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Guidelines for the Use of Administrative Leave for Classified Staff

Note: Some of the following guidelines may be applicable to Faculty and/or Officer and Exempt Professional employees at appointing authority discretion. For more information, please see the administrative policy statement entitled:
Paid Administrative Leave for Officers and Exempt Professionals and Faculty on 12-Month Appointments

The University of Colorado at Boulder and System Administration adopts these Guidelines for the Use of Administrative Leave. These guidelines are designed to provide guidance to campus departments in the use of administrative leave and to provide fair and consistent application across campus. These guidelines have been designed to be reasonable and flexible to meet the changing business needs of the University. In all cases, the appointing authority is responsible and accountable for leave approval decisions made within his/her department(s); the guidelines listed in this document are intended to be used for the majority of cases; requests for exceptions should be provided in writing to the appointing authority, and must be approved by the appointing authority. Other related documents include:

Administrative Leave Q&A for Classified Employees

Administrative Leave Chart for Classified Employees


All classified employees are eligible for administrative leave. Effective January 1, 2000, the State Personnel Rules and Procedures requiring that administrative leave be granted for participation in tests and interviews for state positions were revised to provide appointing authorities the discretion to grant this type of administrative leave. The Department of Human Resources (HR) recommends that employees be given administrative leave to participate in assessment activities and interviews.

In March of 2000, the University of Colorado at Boulder began recommending that employees may be granted up to 16 hours of administrative leave to participate in school or volunteer activities that benefit the community. For any pre-planned leave, supervisor approval is necessary with leave permitted based upon the work needs of the unit. In addition, supervisors will have the discretion to increase or decrease the amount of hours depending on the business needs of the department.

State Personnel Rules and Administrative Procedures Pertaining to Administrative Leave

Discretionary Administrative Leave (5-15): Appointing authorities may grant paid time to employees for reasons determined to be for the good of the state.

Rule 5-15. Administrative leave may be used to grant paid time when the appointing authority wishes to release employees from their official duties for the good of the state. In determining what is for the good of the state, an appointing authority must consider prudent use of taxpayer and personal services dollars and the business needs of the department. Activities performed in an official employment capacity, including job-related training and meetings, voluntary training, conferences, participation in hearings or settlement conferences at the direction of the Board or Director, and job-related testimony in court or official government hearings required by an appointing authority or subpoena are work time and not administrative leave. Administrative leave is not intended to be a substitute for corrective or disciplinary action or other benefits and leave. (5/1/10)

A. Administrative leave that exceeds 20 consecutive working days must be reported to the department head and the Director. 

B. An appointing authority may grant administrative leave up to five days for local or 15 days for national emergencies per fiscal year to employees who are certified disaster service volunteers of the American Red Cross.

C. If a department head adopts a policy granting one period of administrative leave for the initial call up to active military service in the war against terrorism, it shall not exceed 90 days and applies after exhaustion of paid military leave. It is only used to make up the difference between the employee’s base salary (excluding premiums) and total gross military pay and allowances. The employee must furnish proof of military pay and allowances. This leave does not apply to regular military obligations such as the annual encampment and training.

D. A department shall adopt a policy to address whether or not to grant administrative leave for employee participation in community or school volunteer activities.

Note: Appointing authorities must work with Employee Relations before granting an employee administrative leave in excess of 20 consecutive working days.


Required Administrative Leave (5-16): Appointing authorities are required to grant paid time to employees in the instances described below:

Rule 5-16. Administrative leave must be granted for the following:

A. Two hours to participate in general elections if the employee does not have three hours of unscheduled work time during the hours the polls are open.

B. Up to two days per fiscal year for organ, tissue, or bone donation for transplants.

C. To serve as an uncompensated election judge unless a supervisor determines that the employee’s attendance on Election Day is essential. The employee must provide evidence of service.

D. Up to 15 days in a fiscal year when qualified volunteers or members of the Civil Air Patrol are directed to serve during a declared local disaster, provided the employee returns the next scheduled workday once relieved from the volunteer service.


