Classified Staff Leave Policies

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Classified staff leave rules are governed by the Colorado State Personnel Board rules.


Classified staff members in regular appointments accrue vacation leave in the following way:

Years of Service* Accrual/Month   Maximum Accrual
1 – 5 0 to 60 8 hours 192 hours (24 days)
6 – 10 61 to 120 10 hours 240 hours (30 days)
11 – 15 121 to 180 12 hours 288 hours (36 days)
16 – more 181 and up 14 hours 336 hours (42 days)

If you take unpaid time off work, CU will reduce your leave accruals for the timeframe in question. You cannot use leave until the beginning of the month following the one in which you earned it.

Vacation payouts
While you cannot receive pay in exchange for vacation time while employed at CU, you may receive a vacation payout of your earned, unused vacation up to a maximum accrual upon leaving the university.

Annual leave should be used for personal needs; your supervisor or other appointing authority must approve your leave before you can take it.

Your supervisor may establish periods when annual leave will not be allowed or must be taken, based on business needs. These periods cannot place you in a situation where you must forfeit leave because you did not have a reasonable opportunity to use it. If your department cancels approved leave that results in forfeiture, it must pay you for the forfeited hours before the end of the fiscal year.

CU holidays and vacation days
If a CU-recognized holiday lands within the span of your vacation, you will not be charged vacation time for that day.

Leave Without Pay
While on leave without pay, you may not accrue vacation unless your absence is classified as military leave without pay or a furlough.

Sick Leave

Accruing sick leave

If you're a full-time classified staff member, you will accrue 6.66 hours of sick time per month. You can not accrue more than 360 hours (more for some employees with frozen sick leave balances; their allowed maximum accrual will be based upon the employee’s June 30, 1988, unused sick leave balance, plus an additional 360 hours).

The amount of leave that part-time employees earn is based on the pro-rated hours worked during the pay period month.

Sick leave payouts
While there is no limit on how much sick leave you may accrue, you may only receive a payout of your unused sick leave upon retiring from the university. CU limits that payout amount to ¼ of your usused leave, up to the maximum accural rate.

When to use sick leave

Sick leave is for health reasons only, including diagnostic and preventive examinations, treatment and recovery. You may use accrued sick leave for your health needs as well as the health of:

  • your child(ren) younger than 18
  • an adult child who is disabled
  • your parent, spouse, injured military service member (as established under rule 5-20), legal dependent, or a person in the household for whom you are the primary care giver

You may be required to present documentation of familial relationship.

Enforced sick leave

If an appointing authority determines that you're sick or injured while at work, or in a state that otherwise impacts your and your co-workers' ability to perform, he/she may send you home and charge you sick leave. If you have exhausted your sick leave, CU will charge you annual leave, or unpaid leave if the latter also is unavailable.

Extended sick leave

If you take sick leave for more than three consecutive days, for any health reason, you must provide a State of Colorado Medical Leave Form (or other official document containing the same information), which must be completed by a health care provider. The completed form must be returned within 15 days of being requested. If you fail to provide this documentation, you may be denied future leave, or receive disciplinary action.

Appointing authorities may also require a Medical Leave Form for absences of fewer than three days when they have a reasonable basis for suspecting abuse.

If an employee dies while actively employed, CU will compensate the widow(er) or estate for ¼ of the employee's unused sick leave, up to a maximum accrual of 30 days, except as noted below.

Classified staff leave rules are governed by the Colorado State Personnel Board rules.

Court and Jury Leave

Jury leave provides paid leave to all employees; however, temporary employees receive paid leave for a maximum of three days of jury leave.

Jury pay is not turned over to the department. Proof may be required.

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is for your personal needs and use is subject to the approval of your appointing authority. The appointing authority may provide paid leave of up to 40 hours (prorated for part-time work or unpaid leave in the month) to permanent employees at the time of death of a family member or other person. Employees are responsible for requesting the amount of leave needed. Your appointing authority may require verification of the death.

