Vacation Leave

The University provides vacation leave to all eligible employees for the purpose of rest, relaxation and to attend to personal affairs. The amount of vacation leave earned is based on the hours worked in pay status and whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. No vacation leave is earned when an employee is on leave without pay.

In certain circumstances, other applicable University procedures may also apply:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); or,

FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for qualifying family or medical-related reasons lasting more than three (3) consecutive days or on an ongoing basis (e.g. intermittent or reduced/part-time schedule).

Paid Parental Leave (PPL); or,

PPL provides paid leave for a designated period of time for employees requesting parental leave related to birth or adoption of a child (up to six (6) years old).

Personal Leave of Absence; or,

This procedure should be used in instances when an employee is requesting leave for more than two (2) consecutive weeks and they are not eligible, do not qualify for or have exhausted the above programs.

Shared Leave; or,

Shared Leave provides paid leave for the employee or for the care of a family member with a serious, extreme or life-threatening illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition.

Workplace Accommodations (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA))

This procedure should be used when an employee has a limitation and needs an accommodation to meet the essential functions of the employee’s job.


Employees in benefit-eligible positions, except for 9/10-month faculty, are eligible to accrue and utilize vacation leave.

Vacation Leave Accrual

Vacation leave for eligible employees is accrued each bi-weekly pay period and cannot be used until the first day of the following pay period. Employees who become ill while on vacation may use accrued sick leave. 

Eligible full-time employees accrue 6.77 hours of vacation leave per pay period. Eligible employees may accrue a maximum of 176 hours per fiscal year and the maximum balance is 304 hours.  If an employee's balance is at the maximum, they will no longer earn vacation hours until their balance is below the maximum amount. 

Non-Exempt Employees

For non-exempt benefit-eligible employees who earn vacation leave, accrued vacation leave may be used and recorded in quarter-hour (0.25) increments. Vacation leave accrual is based on the number of hours worked in pay status during the pay period.  The number of hours in pay status includes all hours worked, paid leaves and holidays, but does not include overtime hours worked and additional payments for holidays worked.  For an employee who is not in pay status for an entire period or an employee who is part-time, vacation leave is calculated on a pro-rata basis as outlined in the chart below. 

Non-Exempt Benefits-Eligible Vacation Leave Accrual:

Hours in Pay Status per Pay Period Hours Earned per Pay Period
0 - 9 0.0
10 - 19 0.85
20 - 29 1.70
30 - 39 2.54
40 - 49 3.39
50 - 59 4.24
60 - 69 5.08
70 - 79 5.93
80+ 6.77
Maximum Accumulation of Hours 304
Exempt Employees

For exempt benefit-eligible employees who earn vacation leave, accrued vacation leave may be used and recorded in four (4) or eight (8)-hour increments. The exception to this policy is when vacation leave is being used in conjunction with an approved Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence. In this instance, vacation leave may be taken in as little as quarter-hour (0.25) increments. Vacation leave accrual is based on the percentage of the employee’s appointment (Full-Time Equivalency – FTE) as outlined in the below chart. Employees will not receive vacation leave accrual for any pay period in which they are on leave without pay (i.e., any pay period in which an employee does not receive any pay). 

Exempt Benefits-Eligible Vacation Leave Accrual (9/10-month faculty do not earn vacation leave):

Appointment FTE Hours Earned per Pay Period
Less than 0.25 1.70
0.25 - 0.49 3.39
0.50 - 0.74 5.08
0.75 - 1.00 6.77
Maximum Accumulation of Hours 304
Requesting Vacation Leave

Vacation leave requests should be approved in advance by the employee's leader. If vacation leave is requested for more than two (2) weeks, please see the Personal Leave of Absence procedures. Utilization of accrued vacation leave benefits the employee and the University. Leaders are encouraged to accommodate and facilitate reasonable requests for vacation leave.

Eligibility for Vacation Leave Payout

Upon separation from employment or moving from an eligible position to a non-eligible position, employees may receive payment for up to 176 hours of earned vacation leave. 

Employees leaving employment at the University who are eligible for retirement may receive payment for up to 240 hours of earned vacation leave. Eligibility for retirement is determined by the guidelines of the employee’s retirement plan (KPERS or KBOR) based on the employees age and years of service upon leaving employment. For more information about eligibility for retirement, please review the Retirement Eligibility webpage.

Reviewing Your Vacation Leave Balance

Employees can review their vacation leave balance online by signing in to MyWSU and clicking on the Leave Balances link under Employee Self-Service (top middle section of page).

On the Leave Balances page, employees can view their earned accrued leave balances (sick leave, vacation leave, etc.) as of the end date of the last signed off pay period. Any leave used during an active, unsigned off pay period will not be reflected in the balance totals until after the period is signed off.

Screenshot of leave entry review in MyWSU.


Who to Contact

HR Total Rewards Team

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Revised: 10/29/2020 CT