Paid Time Off for UC Davis Health Employees

The UC Davis Health Paid Time Off Program promotes and enhances work-life objectives of the university.

In 2008, the Office of the President approved the permanent implementation of the Paid Time Off (PTO) Program for eligible bi-weekly and monthly paid UC Davis Medical Center employees. In 2011, the Office of the President authorized the expansion of the PTO Program to non-exclusively represented staff in the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. 

The purpose of the PTO Program is to establish a benefit program that provides employees greater flexibility in the use of time-off with pay and conveys the advantage of annually cashing out unused PTO hours accrued over three hundred (300). Providing greater flexibility also assists the University in recruitment and retention, serving both employee and employer. Additionally, PTO benefit programs serve as the standard of practice in area hospitals and are viewed positively.

Eligible participants include those employees in the Professional and Support Staff (PSS) and Management and Senior Professional (MSP) personnel programs at the Medical Center, School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Employees become eligible for PTO on the date they hire, transfer, promote or are reclassified into a PTO eligible position. Generally, employees covered by labor agreements, academic employees, and those employees with dual appointments (where one position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement or one position is outside of the UC Davis Health) are not eligible to participate at the present time.

Paid Time Off (PTO) Bank

The Paid Time Off (PTO) bank combines the paid benefits of vacation hours and a portion of sick-leave hours into a single bank of PTO hours. PTO is used for vacation, illness, injury, or other scheduled or unscheduled absences. Under the PTO Program, an employee has more flexibility, while assuming greater responsibility, for planning and using their personal accrued time.

Each employee has an individual bank of PTO hours that has a yearly maximum accrual that exceeds the maximum currently in place for vacation. The PTO bank is credited each month with leave equivalent to the vacation accrual rate and one half (1/2) of the sick leave accrual rate.  For purposes of illustration, the following example is how PTO hours are accumulated and allocated:

  • A full-time employee with more than 20 years of service accrues 14.77 hours of vacation and 7.38 hours of sick-leave pay in a four-week accrual period. All of the vacation accrual (14.77 hours) is deposited into the PTO bank, while half of the sick-leave accrual (3.69 hours) also is deposited into the PTO bank, amounting to a total of 18.46 hours per four-week accrual period, or 240 hours per year.

Holiday time and compensatory time off are not a part of the PTO bank.

Annual PTO Payout in July

PTO accrual balances in excess of 300 hours are paid out once a year at an employee’s current rate of pay in July. The timing and methodology of the PTO payout differs between biweekly and monthly-paid employees. 

>>  Biweekly employees – PTO payout will be processed on pay date 07/03/2024, for hours earned through 5/25/2024 and used through 6/08/2024
>>  Monthly employees – PTO payout will be processed on pay date 08/01/2024, for hours used through 5/31/2024 and earned through 6/30/2024

Extended Sick Time (EST) Bank

The EST Bank consists of paid hours that accrue up to 48 hours (based on 50 percent of an employee’s current sick leave accrual rate) of earned sick leave per year for full-time employees that is used for extended illnesses and approved bereavement leave. (Note: EST is different than Extended Sick Leave (ESL), which is part of the Workers' Compensation program.) The amount of sick leave accrued is prorated for employees who work less than full-time. EST may be used after the first three consecutive days of absence due to illness, with the amount prorated for less-than-full-time employees.

EST also may be used for family and medical leaves of absence, and for bereavement leave, consistent with the University of California’s Absence from Work Policy. There is no maximum cap on EST accruals.

The following examples illustrate how sick time should be charged for employees with appointments of 76% or greater:

  • An employee who works an 8/40 shift who is sick for three days will be charged with 24 hours of PTO-S.
  • An employee who works a 9/80 shift who is sick for three days will be charged with 24 hours of PTO-S and 3 hours of EST.
  • An employee who works 4/10 shift who is sick for three days will be charged with 24 hours of PTO-S and 6 hours of EST.
  • An employee who works a 12 hour shift who is sick for three days will be charged with 24 hours of PTO-S and 12 hours of EST.

Part-time employees with appointments between 50% and 75% will have the first 16 hours charged to PTO-S and the rest will be charged to EST.

Use and Accrual of PTO

Use of PTO

PTO is used to cover absences during regularly scheduled work days (planned absences) or to cover the first three days (prorated for less-than-full-time employees) of sick leave or for a family or personal emergency (unplanned absences). Employees will receive payment for approved PTO days as long as they have accrued PTO hours in their individual bank. Employees are not allowed to carry a negative PTO balance.

Accrual of PTO

PTO hours will be accrued based on regular hours paid. PTO does not accrue while an employee is receiving on-call pay, state disability insurance benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, short- or long-term state disability, or while on unpaid leave of absence. All accrued vacation hours and 50 percent of accrued sick-leave hours are credited to the PTO bank during each four-week accrual period. PTO accruals are capped at two times an employee’s annual accrual rate, as shown in the table below:

 ProgramYears of Service  PTO Maximum Accrual
for Full-time Employee
PSSLess than 10
10 but less than 15
15 but less than 20
20 or more  
MSP Less than 5
5 but less than 10
10 or more 

Please Note:

  • Exempt employees must continue to report absences in full day increments.

  • Employees who are on shifts other than a standard eight-hour shift must indicate the number of non-worked hours, consistent with their scheduled shift. For example, a full-time employee who regularly works 12-hour shifts takes two days off work for personal reasons. The employee must reflect 24 hours of "PTOP" on their time card.

  • PTO and EST accrual balances will be transferred to vacation and sick leave balances upon reassignment, promotion, or demotion to an eligible position not covered by this program.

  • Upon separation from employment or transfer to a university position ineligible to accrue vacation or PTO, PTO accrual balances will be paid pursuant to university policy and applicable laws.

Impact to UCRP Retirement Plan:

  • Leave credits in the EST bank will convert to UCRP service credit at retirement.

  • The PTO benefit program does not conflict with UCRP Retirement Plan regulations.

Questions may be directed to Human Resources or to the Payroll Office.