Study Finds Inconsistencies in Management of Holiday Leave at Idaho State Agencies

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Idaho policymakers say they've wrestled with the holiday leave policy for state employees for nearly 20 years. Existing statute and administrative rule indicates that there are 10 paid holidays for employees who pay into the state's retirement system. Yet state agencies and departments are inconsistent with managing the rule. 

A report out today from the Idaho Legislature's Office of Performance Evaluation reveals that 51 agencies restrict holiday leave to eight hours, with 14 other agencies allowing more than eight hours and 21 other agencies offering no holiday leave policy. Traditional work schedules in most Idaho agencies are defined by five eight-hour workdays Monday-Friday, while a nontraditional schedule is a combination of days and hours equal to 40 hours in a week (i.e. four 10-hour workdays).

"It's an important issue because it deals with equity concerns and how employees perceive what is fair to them in comparison to other employees in similar situations," wrote OPE Director Rakesh Mohan to Idaho legislators.

According to the report, "We found an overall lack of clarity in how statute and rule should be applied."

Among OPE's options to agency heads are: No. 1, restrict all employees to receive a maximum of eight hours of holiday leave; No. 2, develop specific criteria to determine which employees would receive more than eight hours of holiday leave; No. 3, grant all employees with a nontraditional schedule the number of leave hours equal to the hours they would normally work; or No. 4, maintain the status quo.

"We recommend, regardless of the policy option pursued, clear direction and guidance," OPE wrote.