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Take some ‘me’ time: Use your excess vacation leave before July 1

Taking a break from work and other regular responsibilities is key to maintaining our overall wellbeing. The past few years have been more challenging than usual, and so it’s important for all University of Colorado faculty and staff to make sure they use the vacation leave they’ve earned.

It’s even more important to make sure you use enough leave throughout the year to ensure you don’t lose any leave hours.

Each leave-eligible CU employee has a limit of how many vacation leave hours they can carry form one fiscal year to the next. These limits depend on your employment classification, and the deadline to use your excess leave is July 1.

 Sick leave for faculty and staff has no limit and never expires, but Classified staff are subject to sick leave limits per state rules. Part-time or student employees who earn state sick leave through the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) are subject to carryover limits. See details below.

Full-time university staff and 12-month faculty and can carry up to 352 hours (44 days) of vacation leave from one fiscal year into the next. Anyone with a balance over 352 hours will lose excess hours during the annual leave sweep performed after the July payrolls.

Classified staff carryover hours are determined by years of service with the maximum of 336 hours. Leave rules are governed by the Colorado State Personnel Board Rules. The state has not yet issued guidance on whether Classified Staff excess leave will be swept.

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

Check your vacation balance in My Leave

If your department uses My Leave to track time, you can view your projected leave balance by logging in to the employee portal, clicking the My Leave tile and using the month drop-down menu on the calendar page to navigate to July 2022. This will show your projected leave balance for July 1, taking into account your monthly leave accrual rate and any upcoming vacation leave you have approved and scheduled within My Leave.

Don’t use My Leave? Here’s how to check your balance

Employees who use a third-party timekeeping system may have a similar tool to look ahead and view their projected leave balance. If not, all employees can use the Leave Balances tile in the employee portal to view their current balance.

Here’s how to find it:

  1. Log in to the employee portal.
  2. Go to the CU Resources Home dropdown menu at the top of your screen.
  3. Select My Info and Pay.
  4. From that page, click on the Leave Balances tile to view your current leave balance(s).

Using your current balance as a starting number, you’ll need to add the leave you’re set to accrue by June 30 and deduct any vacation you already have requested and approved to project what your balance will be.

Sick Leave and Healthy Families and Workplaces Act

The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) provides sick leave coverage to all CU employees; including part-time, student and contract employees, but has its own carryover limits.

People covered by the new state sick leave plan began earning sick leave on Jan. 1, 2021. These employees can only carry 48 hours of state sick leave from one fiscal year to the next. Additionally, employees may not use more than 48 hours of sick leave, no matter their leave balance, within a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

See the HFWA employee information page for more details.

Anyone covered under the traditional CU sick leave policy won’t see any changes — university staff and faculty can keep and carry an unlimited number of sick leave hours from year-to-year, and classified staff sick balances will be swept, per the regular state policy.

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