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Vacation (Annual Leave)
Classified employees receive paid vacation which can be taken for any purpose. Vacation is earned at the end of each pay period - the 9th and the 24th - and is available for use on the 10th and 25th. Vacation leave must be earned before it is used. Only a limited amount of vacation leave may be carried over from year to year. Upon leaving state service employees are paid for unused vacation leave up to the maximum payout limit.

The rate at which vacation leave is earned depends on length of service. Employees must work an entire pay period, or be on approved paid leave, to earn vacation leave at the end of each pay period. Employees may accumulate vacation leave, but only a limited amount may be carried over from year to year. Upon leaving state service, employees are paid for unused vacation leave up to the maximum accrual. This chart shows the hours earned each pay period based on years of service and the maximum hours accrued for each category:

Years of Service

Hours Accrued per Pay Period

Hours Accrued per Year

Maximum Carry-over Limits

Maximum Payment Limits

0-5 years

4 hours

96 hours (12 days)

192 hours (24 days)

192 hours (24 days)

5-10 years

5 hours

120 hours (15 days)

240 hours (30 days)

240 hours (30 days)

10-15 years

6 hours

144 hours (18 days)

288 hours (36 days)

288 hours (36 days)

15-20 years

7 hours

168 hours (21 days)

336 hours (42 days)

288 hours (36 days)

20-25 years

8 hours

192 hours (24 days)

384 hours (48 days)

336 hours (42 days)

25+ years

9 hours

216 hours (27 days)

432 hours (54 days)

336 hours (42 days)

Sick Leave and Family/Personal Leave - Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)
Classified employees are provided sick leave and family/personal leave each leave year based on months of state service. The leave accrual year begins on January 10 of the current year and runs through January 9 of the following year. Sick and Family/Personal leave cannot be carried over from year to year, nor is it paid out upon separation.
  • Sick Leave may be taken for personal illnesses, injuries, preventive care and wellness physician visits.
  • Family/Personal Leave may be taken at the discretion of the employee for any purpose (family, illness, attend a funeral, or other personal needs, etc.) provided the employee gives reasonable notice and his/her supervisor approves the absence.

Accrual rates are based on total months of state service (or previous state service). Accrual rates for new hires and rehires are based on the date of employment.

The following charts reflect the accrual rates for sick leave and family/personal leave according to months of state service:

Current Full-Time

Months of State Service

Sick Leave Hours/Working Days

Family/Personal Hours/Working Days

Less than 60

64 (8 days)

32 (4 days)


72 (9 days)

32 (4 days)

120 or more

80 (10 days)

40 (5 days)

New Full-Time

Employment Begin Date

Sick Leave Hours/Working Days

Family/Personal Hours/Working Days

January 10 - July 9

64 (8 days)

32 (4 days)

July 10 - January 9

40 (5 days)

16 (2 days)


Sick Leave (Traditional)
The traditional sick leave program applies to employees hired prior to January 1, 1999 who are not in VSDP. Sick leave is earned at the rate of five hours at the end of each pay period - the 9th and the 24th with no maximum accrual limit. Up to 48 hours of sick leave a year may also be used for illness of an immediate family member.

Immediate family includes mother, father, children, spouse, sister, brother, step-parents, step-children, or any other blood relative living within the household. Up to three days of sick leave may be used for the death of an immediate family member, as defined above. Supervisors may request medical documentation for any absences related to illness. All absences over 24 hours require medical documentation. Employees with five years of service are eligible to be paid for 25% of their accumulated, un-used sick leave up to a maximum of $5,000 upon separation from state service.

Personal Leave Day
Eight hours of personal leave is granted to all classified employees on January 10 of every leave year (or the first day of employment for new hires) and must be used by January 9.

The personal leave day is considered one of the 12 paid holidays granted by the state. The personal leave day must be used by January 9 of the leave year or will be lost. The personal leave day must be used in the full eight-hour increment.

Community Service Leave (School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave)
Classified employees receive 16 hours of paid leave per leave year to perform volunteer services through eligible non-profit organizations within or outside their communities. Such service may be provided as a member of a service organization or through authorized school assistance. This leave is not carried over from leave year to year leave and nor is it paid out upon separation.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Members of volunteer fire departments and rescue squads (see Volunteer Fire and Rescue Leave for more information)
  • Voluntary service as part of an organized service project sponsored by a community, national or other service organization or attendance at non-profit boards and committee meetings (examples include Meals on Wheels, Scouts, Big Brother/Big Sister, Red Cross, etc.)
  • Participation in activities related to non-profit fundraising, such as set up/take down, registration, answering phones or yard work, cleaning, maintenance through a non-profit organization.

School Assistance includes:

  • Employees with children may be granted paid leave to meet with a teacher or administrator of a public or private preschool, elementary school, middle school, or high school concerning their children, step-children, or children for whom the employee has legal custody
  • Attending a school function in which such children are participating.
  • Performing volunteer work approved by any teacher or school administrator to assist a public preschool, elementary school, middle school, or high school.  (Available to all classified employees, not just those with children)

Volunteer Fire and Rescue Leave
Members of volunteer fire departments and/or rescue squads, or auxiliary units thereof, are granted an additional 8 hours of leave (over and above the 16 hours of community service) to serve in this capacity.