Leave for Job-Related Illnesses and Injuries

If you suffer an injury or illness in the line of duty that is covered by workers' compensation, you are entitled to 90 work days of paid injury leave. These benefits replace the more limited coverage of workers' compensation insurance, which you waive during your 90-day injury leave.

If you're unable to return to work after that time, you are eligible to take accrued vacation and sick leave in addition to workers' compensation.

Leave Without Pay

Unpaid leave may be approved by your appointing authority, unless otherwise prohibited.

Your appointing authority may also place you on unpaid leave for unauthorized absences and may consider corrective and/or disciplinary action. Probationary and trial service periods are extended by the number of days on unpaid leave and may be extended for periods of paid leave.

Unpaid leave is calculated based on the monthly hourly rate.

Classified Staff Leave Policies

Military Leave

Military leave provides up to 15 paid workdays in a fiscal year to permanent employees who are members of:

  • the National Guard
  • the military reserves
  • members of the National Disaster Medical Service required to attend the annual encampment or equivalent training, or who are called to active service, including declared emergencies

You will receive unpaid leave after you've used your 15 days of military leave. However, you may request using annual leave before being placed on unpaid leave.

Returning from military leave

Called on a state emergency: You must return upon release from active duty.

Called to federal service: You must apply to return to CU and will be entitled to the same position or an equivalent position, including the same pay, benefits, location, work schedule and other working conditions. This leave is not a break in service.

Administrative Leave

Your supervisor/appointing authority may place you on paid administrative to release you from your official duties for the good of the state. In determining what is for the good of the state, an appointing authority must consider prudent use of taxpayer and personal services dollars, and the business needs of the department.

Administrative leave is not intended to be a substitute for corrective or disciplinary action or other benefits and leave.

Work time vs. administrative leave

The following activities performed in an official employment capacity are not types of administrative leave:

  • job-related training and meetings
  • voluntary training
  • conferences
  • participation in hearings or settlement conferences at the direction of the board or director
  • job-related testimony in court
  • official government hearings required by an appointing authority or subpoena


  1. Administrative leave that exceeds 20 consecutive working days must be reported to the department head and director.
  2. An appointing authority may grant administrative leave up to five days for local emergencies, or 15 days for national emergencies, per fiscal year to employees who are certified disaster service volunteers of the American Red Cross.
  3. If a department head adopts a policy granting one period of administrative leave for an initial call up to active military service in the war against terrorism, it shall not exceed 90 days and applies after the employee has exhuasted his/her paid military leave. It is only used to make up the difference between the employee's base salary (excluding premiums), and total gross military pay and allowances. The employee must furnish proof of military pay and allowances. This leave does not apply to regular military obligations such as the annual encampment and training.
  4. A department shall adopt a policy to address whether or not to grant administrative leave for employee participation in community or school volunteer activities.

Administrative leave must be granted for the following:

  • two hours to participate in general elections if the employee does not have three hours of unscheduled work time during the hours the polls are open
  • up to two days per fiscal year for organ, tissue or bone donation for transplants
  • to serve as an uncompensated election judge unless a supervisor determines that the employee's attendance on Election Day is essential (The employee must provide evidence of service.)
  • up to 15 days in a fiscal year when qualified volunteers or members of the Civil Air Patrol are directed to serve during a declared local disaster, provided the employee returns the next scheduled workday once relieved from the volunteer service

Parent Academic Leave

Parental academic leave provides up to 18 hours (prorated for part-time classified staff) in an academic year for parents or legal guardians to participate in academic-related activities. Those activities are:

  • parent-teacher conferences
  • meetings related to:
    • special education services
    • response to interventions
    • dropout prevention
    • attendance
    • truancy
    • disciplinary issues

Each department shall adopt and communicate a policy on whether the leave will be unpaid or paid. If paid, the policy shall address the amount and type of paid leave, specifically the substitution of annual leave or use of administrative leave.


Voluntary furlough is unpaid job protection granted for up to 72 workdays per fiscal year when a department head declares a budget deficit in personal services.

Classified staff members may request such absence to avoid more serious position reduction or abolishment. While on this leave, you will earn sick and annual leave, and continue to receive service credit as if the furlough had not occurred.


