Time off from work is an important part of making sure you take care of yourself and your family. Take a look at the types of paid and unpaid leave available to Department of Corrections employees.

Paid Leave

Annual Leave

Full-time state of Missouri employees accumulate annual leave starting at 5 hours of annual leave each pay period (or 10 hours per month). Employees earn 6 hours of annual leave each pay period after completing 10 years of state service. Upon completing 15 years of state service, employees earn 7 hours of annual leave each pay period. There are limits to how much annual leave an employee is allowed to maintain on an annual basis. Those limits are 240 hours, 288 hours, and 336 hours, depending on how many years of state service the employee has. When employees separate from service, they are entitled to receive reimbursement for the amount of accrued leave that does not exceed the maximum allowable accumulation.

Sick Leave

Full-time employees also earn 5 hours of sick leave each pay period as long as they are in pay status for at least 80 hours of that pay period. Employees can accumulate sick leave without limit. Sick leave can be converted to retirement credit upon retirement. If you have any questions concerning paid leave, please contact your personnel clerk.

Parental Leave

Executive Order 17-09 allows every employee of the departments and agencies of the executive branch of Missouri state government to take paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Primary caregivers may take up to 6 weeks of paid parental leave. Secondary caregivers may take up to 3 weeks of paid parental leave. More information about parental leave can be found in department procedure D2-8.14 Parental Leave.


When employees suffer a catastrophic illness or injury and have exhausted all paid leave, they may qualify for ShareLeave to utilize paid leave that has been donated by fellow employees. Department Procedure D2-8.12 ShareLeave provides information about how to donate leave and request the use of ShareLeave.


Pursuant to state law, state employees receive 12 paid holidays per year, plus any additional holidays as designated by the governor or the president. Employees who work on holidays earn compensatory time, which they can use at a later date or take in the form of a compensatory time payout. Please refer to Department Procedure D2- 8.10 Holiday for more information.

Military Leave

The department complies with all regulations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA is designed to protect the rights of persons who are absent from employment because of military service.

Employees who are members of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard who are performing military duties on a voluntary or involuntary basis are entitled to military leave of absence. While serving under military orders, employees will be entitled to the protection and benefits of USERRA. Employees serving in the military under eligible criteria will not be subjected to any negative impact on their career with the department, to include seniority, benefit entitlement or performance rating. The department provides 120 hours of paid military leave (not including days off or holidays) in any federal fiscal year (October 1-September 30).

Unpaid Leave

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Leave Entitlements: FMLA provides to eligible employees unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Eligible employees who work for a covered employer can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To bond with a child (leave must be taken within one year of the child’s birth or placement);
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a qualifying serious health condition;
  • For the employee’s own qualifying serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job;
  • For qualifying exigencies related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.

An eligible employee who is a covered servicemember’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin may also take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember with a service-related serious injury or illness.

An employee does not need to use leave in one block. When it is medically necessary or otherwise permitted, employees may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule.

Absences covered under FMLA run concurrently with accrued paid and unpaid leave. This means that the department requires employees to use accrued sick, annual, holiday, and state compensatory leave while taking FMLA leave. After all accrued leave balances are exhausted, the employee may use unpaid leave for absences covered under FMLA. Regardless of the type of leave used for the absence, the employee must comply with the employer’s normal time and attendance reporting policies.

Benefits and Protections: While employees are on FMLA leave, employers must continue health insurance coverage as if the employees were not on leave.

Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to the same job or one nearly identical to it with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.

An employer may not interfere with an individual’s FMLA rights or retaliate against someone for using or trying to use FMLA leave, opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA, or being involved in any proceeding under or related to FMLA.

Eligibility Requirements: An employee who works for a covered employer must meet three criteria in order to be eligible for FMLA leave. The employee must:

  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months before taking leave; and
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite.

Requesting Leave: Generally, employees must give 30-days’ advance notice of the need for FMLA leave. If it is not possible to give 30-days’ notice, an employee must notify the employer as soon as possible and, generally, follow the employer’s usual procedures.

Employees do not have to share a medical diagnosis but must provide enough information for the employer to determine whether the leave qualifies for FMLA protection. Sufficient information could include informing an employer that the employee is or will be unable to perform his or her job functions; that a family member cannot perform daily activities; or that hospitalization or continuing medical treatment is necessary. Employees must inform the employer if the need for leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified.

Employers can require a certification or periodic recertification supporting the need for leave. If the employer determines that the certification is incomplete, it must provide a written notice indicating what additional information is required.

Employer Responsibilities: Once an employer becomes aware that an employee’s need for leave is for a reason that may qualify under FMLA, the employer must notify the employee if he or she is eligible for FMLA leave and, if eligible, must also provide a notice of rights and responsibilities under FMLA. If the employee is not eligible, the employer must provide a reason for ineligibility.

Employers must notify its employees if leave will be designated as FMLA leave, and if so, how much leave will be designated as FMLA leave.

Enforcement: Employees may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.

FMLA does not affect any federal or state law prohibiting discrimination or supersede any state or local law or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater family or medical leave rights.

Employees should consult department procedure D2-8.13 Family Medical Leave or D2-8.15 Military Family Leave for a complete explanation of the process for requesting family medical leave.