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FAQ: What You Need To Know About Personal Observance Leave

The FAQ below is to help NC State employees understand the guidelines for using personal observance leave to receive a paid day off.

Eligible NC State employees can use this leave to observe a personal day of significance, including days of religious or cultural importance. UNC System President Peter Hans authorized all system institutions to offer a personal observance day in June, in accordance with an executive order that Gov. Roy Cooper signed to approve a similar paid day off for other state employees.

Who is eligible for the leave?

Personal observance leave is available to full-time and part-time permanent, probationary or time-limited employees who work at least 20 hours per week. Temporary employees, interns and contractors are not eligible for personal observance leave. Part-time employees are not eligible for personal observance leave if they work less than 20 hours per week.

How much leave time will I receive?

Full-time employees will receive up to eight hours of personal observance leave each calendar year. Part-time employees will receive a prorated amount based on their number of hours compared to a full-time schedule.

What days are eligible to be used for this leave?

Personal observance leave may be used for any single work shift that falls on a day of personal significance; it is not for use across multiple shifts. This includes days of cultural or religious importance. Regardless of an employee’s religious or cultural background, any day an employee identifies as significant for cultural, religious or personal reasons can be used for personal observance leave.

What should employees do if their shift is longer than eight hours?

The employee can take part of the shift off or combine personal observance leave with comp time or another form of leave to get the entire shift off.

Can employees use this leave to observe or learn about someone else’s culture or religion?

Yes, employees are encouraged to use this leave time to recognize, learn about or observe cultures and religions outside of their own.

Do I have to ask my supervisor if I can take a day off for personal observance leave, and do I have to provide a reason for taking the day off?

Yes, you do have to ask your supervisor to take a day off, but you don’t have to provide a reason for taking a personal observance day. As with other forms of leave, employees should request use of leave at least two weeks in advance unless such notice is impractical.

Can employees use this leave instead of sick leave?

No.

Can employees use this leave if they have comp time available?

Yes.

Is personal observance leave available for me to use, and how can I request it?

Yes, personal observance leave is available for use. To make a request to use it, go to MyPack Portal, click “WolfTime” and then select “Request Absence” on the left side of the page. From the “Absence Name” dropdown menu, select “Personal Observance Leave” and then complete the rest of the form. 

Does this leave expire?

Yes, this leave expires if not used by the end of the calendar year. It won’t carry into the next calendar year, has no cash value and cannot be converted into retirement credit.

Does this leave renew each year?

Yes, employees will receive up to eight hours of personal observance leave each calendar year.

If I leave NC State to work for another state agency, will my personal observance leave transfer to that agency?

That depends on whether the agency allows its employees to use personal observance leave. If an employee leaves NC State and goes to work at another state agency that allows the use of personal observance leave, the employee’s unused personal observance leave will transfer to the employee’s new agency. If an employee leaves NC State to work at a state agency that does not allow the use of personal observance leave, the employee’s unused personal observance leave will not transfer. 

If an employee leaves a state agency that does not allow the use of personal observance leave and comes to work at NC State, will that employee receive personal observance leave?

Yes, the employee will receive personal observance leave if the employee meets the requirements outlined in this FAQ.

This post was originally published in University Human Resources News.

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