California State employees are eligible for several types of time off, including the leave benefits below. Consult your supervisor or personnel office for details.
Also, check your bargaining unit's contract for specifics if you're a rank-and-file employee. If the contract provisions vary from the summaries below, the contract language prevails.
Types of Leave
Other Leave-Related Info:
New Year's Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
President's Day (3rd Monday in February)
Cesar Chavez Day (March 31)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
Veteran's Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas (December 25)
- If a holiday falls on Saturday, employees receive a floating holiday credit (except for Veteran's Day, in which case the holiday is observed Friday, Nov. 10).
- If a holiday falls on Sunday, it's observed the following day (i.e., Monday).
Holidays for the current year
Permanent employees are entitled to one personal holiday per year.
See the Annual Leave page
(Employees enrolled in Annual Leave do not receive separate vacation credit.)
Rank-and-file employees accrue 7 to 15 hours per month, depending on length of service and bargaining unit.
Managers and supervisors accrue 7 to 16 hours per month, depending on length of service.
You may carry over up to 640 hours of unused vacation to the next year.
The Vacation vs. Annual Leave comparison chart provides details.
(Employees enrolled in Annual Leave do not receive separate sick leave credit.)
Full-time employees accrue eight hours per month (after completing their first month on the job). Unused sick leave may be carried over each year.
Professional Development Days (PDD)
Rank-and-file employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, as well as excluded employees, have two professional development days per fiscal year.
Professional development days are requested and approved like Annual Leave or Vacation. You must use professional development days during the fiscal year in which they are granted. They do not accumulate. You cannot cash out professional development days.
Rank-and-file employees in Bargaining Unit 2: Because the provision is converting the use of three existing Professional Development Activities (PDA) days to the fiscal year rather than the calendar year, the following transition schedule and effective/expiration dates apply:
- Effective January 1, 2011, employees receive three PDA days which expire on June 30, 2012.
- Effective April 1, 2011, employees receive two PDDs which expire on June 30, 2011.
- Effective July 1, 2011, employees receive two new PDDs which expire on June 30, 2012.
- Effective July 1, 2012 and each July 1st thereafter, employees will receive five PDDs that must be used prior to the end of each fiscal year in which they are accrued.
Rank-and-file employees in Bargaining Unit 6: On January 1, 2012, for the 2011 and 2012 calendar years, employees receive four PDDs which will coincide with the employees’ annual leave bidding process; and on January 1, 2013, employees receive two PDDs for the 2013 calendar year.
Rank-and-file employees in Bargaining Units 7, 9, 10, and 13: Employees receive 2 PDDs each fiscal year beginning April 1, 2011.
Policy Memo (PML) 2012-010 provides further information about PDD. To read this file, you’ll need Adobe Reader – get a free download.
Personal Leave Program
Most permanent, full-time employees are eligible to receive an additional day of leave credit per month in exchange for a 5 percent reduction in pay. This voluntary Personal Leave Program helps employees who want to accrue extra time off and helps departments lower payroll costs.
See the Family Leave page
Pregnancy Disability Leave
A female employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition is entitled to take up to four months (17.33 weeks) of unpaid leave. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) runs concurrently with any leave the employee is eligible for under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). When the PDL ends, the employee is entitled to take up to 12 additional weeks of unpaid leave for bonding with her new child, under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
The State will continue the employee's health benefits for 17.33 weeks under PDL (overlapping with FMLA’s 12 weeks) and 12 weeks of CFRA, for a total of 29.33 weeks of continued health benefits.
See the U.S. Dept. of Labor's FMLA page if you want to read the federal FMLA regulations.
Employees who have exhausted their leave credits and must miss work due to a prolonged illness or injury (including that of a family member) may request catastrophic leave. In such cases, the department will set up a Catastrophic Leave bank for that employee to receive donated leave from other State employees. (Donations typically are irrevocable, but personnel offices may make exceptions if the donated time ends up not being used.)
This benefit also is available to employees whose residence has been affected by a natural disaster for which the Governor has declared a State of Emergency in that county, and who have exhausted all leave credits except sick leave.
Employees may receive up to 3 days of leave following the death of a family member or other person in the employee's household. (For rank-and-file employees, contract provisions limit such leave for deaths of extended family members to 3 days per year.)
See the Military Leave page
Military Spouse Leave
See the leave benefits available on the family leave page
See the leave benefits available on the military leave page under the heading "If your spouse is a California State employee"
The State Employee Mentoring Leave Program grants up to 40 hours of leave per year, on a matching basis, to employees who mentor at-risk youth (grades K-12). Please refer to the following policy memos on the Mentoring Program.
- See PML 1996-038 (Executive Order W-132-96 - Mentoring - dated 07-19-1996)
- See PML 2000-015 (Mentoring Update for Units 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 19, and 21 - dated 03-15-2000)
- See PML 2000-030 (Mentoring Leave for Bargaining Unit 4 Employees - dated 05-24-2000)
- See PML 2001-044 (Mentoring Leave - Excluded Employees and Bargaining Units 10, 12, 16, 18, and 19 - dated 10-19-2001)
- See PML 2001-056 (Mentoring Leave - Bargaining Units 5 and 7 - dated 11-19-2001)
- See PML 2002-023 (Mentoring Leave - Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 15, and 21 - dated 04-10-2002)
- See PML 2002-063 (Mentoring Leave - Bargaining Units 9, 14, and 20 - dated 09-27-2002)
Policies on time off to participate in union business vary among bargaining units. For details, refer to the individual contracts, available on our Contracts page.
Employees called for jury service duty are granted leave time during their service. Employees are not entitled to juror pay for such duty but are permitted to keep mileage payments.
Transferring Leave Credits To Other Employees
An employee may transfer leave credits (except sick leave) to another employee whose illness or injury is expected to incapacitate the employee or a family member and that situation creates a financial hardship. Such transfers also are permitted in cases of natural disasters. (See "Catastrophic Leave.")
Leave credits (other than sick leave) also may be transferred between family members for their own serious medical condition, or to care for eligible family members who have a serious medical condition. In such cases, the employee does not have to suffer a financial hardship to be eligible.
Transferring Leave Credits To/From UC, CSU, or Legislature
If you transfer between a State civil service job and a job with the University of California, California State University systems, or the Legislature, you may transfer your leave credits, including sick leave, to the new position.
Cashing Out Unused Leave
Under various circumstances, you may receive cash for unused leave you've accrued. Here are some examples:
- Excluded Employee Leave Buy Back: Periodically, CalHR and the Dept. of Finance authorize departments to offer to cash out excluded employees' unused vacation, annual leave, personal leave, and/or personal holiday credits at their regular pay rate. Departments choose whether to participate based on availability of funds. Typically, the number of hours that may be cashed out is capped.
- Leaving State Service: When you end your State employment, you may cash out unused leave (except sick leave), or contribute it to your 401(k) and/or 457 deferred compensation plan.