Employee Paid Holidays & Leaves of Absence

2023-2024 Paid Holidays for DU Employees

Holiday 2023 2024
New Year's Day Monday, January 2 (observed) Monday, January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 16 Monday, January 15
Memorial Day Monday, May 29 Monday, May 27
Juneteenth Monday, June 19 Wednesday, June 19
Independence Day Tuesday, July 4 Thursday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 4 Monday, September 2
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 23 Thursday, November 28
Day After Thanksgiving Friday, November 24 Friday, November 29
Half-Day following DU Holiday Party Friday, December 15 Friday, December 13
Winter Break Monday, December 25 through Friday, December 29 Wednesday, December 25 through Tuesday, December 31


Employee Leave Programs

  • Vacation Leave

    Vacation benefits accrue for appointed non-faculty employees based on duration of employment:

    • Full-time staff accrue vacation leave at the rate of 15 days per year, or 1.25 days per month, up to a maximum of 15 total vacation days.
    • Vacation leave accrual is prorated for staff employees who work less than full-time.
    • After completing seven years of benefited service at the University, the vacation leave accrual rate increases to 2 days per month, up to a maximum of 22 total vacation days.

    Vacation leave accrual stops once the maximum has been reached and resumes when the balance falls below the maximum. Accrued time will carry over from year to year until it is utilized or until separation of employment.

    Upon separation, any accrued unused vacation leave will be paid out according to University policy and included in your final paycheck.

    Vacation pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • Sick Leave

    Full-time, non-faculty employees accrue sick time at 1 day per month up to a maximum of 130 days.  Sick accrual is prorated for employees who work less than full-time.

    Paid Sick Leave under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)

    An employer must provide 1 hour of accrued, paid leave per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. Accrued paid sick leave can be used for a wide range of health and safety needs:

    • Inability to work due to a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
    • Obtaining preventive medical care (including vaccination), or medical diagnosis/care/treatment.
    • Needs due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or criminal harassment including medical attention, mental health care or other counseling, legal or other victim services, or relocation.
    • Care for a family member who needs the sort of care listed above.
    • During a PHE, a public official closed the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of the employee’s child.
    • Effective Aug. 7, 2023: Bereavement, or financial/legal needs after a death of a family member; or
    • Effective Aug. 7, 2023: Due to inclement weather, power/heat/water loss, or other unexpected event, the employee must
      1. evacuate their residence, or
      2. care for a family member whose school or place of care was closed.

    Since January 1, 2022all employers in the stateregardless of size or industry, are fully covered by HFWA.

    HFWA covers all employees (part-time, seasonal, temporary, etc.), excluding only federal government employees and some railroad employees.

    Employers can require documentation for accrued paid sick leave (not for COVID-related public health emergency (PHE) leave), but only for absences of four or more consecutive days — and employees can provide the documentation after the leave ends.

  • Faculty Paid Parental Leave

    The University of Denver provides paid parental leave to all benefited faculty.

    The purpose of this policy is to assist and support new parents with balancing work and family matters. The University of Denver provides one academic term of paid parental leave for faculty members, which must be taken within the first year after delivery, adoption, or foster care placement, and pertain to the care and wellbeing of the newborn or adopted child. The number of children involved does not increase the length of leave granted.

    If any questions arise that are not covered by these guidelines or previous published statements interpreting our policy, the University reserves the right to make any necessary interpretation, which shall be conclusive for purposes of resolving the question.


    Parental leave is available to both birth and non-birth parents. DU's paid parental leave benefit must be used concurrently with, as applicable, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Colorado FAMLI leave, and for the birthing parent, short-term disability benefit. Faculty members who have not been in a benefited faculty position at the University for at least one full academic year prior to taking parental leave must complete a full academic year of employment following the leave or reimburse the University for the salary dollars received during the leave period.


    Whenever possible, faculty members intending to take parental leave should inform their chairs or deans no later than three months prior to the proposed beginning of the leave. If this is not possible due to pre-term delivery, sudden availability of adoption, or other unpredictable changes in family status, leave will still be granted.

    Faculty Status After Leave

    Faculty members who take parental leave will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent status, pay, benefits, and other employment terms. After taking parental leave, faculty members must return to work at the same status they held prior to going on leave, and work the following academic term. Faculty members who choose not to return to work for reasons other than an ongoing serious health condition will be required to reimburse the University the amount it paid for the employee's health insurance premium and parental leave during the leave period.

    Tenure Probationary Period

    Faculty members taking parental leave may request the addition of one year to the total number of years that otherwise would constitute that individual's tenure probationary period. Such requests shall be made in writing no later than six months after the end of the parental leave period, and must be approved by the appropriate dean and the provost. This election is irrevocable and not subject to modification.

    Effect on Sabbatical Leave

    In computing years of service for sabbatical eligibility, time spent on a faculty parental leave will constitute a term of service and will not delay sabbatical eligibility.

    How to Apply

    The Leave of Absence Communication Form must be submitted to HRIC Benefits. Supporting documentation will be required..

