Federal Law > Handbooks - Policies > Vacation Leave Policy

Vacation Leave Policy

All regular full-time employees are allowed vacation time based on the following schedule:

Length of service     Accrual
over 1 year     80 hours per year
over 5 years     120 hours per year
over 10 years     160 hours per year
over 15 years     200 hours per year
over 25 years     240 hours per year
Vacation Time Details:
  • You must complete 12 consecutive calendar months of service to be eligible for vacation time.
  • Vacation time accrual will begin after an additional 12 consecutive calendar months (two years) of service is completed.
  • Vacation time must be approved in advance by your immediate supervisor .
  • Vacation time can be scheduled in four-hour increments.
  • There is no prorated accrual of vacation time.
  • You must receive approval from the department director and City Manager to carry over vacation time into the next 12 months.
  • If a paid holiday occurs during your vacation, the holiday will not count towards your vacation time.
  • The City does not reimburse employees for unused paid vacation. 
In the event an employee is laid off, discharged, retired, separated from the service, or dies; unused vacation at the time of the event will be financially compensated on the individual’s last paycheck. An employee’s termination date will be his or her last working day.

Note: AFSCME and Teamster Union members may have different accrual rates or leave time policies.  Please see the appropriate contract for more details.  Part-time employees may be eligible to receive a prorated amount of the leave time shown above.

Note that some states may require that if paid vacation is provided, then the employer must pay it at termination
.  For example, there is no legal requirement in California that an employer provide its employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer does have an established policy, practice, or agreement to provide paid vacation, then certain restrictions are placed on the employer as to how it fulfills its obligation to provide vacation pay. Under California law, earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned, or vests, as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to two weeks (10 work days) of vacation per year, after six months of work he or she will have earned five days of vacation. Vacation pay accrues (adds up) as it is earned, and cannot be forfeited, even upon termination of employment, regardless of the reason for the termination. (Suastez v. Plastic Dress Up (1982) 31 C3d 774) An employer can place a reasonable cap on vacation benefits that prevents an employee from earning vacation over a certain amount of hours. (Boothby v. Atlas Mechanical (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 1595) And, unless otherwise stipulated by a collective bargaining agreement, upon termination of employment all earned and unused vacation must be paid to the employee at his or her final rate of pay. Labor Code Section 227.3
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