Carnegie Mellon University

Paid Time Off

The university provides regular, full-time staff members with Paid Time Off (PTO). You may use PTO to take days off for vacation, illness, personal time or to care for dependents.


  • PTO is available to regular, full-time staff members. Full-time staff members whose employment terms are for four months or less are not regular full-time staff members.
  • Union members' PTO accrual schedules may differ. Union members should speak with their union representative for PTO information specific to their union contract.
  • Benefits-eligible full-time staff in California should refer to the California Staff Handbook [pdf] and the California Paid Sick Leave Law [pdf] for their PTO guidelines.
  • Employees working in New York City should refer to the New York City Paid Time Off and Sick Leave Protocol [pdf] for additional PTO guidelines.

PTO Accrual

  • PTO is earned on an employment year basis, and is earned on the first day of each month.
  • Unused PTO may be carried over to the next employment year, up to your annual PTO allowance. (Excess unused PTO will be placed into a reserve sick bank to be used during short-term disability. Reserve sick days are not paid out upon separation from the university. Visit the Paid Time Off Policy for more information on carryover of PTO.)
  • PTO days are not earned during any leaves of absence. (If you are on a leave of absence the first day of a month, PTO will not accrue for that month.) You will resume earning and accruing PTO on the first day of the month following your return to work. (If you return to work on the first of the month, you will resume earning PTO on that day.)
  • Part-time employment years in which the employee worked at least 1,000 hours will count as one year of employment for PTO accrual purposes.

Accrual Schedule

Years of Service PTO Earned Per Month Maximum PTO Earned Per Year
Up to & including year 3 1.42 days 17
beginning year 4 1.67 days 20
beginning year 8 2.08 days 25
beginning year 16 2.50 days 30

Using PTO

  • Except in the case of illness or emergency, PTO days must be scheduled in advance and are subject to approval by your supervisor.
  • Employees may not use PTO before it has been earned without departmental approval. (Deficit PTO days will be deducted from your final paycheck.)
  • Upon separation from the university, you will be paid for earned but unused PTO (up to your annual entitlement) subject to the provisions of the university's Paid Time Off Policy.
  • PTO may be used concurrently with other types of leave. University holidays, floating holidays and leaves of absence are not part of the Paid Time Off Policy.
  • If you are separating with the university, your last day worked cannot be a PTO day. You must be actively working on your last day with the university unless you are on an approved leave of absence.