The County Ordinance Code states: “No vacation will be permitted prior to the completion of 13 full pay periods of continuous service in any status.” The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) MOU states “No vacation will be permitted prior to the completion of thirteen (13) biweekly pay periods of service. Such service includes time in an extra-help status provided that there has not been a break in service…” Most of the other union contracts have language similar to the Ordinance Code.
We recommend vacation requests in most cases be denied for new County employees who have not previously worked in any status (permanent, probationary or extra help). This action ensures that the supervisor can observe a new employee’s performance during the full probationary period. Of course, if there is a special situation and vacation is approved during probation, the department may always opt to extend the probation by the length of the vacation to provide a full probationary period and advise the employee of this extension at the time the vacation request is approved.
However, if an employee has worked in an Extra Help status before accepting a permanent position, the supervisor has already reviewed the performance and conduct of the new employee. In this situation, based on the “continuous service” language and the intent of the language, a department may approve the vacation even if the employee is on probation. In circumstances where an employee who has worked in an Extra Help status but is selected for a permanent position which is different from the Extra Help classification, a department may decide not to approve a vacation.