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Leave Benefits

California State employees are eligible for several types of time off, including the leave benefits below. Consult your supervisor or personnel office for details.

Review the applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for rank-and-file employees. Additional information may also be found in the CalHR, Human Resources Manual. If the contract provisions vary from the summaries below or the Human Resources Manual, the contract language prevails.


Types of Leave

Other Leave-Related Info:


New Year's Day Observed (January 2)

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 Observed (November 10)

Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)

Day after Thanksgiving

Christmas (December 25)

Please note:

  • When a holiday falls on Saturday, employees receive holiday credit.
  • When a holiday falls on Sunday, it's observed the following  Monday​.

Holidays for the current year

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2109 provides information about excluded employee Holidays. Holidays for represented employees can be found in the applicable Memorandum of Understanding.


Personal Holiday

Permanent employees are entitled to one personal holiday per year.

​In addition to the above state paid holidays, effective January 1, 2023, the Governor proclaimed the following holidays, which may be taken in lieu of receiving a personal holiday.

Genocide Remembrance Day (Monday, April 24)

Juneteenth (Monday, June 19)

Native American Day (Friday, September 22)

Lunar New Year (Sunday, January 22)

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2110 provides further information about Personal Holidays.

Annual Leave​​​

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2102 provides further information about Annual Leave. 



(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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2103 provides further information about Vacation Leave. 


Sick Leave

(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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2105 provides further information about Sick Leave.


Professional Development Days (PDD)

Rank-and-file employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, and Excluded and Exempt employees, shall receive two PDD days per fiscal year.

Bargaining Unit 2 employees shall receive five PDDs per fiscal year.

Effective January 1, 2022, Bargaining Unit 6 shall receive two PDDs each calendar year. Effective July 1, 2021, their related Excluded employees shall receive two PDDs each fiscal year.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2112 provides further information about PDD.

​Voluntary Personal Leave Program (VPLP)

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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2114 provides further information about VPLP.


Family Leave

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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2120 provides further information about PDL. You can also refer to the Family Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act Policy 2107. 


Catastrophic Leave

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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2116 provides further information about Catastrophic Leave.


Bereavement Leave

All state employees who meet the eligibility requirements are entitled to bereavement leave for specified family members. For excluded employees refer to GC section 19859.3, all other employees refer to the applicable MOU and GC section 12945.7.  The MOUs and GC sections 19859.3 and 12945.7 describe eligible relationships, whether the bereavement leave allowance is per fiscal year or per occurrence, if the bereavement leave is paid or unpaid, and other criteria.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2115 provides further information about Bereavement Leave.

Military Leave/Military Spousal Leave

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2118 provides further information about Military Leave. 


Mentoring Leave

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). For details, refer to the applicable Memorandum of Understanding, available on our Contracts page.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2119 provides further information about Mentoring Leave.

Union Leave

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.


Jury Duty

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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2117 provides further information about Jury Duty.


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.  

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.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2116 provides further information about Catastrophic Leave.


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.
  • Represented Employee Leave Cash Out: Most Bargaining Unit Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) have an annual cash out program of unused vacation or annual leave. Participation is based on the availability of funds at each department and hour limitations are set in the MOU.
  • Leaving State Service: When you end your State employment, you may cash out unused leave (except sick leave, holiday informal time off, professional development days, and in some cases various personal leave program hours), or contribute it to your 401(k) and/or 457 deferred compensation plan.

CalHR's Human Resources Manual Policy 2104 provides further information about Leave Buy-Back.​​

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