CU-Boulder Holiday Schedule

2016 Date Day of the Week Holiday
Jan. 1 Friday New Year's Day
Jan. 18 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
March 25 Friday Spring Break
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
Sept. 5 Monday Labor Day
Nov. 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 25 Friday The day after Thanksgiving
Dec. 23 Friday In observance of Christmas Day
Dec. 26 Monday The day after Christmas

UCCS Holiday Schedule

2016 Date Day of the Week Holiday
Jan. 1 Friday New Year's Day
Jan. 18 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
Sept. 5 Monday Labor Day
Nov. 24  Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 25 Friday Floating Holiday (Columbus Day)
Dec. 23 Friday Floating Holiday (Veterans Day)
Dec. 26 Monday In observance of Christmas Day
Dec. 30 Friday Floating Holiday (President's Day)
NOTE: Department directors have the discretion to grant requests for Cesar Chavez Day (May 31) in lieu of another holiday within the same fiscal year. Please contact the Human Resources Office before granting such requests.

CU Denver Holiday Schedule


2016 Date Day of the Week Holiday
Jan. 1 Friday New Year's Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
Sept. 5 Monday Labor Day
Nov. 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Dec. 23 Friday Christmas Eve observed
Dec. 26 Monday Christmas Day observed
Dec. 27 Tuesday  
Dec. 28 Wednesday  
Dec. 29 Thursday  
Dec. 30 Friday New Year's Day observed

CU Anschutz Medical Campus Holiday Schedule


2016 Date Day of the Week Holiday
Jan. 1 Friday New Year's Day
Jan. 18 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Feb. 15 Monday Presidents' Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
Sept. 5 Monday Labor Day
Nov. 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 25 Friday  
Dec. 23 Friday Christmas Eve observed
Dec. 26 Monday Christmas Day observed
Dec. 30 Friday New Year's Day observed

CU System Administration Holiday Schedule


2016 Date Day of the Week Holiday
Jan. 1 Friday New Year's Day
Jan. 18 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
Sept. 5 Monday Labor Day
Nov. 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 25 Friday The day after Thanksgiving
Dec. 23 Friday In observance of Christmas Day
Dec. 26 Monday The day after Christmas
Dec. 30 Friday In observance of New Year's Eve


Classified staff leave rules are governed by the Colorado State Personnel Board rules.

Family Medical Leave (FML) is granted to eligible classified staff employees for:

  1. birth and care of a child, and it must be completed within one year of the birth.
  2. placement and care of an adopted or foster child, and it must be completed within one year of the placement.
  4. the serious health condition of an employee’s parent, child younger than 18, or an adult child who is disabled, or spouse for physical care or psychological comfort.
  5. an employee's own serious health condition
  6. active duty military leave when a parent, child or spouse experiences a qualifying event directly related to being deployed to a foreign country.
  7. military caregiver leave for a parent, child, spouse or next of kin who suffered a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty. Military caregiver leave includes time for veterans who are receiving treatment within five years of the beginning of that treatment. (See the State of Colorado's definitions of a serious health condition and health care provider.)

To be eligible, an employee must have 12 months of total state service as of the date leave will begin, regardless of employee type. A state temporary employee must also have worked 1,250 hours within the 12 months before the date on which leave will begin. Time worked includes overtime hours.

*Full-time employees will be granted up to 520 hours per rolling 12-month period. The amount of FML is determined by the difference of 13 weeks and any FML leave taken in the previous 12-month period from the date of the most recent request. The amount of leave is prorated for part-time employees based on the regular appointment or schedule. Any extension of leave beyond the amount to which the employee is entitled is not FML and is subject to other applicable state rules.

*This information, part of section 5-21 A of the Department of Personnel's Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures, is effective July 1, 2014.

Please contact the appropriate HR office for procedures and forms:

Classified staff leave rules are governed by the Colorado State Personnel Board rules.

Classified employees may be eligible for the following disability insurance program benefits:

The Standard Insurance Short-Term Disability Insurance Benefit

All classified employees are provided short-term disability insurance as employees of the State of Colorado through The Standard Insurance Company.