    HRIC Benefits Confidential fax: 303-871-6339

    HRIC Benefits Email: Benefits@du.edu

  • Staff Paid Parental Leave

    The University provides up to 12 weeks of partially- or fully- paid Parental Leave for all benefited staff to assist and support new parents with balancing work and family matters. The University will continue to pay the employer’s portion of the employee’s health insurance premium while the employee is on Parental Leave. 

    The University does allow for intermittent parental leave as long as the schedule is not disruptive to the business operations of the unit and has been approved by the employee's supervisor. In some departments, intermittent leave is not available due to the nature of the position. 

    Parental Leave is available to both birth and non-birth parents. Parental Leave must run concurrently with FAMLI, FMLA, and short-term and long-term disability. As such, employees must apply for FAMLI, FMLA and/or short-term disability before being approved for Parental Leave. When the birthing parent is taking Parental Leave, such leave will be in conjunction with the University's core short-term disability benefit, when applicable. 

    The amount of Parental Leave the University will pay depends on whether the employee is receiving paid benefits from some other source (such as FAMLI, short-term or long-term disability). An employee taking Parental Leave may not receive more in compensation than their average weekly wage regardless of the source of the payments. 

    If both parents are employed by the University, both parents have access to Parental Leave and may elect to, but are not required to, take such leave simultaneously. Whenever possible, employees intending to take Parental Leave should inform their department or division leadership no later than three (3) months prior to the proposed beginning of the Parental Leave. If this is not possible due to pre-term delivery, sudden availability of adoption, or other unpredictable changes in family status, the University will still grant the Parental Leave. 

    Parental Leave must be taken within the first year after delivery, adoption, or foster care placement, and pertain to the care and well-being of the newborn or adopted child. The birth or placement of multiple children will not increase the duration of Parental Leave. 

    Following Parental Leave, employees must return to work for at least 30 calendar days. Employees who choose not to return to work for reasons other than an ongoing serious health condition must reimburse the University the amount the University paid: (a) for the employer’s portion of the employee's health insurance premium; and (b) to the employee as salary during the Parental Leave period. employee’s health insurance paid by the University during the Parental Leave period. 


    Parental leave is available to both birthing and non-birthing parents. All benefited employees are eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave.


    How to Apply

    The FAMLI & FMLA Leave Form must be submitted to HRIC Benefits.

    HRIC Benefits email: Benefits@du.edu

    Confidential fax: 303-871-6339

  • Discretionary Leave

    The University, at its sole discretion, may grant discretionary leave. In order to be considered for discretionary leave, eligible employees must comply with the FMLA leave requirements regarding coordination with other leave, notice, and, if applicable, medical certification.

    Faculty and professional staff applying for non-medical discretionary leave should submit written requests at least four months in advance. If an employee fails to comply with these requirements, the University reserves the right to deny the request for discretionary leave.

    Discretionary leave may be requested for study, research, educational travel, or other employment that would either enhance the employee's service to the University, provide a significant community service, or be mutually advantageous to the employee and University.


    The following employees are eligible for discretionary leave:

    • Appointed, non-union employees
    • Tenured faculty members
    • Other professional staff with three or more years of service

    Except as otherwise required by law, the University is not required to grant discretionary leave in any particular case.


    The University reserves the right to deny reinstatement of any employee who takes discretionary leave, except as the law may otherwise require. If an employee's original position cannot be held open during a leave of absence, the University will make reasonable efforts to place the employee in a position of equivalent status and salary upon return from leave.

  • Bereavement Leave

    Leave with pay is available to all appointed exempt and non-exempt (non-faculty) staff because of death in the immediate family. Immediate family is limited to the spouse of the employee, a parent of the employee or employee's spouse, a child of the employee or employee's spouse, a sibling of the employee or employee's spouse, or a grandparent of the employee or employee's spouse. Funeral leave will be limited to three days if the burial is within Colorado, and to five days if it is outside of Colorado. Supervisors may request an obituary or other notice to substantiate the absence.

    Bereavement pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • Jury Duty Leave

    Paid jury duty leave is available to all appointed employees for the duration of their jury service. When a summons for jury duty is received, it should be presented to the employee's supervisor. Employees are expected to report to work if excused from jury duty during normal work hours. Supervisors may require their employees to furnish documentation from the court clerk certifying days served. Any jury duty fees received may be retained by the employee.

    Jury duty pay will not be counted as time worked for overtime purposes.

  • FMLA Provisions for Military Families

    On January 28, 2008, new provisions of the FMLA were signed into law requiring up 26 weeks of protected leave for employees who:

    • Provide care to service members wounded in the line of duty while on active duty
    • Care for veterans undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, are in outpatient status, or are on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness
    • Are the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a wounded service member

    The new amendments also provides up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave to the spouse, child, or parent of any armed services member, including Reservists and members of the National Guard, who is called to active duty in the military.

    The statutory language grants leave for any "qualifying exigency" caused by the active duty call up.

    Employers are entitled to request that the service member provide certification of being called to active duty. Under both types of FMLA leave for military families, intermittent leave is available.

    For more information, see this FMLA page on Department of Labor Website.



HRIC Benefits Specialists