Administrative Leave for State Tests and Interviews  

The granting of administrative leave for participation in tests and interviews for state positions is a long-standing practice that has benefited employees and appointing authorities alike. Although granting leave for participation in tests and interviews is no longer required, the Boulder Campus continues to support the granting of administrative leave for these purposes.

Tests and interviews for state positions are not limited to the Boulder Campus. Employees who seek employment through transfer, demotion or promotional opportunities at other state agencies are eligible for administrative leave. In cases where a state agency is in another part of the state requiring extensive travel time (e.g. Durango or Grand Junction), the appointing authority shall use discretion in the amount of administrative leave to be granted. In these cases, the use of a combination of administrative leave and annual leave would be appropriate.

Administrative leave for the purpose of participating in state tests and interviews should be requested and approved in advance. Notice of at least 24 hours is preferred unless special circumstances prevent such notice.

Administrative Leave for Campus Closures
When the Chancellor decides to close or not open the campus, administrative leave is granted to regular employees for their scheduled work hours during the period of closure. Regular part-time employees or those paid on an hourly basis (such as variable percent employees) who are normally scheduled to work when a closure occurs are given paid administrative leave for the scheduled work hours. Regular employees who are eligible for overtime (non-FLSA exempt) shall not count the period of closure as hours worked for the purposes of calculating overtime. Temporary (including retirees hired into temporary positions) and student employees are not eligible for administrative leave. Employees who are already on approved annual, sick, or other type of leave when a closure occurs will not be given paid administrative leave for their scheduled work hours during the period of closure. For more information, please see Campus Closing Procedures During Emergencies.

Administrative Leave for School or Volunteer Activities

The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration believes that school and volunteer leave sends a message of support for the education of our children and for building better communities. Although granting leave for school or volunteer activities is discretionary, the Boulder campus continues to support the granting of administrative leave for these purposes as long as the business needs of the department are not compromised.

The philosophy for school leave is a recognition of the importance of parental (or guardian) involvement in a child's education. According to educators, involvement in a child's school activities can positively enhance their educational experience. On the other hand, not everyone has school-age children. Volunteer leave provides the opportunity for individuals to contribute to their communities at large.

The Boulder Campus is constantly striving to build community, both on and off campus. We support the granting of administrative leave for participation in school and volunteer activities pursuant to the following guidelines.

The Boulder Campus Administrative Leave Guidelines provides up to 16 hours of school or volunteer leave per employee, per fiscal year. School/volunteer leave does not accrue, cannot be carried over from one year to the next, and cannot be "given" to another employee. (An appointing authority may grant additional hours of school/volunteer leave in special, documented circumstances.)

Parental Academic Leave (5-18): Provides up to 18 hours (pro-rated for part time) in an academic year for parents or legal guardians to participate in academic-related activities. Those activities are parent-teacher conferences or meetings related to special education services, response to interventions, dropout prevention, attendance, truancy, and disciplinary issues.

Pursuant to State Personnel Board Rule 5-18, employees may request to use up to 16 hours of school/volunteer administrative leave in order to receive pay while on unpaid parental academic leave. The remaining two hours of parental academic leave are leave without pay unless the employee chooses to use annual leave.

  • Requesting Administrative Leave for School/Volunteer Leave: Leave requests must be submitted as soon as practicable, allowing discretion for emergencies. Requests must be in writing and provide information as to the nature of the school/volunteer activity.

Paid administrative leave for school/volunteer activities is discretionary. Requesting administrative leave for school/volunteer activity must be mutually agreed upon by the supervisor and employee. Discretionary administrative leave requests will be treated like personal leave. A leave request form and supervisor approval is required, with leave permitted based upon the needs of the work unit. The supervisor must ensure adequate coverage of the work unit prior to granting approval of administrative leave. If an unforeseen event prevents the completion of regular job duties, then approval can be retracted at the discretion of the supervisor.

  • Tracking and Reporting Leave: Supervisors and appointing authorities must track the hours of school/volunteer leave used by employees. Administrative leave must be entered as such in PeopleSoft HRMS time collection when taken. Supervisors may require documentation of the event for which leave is requested. Appointing authorities and supervisors must be prepared to provide administrative leave data pertaining to school/volunteer leave, if needed. This data may be used to re-evaluate leave practices over time.
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