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The annual leave program provides eligible employees a combined pool of "annual leave" credits instead of separate vacation and sick leave credits. Annual leave covers the same kinds of absences that otherwise would be covered by vacation or sick leave.
More discretionary leave each year (in lieu of sick leave)
Cash value upon retirement or separation from State service
Higher disability benefits if you suffer a serious non-work-related injury or illness
In some cases, bargaining unit contracts contain more details about annual leave for employees in that unit. If you want to read the CalHR Rules on annual leave, refer to Rules 599.752-599.753 and 599.766
With few exceptions, most employees are eligible for annual leave.
Managers, supervisors, confidential, and other "excluded" employees
All rank-and-file employees
Part-time, permanent-intermittent, limited term, and temporary employees
Non-elected members of certain boards and commissions whose salaries are fixed by law (CalHR Rule 599.752.1)
Statutory exempt employees who don't accrue vacation or sick leave
Enrollment in the annual leave program is subject to the following conditions, unless you're in bargaining unit 6 or one of the SEIU-represented units (1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21):
If you're a new employee hired for a position that's eligible for annual leave, you may enroll in the annual leave program when you're hired.
If you've always accrued separate vacation/sick leave, you may switch to annual leave anytime. If you decide later you want to switch back to vacation/sick leave, you can but only after you've been in annual leave at least 24 months.
If you've always been in the annual leave program but want to switch to separate vacation/sick leave, you're permitted to make that change. If you decide later you want to switch back to annual leave, you can but only after you've been in vacation/sick leave at least 24 months.
Enrollment is effective the first day of the pay period for the month when your employer received your form, i.e., if you submit the form in January, your enrollment will be effective in January.
Bargaining unit 6 employees: Your contract requires new employees to serve a six-month waiting period before you can enroll in annual leave.
SEIU bargaining unit employees: Your contract requires an open enrollment period every April for you to opt in or out of annual leave.
To compare the different accrual rates for vacation vs. annual leave, refer to the Vacation vs. Annual Leave Comparison Chart. The chart reflects accrual rates for full-time employees. If you work less than full-time, your accrual rate is pro-rated according to your time base. If you're new to State service and enroll in the annual leave program, you begin accruing annual leave credit after one qualifying pay period.
You can use annual leave for paid time off for any management-approved absence that otherwise would be covered by sick leave or vacation. Because you can use it for either purpose, annual leave allows you to accrue more "vacation time" if you seldom are out sick, or vice versa.
When you use annual leave for a sick leave purpose, your employer may require you to provide documentation including, but not limited to, a statement from your physician.