Paid Time Off


Permanent, full-time employees accumulate vacation hours each pay period. The following chart summarizes the amount of vacation hours earned per year:

 Years of completed service  Vacation hours earned per year
Year 1-4 80
 Year 5  120
Year 6 and 7  128
Year 8 and 9 136
Year 10 and 11 144
Year 12 152
Year 13 160
Year 14 168
Year 15 176
Year 16 184
Year 17 192
Year 18+ 200

You may use earned vacation after six months of employment. You may take up to 90 days of vacation in a calendar year. Upon termination, you are eligible to be paid for unused accrued vacation leave, as follows: (1) If you were hired prior to January 1, 2000, you may accrue and carry forward from year to year a maximum of 840 vacation hours; and upon termination, you can be paid up to 720 accrued, unused hours; (2) If you were hired on or after January 1, 2000, you may accumulate and carry forward a maximum of 420 vacation hours; and upon termination, you can be paid up to 360 accrued, unused hours.

Part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees are not eligible for vacation leave benefits.

The City of Houston grants employees designated paid holidays each year.

Compensable Sick Leave Plan

The Compensable Sick Leave Plan allows you to accrue sick hours that may be used when you are ill or to care for certain family members during their illness. Sick leave accrual begins immediately for new employees. The plan allows you to accumulate two hours 30 minutes per pay period to a maximum of 65 hours per benefit year. Benefit years begin Sept. 1 and end Aug. 31. At the end of a benefit year, the city will match any sick leave hours that you have accrued during that benefit year and not used. These hours will be added to your accruals for the next benefit year to an accrual of 1,040 hours. After you reach an accrual of 1,040 hours, you will continue to accrue 65 hours each benefit year; however, the city will not match unused accruals after 1,040 hours.

A supervisor may require a doctor’s statement for each absence for which sick hours are used. A supervisor must require a doctor’s statement for all sick hours used in excess of 64 hours in a benefit year.If you use 16 or fewer sick hours during any full benefit year, the plan allows you to receive personal leave days*. You must be employed a full benefit year before you qualify for personal leave days.

The plan provides up to eight hours for preventive wellness * such as dental or doctor's appointments during a benefit year. Employees are required to provide a doctor's statement documenting that the visit was for wellness purposes. Using these wellness hours does not affect the number of sick leave hours you have accrued.

For example:

Employee hired – Feb. 2001
Benefit year starts – Sept. 2001
Employee works a benefit year - Sept. 2001 – Aug. 2002
Wellness becomes available immediately upon employment.

*Important Note: Personal leave hours and preventive wellness hours must be used during the benefit year in which they are awarded. Hours do not accumulate and may not be carried over from one benefit year to another benefit year.


Wellness Leave

Additionally, employees in the CSL plan who began their employment no later than August 31st are entitled to use up to eight hours of wellness leave during the next benefit year. Wellness leave is to be used for physical examinations and other preventive medical appointments and requires advance notice and documentation from the health provider.