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(1) In accordance with 2-18-611, MCA, all permanent, seasonal, and temporary employees are eligible to earn vacation leave credits. A short-term worker, as defined in 2-18-101, MCA, does not earn leave or time toward the rate earned.

(2) An employee must be continuously employed for the qualifying period of 6 calendar months to be eligible to take or receive cash compensation upon termination for vacation leave. Unless there is a break in service, an employee is only required to serve the qualifying period once. After a break in service, an employee must again complete the qualifying period to be eligible to use annual vacation leave.

(3) Annual vacation leave credits accrue from the first day of employment. Leave credits may not be advanced nor may leave be taken retroactively.

(4) A seasonal employee's accrued vacation leave credits may be carried over to the next season, if management has a continuing need for the employee, or paid out as a lump-sum payment to the employee when the season ends, in accordance with ARM 2.21.232.

(5) If annual vacation leave credits are carried over, employment in two or more seasons is continuous employment and can be counted toward the 6-month qualifying period, provided a break in service does not occur. As provided in 2-18-611, MCA, a seasonal employee "must immediately report back for work when operations resume in order to avoid a break in service." Returning seasonal employees must report to work by the date and time specified by the agency to avoid a break in service.

(6) A person simultaneously employed in two or more positions in the same or in different agencies will accrue vacation leave credits in each position according to the number of hours worked. Vacation leave credits will be used only from the position in which the credits are earned and with approval of the supervisor or appropriate authority for that position.

(7) When a person who is simultaneously employed as provided in this rule exceeds the maximum accrual of vacation leave credits, the number of hours forfeited will be apportioned to each position in proportion to the balance of vacation credits for each position.

(8) Hours in a pay status paid at the regular rate will be used to calculate leave accrual. Vacation leave credits will not accrue for those hours exceeding 40 hours in a workweek that are paid as overtime hours or are recorded as compensatory time hours. A full-time state employee shall not earn less than or more than the full-time annual leave accrual rate provided by ARM 2.21.223, except as provided in this rule.

(9) As provided in 2-18-611, MCA, "an employee may not accrue annual vacation leave credits while in a leave-without-pay status."

(10) Where an employee who has not worked the qualifying period for use of annual vacation leave takes an approved continuous leave of absence without pay exceeding 15 working days, the amount of time on leave of absence will not count toward completion of the qualifying period. The leave of absence exceeding 15 working days is not a break in service and the employee will not lose any accrued annual leave credits or lose credit for time earned toward the qualifying period. An approved continuous leave of absence without pay of 15 working days or less will be counted as time earned toward the 6 month qualifying period.

(11) When an employee who has been laid off elects to maintain annual leave credits, as provided in ARM 2.21.5007, the employee shall not take any accrued annual leave credits. The employee may take those annual leave credits if reinstated or reemployed by the same agency or another state agency pursuant to the State Employee Protection Act, 2-18-1201, et seq., MCA. The employee may elect to be cashed out at any time at the salary rate the employee earned at the effective date of lay-off. The employee shall be cashed out when the employee's rights under the State Employee Protection Act end.

History: Sec. 2-18-604, MCA; IMP, 2-18-611 and 2-18-617, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 2899, Eff. 11/15/80; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 100, Eff. 2/1/85; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 101, Eff. 1/31/86; AMD, 1997 MAR p. 1442, Eff. 8/19/97.

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