured/ill employee.
An employee who accrues vacation or sick leave credits may donate either of those credits to another Cal Poly employee. Employees may donate a maximum of 40 hours of credits per fiscal year in increments of one hour or more. Donations are irrevocable.
A catastrophic illness or injury is one that makes it impossible for the employee to work. Catastrophic illness or injury may also include an incapacitated member of the employee's immediate family, if this results in the employee's being required to take time off for an extended period of time in order to care for the family member and the employee has exhausted all personally accrued vacation credits and all personally accrued sick leave credits eligible to be used for family care in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. Only donated vacation credits can be used for family care/catastrophic leave. The employee may be asked to provide verification of the continuing use of leave credits. For additional information regarding this program please contact Human Resources at 756-2236.
Family and Medical Leave
An employee who has been employed for at least one academic year or 12 months (not necessarily continuously) preceding the leave is eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML). Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, within a 12 month period, may be taken for the following circumstances:
- Birth of a child, and to care for the newborn child.
- Placement with employee of a child for adoption or foster care.
- Care for the employee's spouse, registered domestic partner, or parent with a serious health condition.
- Employee's own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their job.
Permanent employees earn seniority points during both the paid and unpaid portions of FML. The leave of absence of a temporary employee terminates upon expiration date of the employee's temporary appointment.
Eligible employees should provide the dean with reasonable written notice of the need for family or medical leave as soon as possible and preferably no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the expected leave, when possible. In the case of an emergency with no advance notice, written notice of leave is to be submitted within five (5) working days of learning of the need for leave.
It is the policy of the California State University that a pregnant person shall not be penalized when they request time away from work due to pregnancy. Pregnancy, or any disability caused by or contributed to, by pregnancy, must be considered justification for use of sick leave, if a pregnant person's condition prior to delivery is such that their doctor believes they should take leave. Miscarriages and other unexpected trauma during the course of a pregnancy are valid reasons for the use of sick leave and will be treated in the same way as any other illness or disability.
A tenured faculty member is entitled to unpaid parental leave of absence for up to twelve (12) months to prepare for the arrival and care of a new infant subject to the provisions in the collective bargaining agreement.
Up to thirty consecutive workdays of paid parental leave will be routinely approved without certification by a physician. This leave shall commence within a 135 day period beginning 60 days prior to the anticipated arrival of the new child and ending 75 days after the arrival of the new child. An additional fifteen (15) days of earned sick leave may be used in conjunction with parental leave for recovery from childbirth. A physician’s statement is required for usage of sick leave exceeding fifteen (15) days. Short-term disability (NDI) is also available for parental leave. An employee is also entitled to receive up to thirty days of paid parental leave for the adoptive or foster placement of a child into their care within 60 days of the child’s arrival.
The CSU recognizes that the nature of work carried out by faculty unit employees makes leaves of less than one (1) academic term challenging to accommodate. In order to minimize disruptions of the academic program and impacts on students, the following options are available.
a. Leave sharing. When a faculty unit employee is eligible for a parental leave and their spouse or partner is also a faculty unit employee, one spouse/partner may donate all or part of their parental leave to the other spouse or partner with the approval of the appropriate administrator(s).
b. Reduction in workload in lieu of parental leave. Upon request of the faculty unit employee and approval of the appropriate administrator, a faculty unit employee with an academic year appointment may be given a reduced assignment over one academic term in lieu of a thirty (30) day parental leave as a workload reduction of sixty percent (60%) for one quarter. (60% reduction represents 9 WTU for full-time employees; WTU reduction will be pro-rated for less than full-time employees.)
c. Upon request of the faculty unit employee and approval of the appropriate administrator, a faculty unit employee with an academic year appointment may combine paid parental leave, sick leave, and unpaid leave in order to take an entire semester or quarter leave. Under this provision, paid leave need not be exhausted before unpaid leave is taken.
When requested, academic employees are granted five (5) days leave of absence with pay for each death in the immediate family. Up to 40 hours of accrued sick leave credits may also be authorized to supplement bereavement leave for each death in the immediate family.
If a natural catastrophe or emergency situation places the health or safety of a faculty member in jeopardy, an emergency leave with pay may be granted by the President. Such leaves shall normally be of short duration.
Leave to Vote
Academic employees who are unable to vote outside of regular working hours may be granted up to two hours of work time without loss of pay to vote at a general, direct primary or presidential primary election. Employees are required to request leave time from the dean through the department head/chair at least two working days before the election.
Absence as a Witness
Employees serving as a court-subpoenaed witness or as an expert witness in the interest of the CSU should request payment of witness fees. Whenever possible, faculty should confer with the attorney requesting their appearance to determine whether certified copies of appropriate documents would be suitable and would eliminate the need for a court appearance.
An academic employee who is absent as a court-subpoenaed witness or as an expert witness in the interest of the CSU is paid the normal salary for the corresponding period of absence if all court fees (except personal travel and/or subsistence payments) are remitted to the CSU. In exceptional circumstances where the academic employee does not remit such fees, an amount equal to the fees is deducted from the employee's salary. No vacation or CTO shall be used in such cases.
The faculty unit employee shall notify in writing the appropriate administrator prior to taking leave for jury duty. A faculty unit employee who serves on jury duty shall receive their regular salary only if they remit the amount received for such duty to the CSU, per the collective bargaining agreement. To remain on regular pay status, a faculty member must do the following:
- The court will typically have a State employee sign a waiver of jury fees. Complete this form with the court.
- All time should be reported in Absence Management Self Service using the "Jury Duty" absence type and approved by the appropriate administrator. You do not need to submit proof of jury service to Payroll. This is kept by the appropriate administrator, if requested.
Payment for travel expenses and subsistence received by the employee does not need to be remitted. If the employee elects to retain the jury duty fees, their time off for jury duty is not compensable. The employee may elect to use vacation or CTO to cover the time off in this situation.
Emergency, temporary, and indefinite military leave shall be granted to eligible employees in accordance with state and federal law. Contact the Academic Personnel Office for further information at 756-6574.
Absence Without Leave
Voluntary or involuntary absence without leave for five consecutive working days is considered an automatic resignation from state service as of the last date on which the employee worked. An employee's pay is docked for any unexcused or noncompensable absence. Employees terminated under these provisions can request reinstatement by the State Personnel Board in accordance with Education Code 89541, if the appeal is filed within 15 working days of the notice of separation.