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2016 Paid Time Off Policies Survey – Arizona, Colorado, Utah & Wyoming

This biennial survey provides detailed information on topics such as holidays, vacations, uninsured sick leave, FMLA, workers’ compensation, jury duty, and—new this year—a section on unlimited paid-time-off plans.

There are a total of 623 participants from Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The geographic breakout displays data for the following areas of Colorado and Wyoming: Denver/Boulder, Northern Colorado, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Colorado Western Slope, Colorado Resort Areas, and Wyoming. MSEC also publishes a separate report by organization employment size and type of industry for the Colorado and Wyoming participants. The Arizona report displays data by the geographic areas of Metropolitan Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Other Arizona locations. The Utah report includes the geographic regions of Wasatch North, Wasatch South, Mountainland, and Central-Southern, and also by number of employees and industry type. 


For an up-to-date list of 2017 paid holidays, visit our website


Thirty-five percent of Colorado respondents allow a maximum of four weeks of paid vacation. This is identical to 2014’s results. Fifty-eight percent of Arizona and 43 percent of Utah respondents also offer a maximum of four weeks. Forty-three percent of Wyoming employers reported a maximum of 120 hour paid vacation.

Colorado shows the highest percentage of employers—15 percent—offering five weeks of vacation. Twenty-seven percent of Colorado employers allow between 161 and 199 hours of vacation, down slightly from 36 percent in 2014, with Arizona reporting 11 percent and Wyoming 36 percent.

Forty-five percent of Colorado participants accrue vacation monthly, per pay period, etc., compared with 47 percent of participants in 2014. Forty-seven percent of Arizona employers report using an accrual system, while only 21 percent of Utah employers do. Wyoming revealed a large decrease of employers using accrual systems at 46 percent, down from 63 percent reported last time.

Paid-Time-Off Plan (PTO)

The number of employers offering a PTO program, which is a formal plan providing a bank of days to be used by each employee as desired (i.e. vacation, sick leave, personal time) increased slightly to 42 percent in Colorado versus 36 percent reported in 2014. Thirty-one percent of Arizona employers have a consolidated plan, with Utah reporting 26 percent and Wyoming 46 percent.

Part-Time Employees

There is an increase this year in the number of employers offering paid-time-off benefits to their part-time employees. In Colorado, 67 percent offered benefits versus 59 percent in 2014. Of those offering paid-time-off benefits, the minimum average number of required work hours per week is 23 hours. Of the Arizona responses, 56 percent offer benefits to part time employees, with Utah at 39 percent and Wyoming reporting 62 percent.

Military Leave

Forty-three percent of private-sector Colorado organizations do not pay for a military leave of absence unless the employee chooses to use vacation time. Likewise, 50 percent of Arizona, 43 percent of Utah, and 33 percent of Wyoming employers report no pay unless vacation time is used. Seventeen percent of private organizations in Colorado pay the difference between military pay and the employee’s salary, with those figures at 22 percent in Arizona, 18 percent in Utah, and 24 percent in Wyoming.

The 2016 Paid Time Off Policies Survey is available to Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah Transitioned members at no charge. The survey order form for Utah Grandfathered members is available on our website.

Notice of Surveys Being Conducted

2017 HR Metrics Survey – Arizona, Colorado, Utah & Wyoming

The 2017 HR Metrics Survey was formerly titled, Personnel Pulse. The online questionnaire invitation for the survey has been sent to organizations via email with their unique survey link. This survey will provide data for topics such as 2016 turnover, job absence rates, cost of benefits, and executive benefits.

2017 Benchmark Compensation Survey – Arizona, Colorado, Utah & Wyoming

The questionnaire for the 2017 Benchmark Compensation Survey for Arizona, Colorado, Utah & Wyoming employers was mailed out in early January. This survey includes positions that cross all industries in the following job families: general support, financial, human resources, legal, sales/marketing, engineering, production, procurement, as well as information technology and executive jobs. New to the survey this year is a Social Media Manager and five levels of Design Engineer. Added to the Information Technology Survey this year are a Web Content Coordinator and three levels of Web Software Developer.

2017 Public Employers Survey

This survey collects compensation data for jobs in a variety of public-sector organizations, such as Cities/Counties/States, Libraries, Fire, Utilities, and Parks and Recreation organizations. There are five new positions added to the survey this year: Business Process Director, University Extension Program Assistant, Pro Shop Attendant, Golf Cart/Range Attendant, and Golf Starter/Ranger. In addition to collecting base salary and formal range structures (minimums/maximums), this survey also collects step pay range information for police and fire positions.

Want to participate in any of these surveys?

Participants can go to the MSEC website and download the job descriptions, questionnaire, rate sheet, and general information form for completion. These documents are located on the “Survey Questionnaires” page in the Survey section of the website.

As always, it is the participation of our members that helps make MSEC surveys the number-one data source for the region. Thank you!

Salary Survey Job Matching Workshop

February 3, 2017 – 8:30-11:30 a.m.


MSEC, Denver Office

Are you often confused about how to match your organization’s positions to the jobs in MSEC’s Benchmark Compensation Survey? If so, join us for this hands-on workshop. During this workshop, MSEC Surveys Staff will assist attendees with matching jobs in their organization to positions in MSEC’s Benchmark Compensation Survey. This session is especially helpful to individuals completing the survey questionnaire for the first time.

To register for this event, please visit the Seminar Catalog section of our website, email, or call 303-223-5491.