Holiday Pay

Wednesday, November 27 2013

To:                   Business Officers and PPS Preparers/Reviewers

From:              Amy Arnold – Human Resources Analyst

                       Human Resources

Re:                  Holiday Pay


It is that time of year!  Everyone is getting out their sweatpants and their wrapping paper, but one subject that we need to follow through on before the feasts and joy can commence is Holiday Pay.


To recycle a Coni Edick favorite holiday tale:

Holiday Pay!

Holiday Pay!


A Holiday Tale (Abridged)

Every U down in Uville liked holidays a lot...

But PPS Preparers,

Who reported holiday pay,

Sometimes Did NOT!


They *hated* reporting holidays.

The whole enchilada.

When DO you get holiday pay?

And when is it "nada"?

Must you be on pay status

Before AND after the day?

And what would you say

Is a part-timer's pay?


So where DO you find the answers to these questions? Ultimately the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) or a Collective Bargaining Contract determines how holidays are handled for the employee. So, if your employees are represented employees…always check the contract!


Here are some general guidelines:

Usually, eligibility for a full-time employee requires being on pay status the day before and the day after the holiday. Pay status means being at work or on paid leave time such as vacation, sick leave or comp time. What if s/he is on an UNpaid leave around the holiday? Sometimes there's a provision for an *authorized* leave of a defined duration (20 calendar days, for example) where the employee can receive holiday pay. So check it out in the contract!

Eligibility for holiday pay for part-time employees usually depends on the employee's total pay status hours for the month if exempt or the quadriweekly cycle if non-exempt. Generally a part-time employee needs to be on paid status for at least 50% of the month/quadriweekly cycle – EXCLUDING holiday hours -- to be eligible. Here's how it works:


Exempt Employees

December 2013 has 176 working hours.

24 of those hours are holiday hours

(12/24, 25, and 31).

176 - 24 = 152 hours.

50% of 152 is 76 hours.


January 2014 has 184 working hours

16 of those hours are holiday hours

                    (01/01 and 20)

184 -16 = l68

50% of 168 is 84 hours.


Non-Exempt Employees

          Each quadriweekly cycle has 160 working hours

          The holidays this December/January

(12/24, 25, 31 and 01/01)

fall into the quadriweekly cycle from

December 22 through January 18

160 – 32 = 128

50% of 128 is 64 hours.


If an employee needs to be on 50% pay status (working, vacation, sick leave, etc.) to be eligible for holiday pay, the employee needs 84 hours in Dec 2013. On the other hand, as a bi-weekly employee, the employee needs 64 hours in the quadriweekly cycle.

But again (and again and again!), check the applicable policy or union contract for eligibility!  Holiday pay for a part-time employee is proportional to the number of hours on pay status. An appointment with a fixed percentage is pretty straightforward -- 50% gives you 4 holiday hours, 75% is 6 hours, etc. If a part-time employee is on variable time then you need to look at the employee’s total pay status hours for the quadriweekly cycle.

Unlike vacation and sick leave, holiday pay is earned in FULL hours.  Something else to consider is that many of the campus departments will be closed from December 23, 2013 through January 1, 2014.  Four of the days are paid holidays (December 24, 25, 31 and January 1), but what happens with the remaining four days (December 23, 26, 27 and 30) if your department is planning to be closed?

Well, vacation of course is always an option.  If an employee has accrued enough vacation to cover the non-holiday closure days – excellent – s/he can use those to cover the non-holiday closure days and move on happy as a clam.

If an employee doesn’t have enough vacation days accrued, s/he still has options under the Curtailment Leave provision in PPSM 2.210 Absence from Work, or the Curtailment Period clause under the Vacation article in the applicable contract.

Compensatory Time – Employees may use accrued compensatory time, but, again, this requires advance department approval. 

Newly hired employees may utilize their vacation accruals without having six continuous months on pays status. 

Employees without sufficient accumulated vacation would be allowed to use up to three days' vacation leave prior to actual accrual, except as noted below.

Leave No Salary – If an employee doesn’t have enough accrued vacation or doesn’t want to use what accrued vacation s/he has, s/he has the option of taking leave no salary.  Employees may continue to accrue vacation and sick leave credits during an unpaid curtailment leave for up to three (3) days, except as noted below.  Important Note: This requires advance department approval!

Advance Vacation Days – 

For the 2013-14 Winter Holiday closure period, the Office of the President has approved an exception to the Vacation Leave and Curtailment Leave Policies to allow non-represented employees to use up to four days of vacation days in advance of actual accrual, in order to accommodate employees who wish to use vacation days, but do not have sufficient vacation accruals.  In addition, during this period, non-represented employees would be allowed to accrue vacation and sick leave credits for up to four calendar days of unpaid curtailment leave.

Teamsters, the union representing clerical employees (CX), has agreed to the advance of up to four vacation days for clerical employees.  Therefore, managers may advance up to four vacation days to non-represented staff and clerical (CX) employees during the upcoming Winter Holidays.  Represented employees in other collective bargaining units may only be advanced vacation days according to the terms of their respective collective bargaining agreements. I will notify you if this situation changes, but this is the most current information we have at this time.

I certainly hope this answers any of your holiday pay questions, but if not, please feel free to contact me at or Ext. 4068.

Happy Holidays!


Amy Arnold

Human Resources

University of California Santa Barbara

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