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Annual Leave/Vacation DHRM Policy 4.10

Full-time, classified employees accrue paid annual leave that can be taken for any purpose. Annual leave is subject to supervisor's approval based on the business needs of the department. The leave year runs from January 10 of the current year through January 9 of the following year. The rate at which annual leave is accrued depends on length of state service. An employee must work an entire pay period or be on approved paid leave in order to accrue annual leave at the end of each pay period. Annual leave is accrued at midnight on the 9th and the 24th of each month. Annual leave is not available to use until it has been earned/accrued at the end of each pay period. Employees are allowed to carry their annual leave balance forward into the new leave year based on their months of state service. Upon leaving state service, employees are paid for unused annual leave up to the maximum allowed based on months of state service.

Refer to the chart for maximum carry-over limits and maximum payout limits:

Years of Service

Hours Accrued per   Pay Period

Hours Accrued per Leave Year

Carry-over Limits

Payout 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)


When an employee takes leave time that was requested but not approved, the employee will be subject to the following actions:

  • the absence will be designated as unauthorized;
  • the employee will not be paid for the time missed;
  • because the employee has experienced a Time Loss, he or she will not accrue annual or traditional sick leave for the pay period(s) when the absence occurred; and
  • the agency may also take disciplinary action under JMU Policy 1317-Standards of Conduct and Performance for Classified Employees.

When an employee misses work and does not have leave in his/her leave balances to take, the employee will be subject to the following actions:

  • the employee will not be paid for the time missed; and
  • because the employee has experienced a Time Loss, he or she will not accrue annual or traditional sick leave for the pay period(s) when the absence occurred.

Bereavement Leave

All classified employees will have three days (24 hours) of bereavement leave available for each leave year (January 10 – January 9) as needed. The leave can be taken by an employee to grieve the loss of an immediate family member (defined as parent, spouse, or child), prepare for and attend their funeral, and/or attend to any other immediate post-death matters.

Bereavement Leave can be taken in any increment, the minimum being .25 hour, and must be approved by a supervisor.  To use the Bereavement leave select “BL TAKEN” from the drop down menu in MyMadison.

Civil and Work-Related Leave DHRM Policy 4.05

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.

Compensatory Leave JMU Policy 1303

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 or during authorized closures.

Educational Leave DHRM Policy 4.15

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

Emergency/Disaster Leave JMU Policy 1113

This policy provides a method to grant up to 80 hours of paid leave annually to qualifying employees who are called away from their regular jobs to provide specific kinds of emergency services during defined times of state and/or national disasters. This leave may also be granted to employees who are victims of disasters that meet the criteria specified within the policy.

Family and Medical Leave JMU Policy 1308

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires the university to provide eligible employees unpaid job-protected leave for the:

  • 12 workweeks/480 work hours of leave in a 12-month calendar year January 10 – January 9 for:
    • The birth and care of a newborn child within one year of birth;
    • The legal placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care within one year of placement;
    • The care of an immediate family member: child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition;
    • The employee's own serious health condition, including an on-the-job injury or occupational disease covered by Workers' Compensation, which causes the employee to be unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job;
    • A child, spouse or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the service member's current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation.
  • 26 workweeks/1,040 work hours of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.


To be eligible for job-protected leave, employees must have been employed at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours 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 leave is taken under FMLA, the employee has a guaranteed right to return to the employee’s prior job, or in unusual cases, a job with equivalent status and pay. Health benefits continue during the leave at the same level and conditions as if the employee had continued to work.

If both parents are married and employed by the university, they are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of leave combined (rather than 12 weeks each) for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for a parent with a serious health condition, and exigency military leave or up to 26 weeks for military caregiver leave.

To take FMLA, 30-days advance notice must be given to the supervisor when it is foreseeable for the birth of a child, 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 the supervisor as soon as practical.

Intermittent leave that is medically necessary may be taken without the supervisor's approval for each absence. Proper notice should be provided to the supervisor, even though the supervisor's permission to use leave is not required. Supervisors must approve requests for intermittent leave if used for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.

Certification from the family's health care provider must be provided to Human Resources to support FMLA.

For complete information on FMLA, please contact a Benefits Specialist,, 540-568-3593, or refer to JMU Policy 1308.

Leave Sharing JMU Policy 1328

Leave sharing allows classified employees to donate annual leave to classified co-workers who are not enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) and who need additional leave for serious health conditions that qualify under the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). All employees, including employees in VSDP, may request donated annual leave if the employee experiences leave without pay due to a family member's illness or injury for which the employee is using Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

Leave sharing is designed to benefit classified employees with chronic illnesses, serious injuries or qualifying FMLA situations who have exhausted their other leave options. Employees who are in need of leave donations or have questions regarding Leave Sharing should contact the leave specialist at 540-568-3974.