There is a minimum 30-day waiting period, and the employee's sick leave balance must be exhausted before becoming eligible for short-term disability. If an employee does not have enough sick leave to cover the 30-day waiting period, annual leave must be used.

The maximum length of this insurance is 180 days, including the 30-day waiting period. The Standard STD benefits pay 60 percent of a classified employee's salary for the duration of the benefit.

Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) Short-Term Disability and Disability Retirement Insurance Benefit

PERA provides vested classified staff members (those with five years of service) with a two-tier disability program: PERA 22-month, short-term disability; and PERA disability retirement.

Classified employees who are vested may be eligible, based upon their medical condition, for either PERA's 22-month short-term disability insurance or PERA disability retirement, once they exhaust their Standard Insurance 180-day short-term disability insurance.

PERA's 22-month benefit pays up to 60 percent of a vested classified employee's PERA-covered earnings for a period not to exceed 22 months, and provides for retraining and rehabilitation services for members so they may gain future employment.

PERA disability retirement is for vested classified employees who become permanently disabled and unable to return to the workforce.

Unum is the disability program administrator for PERA's 22-month short-term disability insurance and PERA disability retirement. Employees may contact Colorado PERA for more information.

The Standard Insurance Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefit

Classified employees may also purchase long-term disability insurance through The Standard Insurance Company when hired or during open enrollment.

Leave Sharing for Officers, University Staff, Faculty on 12-Month Appointments and Classified Staff

APS 5049

PDF Version

Policy Profile

Policy Title: Leave Sharing for University Staff, Faculty on Twelve-month Appointments and Classified Staff
APS Number: 5049
Effective: 7/1/2010
Approved by: President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: Vice President, Employee and Information Services​
Responsible Office: Vice President, Employee and Information Services​
Policy Contact: Vice President, Employee and Information Services
Supersedes: Leave Sharing for Officers, Exempt Professional and Faculty on Twelve-Month Appointments January 1, 2008 and Leave Sharing for Permanent State Classified Staff July 1, 1990
Last Reviewed/Updated: 7/1/2010
Applies to: University staff, faculty on twelve-month appointments and classified staff

Policy Snapshot

Brief Description:  Guidance regarding availability and minimum procedural standards for application to a leave sharing program.

I. Introduction

This administrative policy statement (APS) affirms the availability of leave sharing for all university staff, faculty on twelve-month appointments and classified staff, and provides guidance regarding minimum procedural standards in its application, as may be further developed in campus and system policy.

II. Policy Statement

  1. The president and chancellors may establish leave sharing programs for their organizations for the purpose of allowing donated annual leave to be used by their university staff, faculty on twelve-month appointments and classified staff. For classified employees such leave sharing programs may be further developed in accordance with applicable State Personnel Board Rules, subject to the following:
    1. Donations
      1. Only donations of accrued annual leave are permitted; sick leave cannot be donated. Annual leave donations must be documented in writing and approved by the donating employee’s department to assure sufficient accrued leave exists to support the amount of leave donated.
      2. Donations may include annual leave that would otherwise be in excess of accrual limits permitted beyond June 30 of each year.
      3. Depending on the campus leave sharing program, donations may be made generally to a "leave sharing program" or to a specific person.
    2. Procedures
      1. Campuses must implement written procedures that provide information to employees regarding leave sharing eligibility criteria, how eligibility and leave amount determinations are made, and how employees may donate or make a request for leave sharing. Such written procedures shall include sample forms for employees to use when donating annual leave and requesting leave sharing hours.
    3. Leave Sharing Discretionary
      1. The grant of leave sharing hours is discretionary, is not an employee’s entitlement and cannot be grieved or appealed.  Additionally, donated annual leave is not subject to payout upon termination of employment.  All requests should be treated in a highly confidential manner.

III. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms, Guidelines and Other Resources

IV. History

  • Initial policy – January 1, 2008
  • The term “officer and exempt professional” was replaced with the term “university staff” effective November 1, 2014.
  • Links updated July 8, 2015.

V.  Key Words

Leave sharing, leave bank, and leave donations