The additional 8 hours must be used for this purpose only. For example, members of volunteer fire departments and rescue squads may use the 8 hours of fire and rescue leave plus the 16 hours of community service leave for a total of 24 hours of leave for fire and rescue services, but may not use this eight additional hours for school assistance or other volunteer activities. Documentation of eligibility may be required.

This leave is not carried over from year to year and nor is it paid out upon separation.

Overtime Leave
Non-exempt employees working more than 40 hours in a work week may be granted overtime leave instead of overtime pay. The rate of overtime leave is one and one-half hours of leave for every hour worked over 40 in any work week. The work week is defined as Sunday midnight through Saturday midnight unless an alternate work week has been approved by HR and Administration based on the need of the department. Only hours physically worked are used to determine if compensation for overtime is required. The overtime leave balance may not exceed 60 hours except in certain situations.

Employees whose balance has reached this level must be compensated with time and one-half overtime pay for additional overtime hours worked until the overtime leave balance is reduced by using the hours as time off.

Compensatory Leave
Non-exempt employees earn compensatory leave (comp leave) for hours worked on a holiday, hours worked on an authorized closing if in designated positions or when over 40 hours have been accounted for during the work week, but not physically worked over 40. Granted hour-for-hour, compensatory leave must be authorized by a supervisor. It may be used for any purpose and must be used within 12 months of the date earned or it will expire.

Once lapsed, accrued compensatory leave may not be used or paid off upon an employee's change of status. Exempt employees do not earn compensatory time except when required to work on a university holiday.

Recognition Leave
Recognition leave expires within 12 months from the date it is awarded. It may be paid out prior to expiration or upon separation.

Family and Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires the university to give eligible employees job-protected leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child, or the serious health condition of the employee or an immediate family member (child, spouse, or parent), a qualifying exigency arising from a call to active duty of a spouse, son, daughter or parent, being on active duty, having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any calendar year. FMLA may be used when an employee is the care-giver for an injury or illness of a service member that is a spouse, son, daughter, parent or being the nearest blood relative of the active service member (up to 26 weeks).

To be eligible, the employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and have provided at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period prior to the leave request. The 12-week period is calculated starting from the date the employee begins FMLA leave. Eligible employees have the option of using paid leave, as appropriate under each particular leave policy, for absences covered under FMLA. The agency may designate such leave as family and medical leave. If you take leave under FMLA, you will normally return to your prior job, or in unusual cases, a job with equivalent status and pay. Health benefits must continue during the leave at the same level and conditions as if you had continued to work.

Employees must give a 30-day advance notice to their supervisor of the need to take FMLA leave when it is foreseeable for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or for planned medical treatment. When it is not possible to provide advance notice, the employee must notify their supervisor as soon as practical.

Intermittent leave that is medically necessary may be taken without supervisor approval for each absence. Employees are encouraged to provide proper notice to their supervisor even though the supervisor's permission to use leave is not required. Supervisors must approve requests for intermittent leave if taking leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.

Certification from the employee's or their family's health care provider must be provided to HR to support family medical leave. For complete information on the Family and Medical Leave Act policy, please contact Human Resources or refer to JMU Policy 1308.

Civil and Work Related Leave
Civil and work-related leave may be granted to serve on a jury, appear in court as a witness under subpoena, or to attempt resolution of work-related problems. Civil and work-related leave may also be taken when testing and/or interviewing for other state positions. Reasonable travel time may be included. If use of this leave for interviewing becomes excessive, it may be restricted. Supervisor advance approval is required for civil and work-related leave. Written verification may be required. Court documentation is required when serving on a jury or appearing in court as a witness.

Military Leave
Employees who are members of a military unit, the National Guard, Naval Militia, or Armed Forces Reserves, are entitled to 15 work days (120 hours) of military leave per federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) for federally funded military duty.

Regardless of whether the duty is fragmented, employees are still entitled to 15 work days of leave per federal fiscal year. They must include a copy of their military orders or other official documentation with their request for military leave. If ordered to duty because of an emergency, employees must supply supporting documentation upon their return to work to verify use of military leave.

Educational Leave
Educational leave may be provided at the discretion of the agency, for the purpose of allowing employees time to further their education through a course of study related to their work or that of their agency. Educational leave is limited to 12 months and may be granted with full, partial or no pay, at the agency's discretion.

Leave Without Pay
Employees may be granted leave without pay with supervisor's approval. Requests for leave without pay must be requested in writing to the supervisor and leave without pay may not be granted for more than 12 calendar months, except for extended illness or injury, or for active duty military.

Leave without pay may be granted for: (1) educational leave (more than the allowable leave with pay), (2) military leave, (3) medical and (4) personal reasons.

Leave without pay may be unconditional or conditional based on the needs of the department, as determined by the supervisor. Unconditional leave without pay guarantees the employee's reinstatement to their former position. When reinstatement to the former position does not appear practical because of the university's need to fill the job, employees may be placed on conditional leave without pay. Conditional leave allows employees to retain prior sick and vacation credits, but, if the position has been filled, does not obligate the university to reinstate you. If employees are unable to attain a position at James Madison University or another state agency, employees will be separated from state service when leave without pay expires. No leave accrual will occur while an employee is on leave without pay status.