Leave without Pay JMU Policy 1319

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

Leave without pay may be granted for:

  • Educational leave (more than the allowable leave with pay)
  • Military leave
  • Medical reasons
  • 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 reinstatement to one's former position. When reinstatement to one's former position does not appear practical because of the university's need to fill the job, the employee may be placed on conditional leave without pay. Conditional leave allows employees to retain prior sick and annual leave credits, but, if one's position has been filled, does not obligate the university to reinstate the employee. If you are unable to obtain a position at JMU or another state agency, the employee will be separated from state service when the leave without pay expires. There is no leave accrual while an employee is on leave without pay status.

Military Leave DHRM Policy 4.50

Members of a military unit, the National Guard, Naval Militia, or Armed Forces Reserves are entitled to 15 workdays of leave per federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) for federally-funded military duty. If the duty is fragmented, the employee is still entitled to 15 workdays of leave per federal fiscal year. A copy of the military orders or other official documentation must accompany the employee's request for military leave. If ordered to duty because of an emergency, the employee must supply supporting documentation upon return to work to verify the use of military leave.

Parental Leave JMU Policy 2108

Eligible full-time classified employees receive eight weeks or 320 hours of paid parental leave to be used within six (6) months of the birth of an infant or adoptive, foster, or custodial placement of a child under the age of eighteen (18). Eligibility determinations are made as of the date that the child is born or placed via adoption or foster or custodial care. Visit the Parental Leave webpage for additional details about this leave type.

Personal Day

An eight-hour personal day is granted by the university to all classified employees on January 10 of every leave year (or the first day of employment for new hires). It is considered an 8-hour floating holiday. The personal leave day must be used in the full eight-hour increment by January 9 of the leave year or will be lost. Unused hours are not paid out upon separation.

School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave DHRM Policy 4.40

Employees may take up to 16 hours of paid leave per leave year (January 10 to January 9) to provide volunteer services through eligible non-profit organizations or school assistance. Examples of eligible organizations include volunteer rescue squads, volunteer fire departments, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. For school assistance, 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, stepchildren or children for whom the employee has legal custody or attend a school function in which such children are participating. Any employee may be granted paid leave to perform volunteer work approved by any teacher or school administrator to assist a public preschool, elementary, middle, or high school.

Supervisors may request verification for school assistance and volunteer service leave. Documentation consists of a statement signed by an official of the service organization/school confirming times and duration of the activity. This leave does not carry over from one leave year to the next. As with any scheduled leave, prior approval from the employee's supervisor is required.

Service Recognition Leave

Classified employees will be awarded 40 hours of Service Recognition Leave upon completion of cumulative state service totaling one year, three years, five years, and every subsequent five-year anniversary.

A classified employee must have completed the one-year probationary period in order to be eligible for the 40 hours of Service Recognition Leave.

Upon reaching the cumulative service milestone, the 40 hours of Service Recognition Leave will be credited to the employee’s leave record under Service Recognition Leave. This time may be used in any increment, with .25 hour being the minimum. Service Recognition Leave must be used within 12 months from the date awarded. If hours are not used, they will be lost.

Employees who separate employment within the year of receipt of Service Recognition Leave would be eligible for a leave payout of any unused Service Recognition Leave hours.

Additional information available at DHRM Policy 1.15.

Sick Leave and Family/Personal Leave - Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) DHRM Policy 4.57

Classified employees are provided sick leave and family/personal leave each leave year (January 10 to January 9) based on months of state service. 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. Supervisors may request medical documentation for any absences related to illness. Absences over 3 work days or 24 work hours require medical documentation which should include the dates of absence. This documentation should be submitted to Human Resources upon the return to work.
  • 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 the employee’s 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

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)

Traditional Sick Leave (for employees hired prior to January 1, 1999 and are NOT in VSDP) DHRM Policy 4.55

Traditional sick leave protects employees against loss of pay when they must miss work because of illness or injury. Traditional sick leave is earned at the rate of five hours for each semi-monthly pay period, with no maximum accrual limit.

Employees shall be allowed to use traditional sick leave to take time off from work for the illness or death of an immediate family member. Immediate family includes mother, father, children, spouse, siblings, step-parents, step-children, step-siblings, or any relatives, either by blood or marriage, living in the employee's household. The maximum amount of family sick leave an employee may use for minor or brief periods of disability, or following the death of certain family members, is limited to 48 total work hours in a leave year. Traditional sick leave is subject to supervisor's approval. Supervisors may request medical documentation for any absences related to illness. All absences over three workdays or 24 work hours require medical documentation, which should include dates of absence.

Upon separation with five years of state service, employees are eligible to be paid 25% of accumulated, unused traditional sick leave, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)

Refer to the Disability Benefits section of the handbook.



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