Discretionary leave is paid time off work that a department or division head may award to a professional staff employee to recognize noteworthy achievement and work effort that have significantly contributed to the unit's mission, goals and/or objectives. Up to six days of discretionary leave may be awarded per calendar year. Department or division heads must grant this leave in writing and provide a copy of the award notice or memo to the timekeeper.
Discretionary leave should be used soon after it is awarded, and must be used before annual leave. Discretionary leave must be used by December 31 of each year, or it will be lost and deducted from the record unless an extension is pre authorized by the appropriate vice president or dean. An extension must be in writing, and may not exceed 90 days. Unused discretionary leave may not be paid, and does not transfer to a new organizational unit.
After receiving written confirmation awarding an employee discretionary leave, enter the days granted in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS). OWLS converts the days to hours and displays the leave balance in the monthly summary box. To post the discretionary leave, open the employee’s record and take the following steps:
8. Click on the “Calendar” tab.
9. If the posting of the award is retroactive re-release all previous months.
If discretionary leave has not been used by December 1, remind the employee that it will be forfeited if not used by the end of December.
If discretionary leave had not been used by December 31, and an extension had not been approved, the hours must be forfeited. OWLS will not automatically delete or clear a balance because there is the possibility of extension.
When hours need to be forfeited, the change must be made manually. Open the employee’s OWLS record and take the following steps:
8. Click on the "Calendar" tab.
9. If the forfeiture is retroactive re-submit all previous months.
To learn more about discretionary leave, please visit the Discretionary Leave webpage.
Q. Must discretionary leave be taken in full day increments?
A. Discretionary leave must be awarded in full day increments, but can be taken in hours.
Q. If discretionary leave needs to be used before annual leave, and I notice that annual leave was used prior to discretionary leave, do I need to go back and correct the entry?
A. Yes, you will need to go back and edit the month.
Q. How can I undo a discretionary leave forfeiture?
A. To undo a discretionary leave forfeiture, return to the month that the discretionary leave was originally forfeited, scroll down to where notes appear, and click “Delete” next to the discretionary leave forfeiture under Balance Adjustments.
Q. How can I remove discretionary leave hours that are not used by the deadline?
A. To remove discretionary leave hours that were not used by the deadline, return to the month in which the discretionary leave was originally awarded, scroll down to where notes appear, and click “Delete” next to the discretionary leave forfeiture under Balance Adjustments.