(a) Upon separation from service without fault on his or her part, a person is entitled to a lump-sum payment as of the time of separation for any unused or accumulated vacation or annual leave or for any time off to which he or she is entitled by reason of previous overtime work where compensating time off for overtime work is provided for by the appointing power or by rules of the department. This sum shall be computed by projecting the accumulated time on a calendar basis so that the lump sum will equal the amount which the employee would have been paid had he or she taken the time off but not separated from the service.
(b) Persons separated from service through fault of their own are entitled to a lump-sum payment for compensating time off for overtime work, and in addition, the portion, if any, of unused vacation or annual leave as the department may determine. The computation of this sum shall be based on actual accumulated time without projection as provided in subdivision (a).
(c) Lump-sum payment for vacation or annual leave shall not be made to a person who separates from a position for the purpose of accepting another position in the state service except upon movement to a position in which vacation credits or annual leave are neither accrued nor used. However, a lump-sum payment shall not be made to a person who returns to a position in the same class and agency within 15 working days of the date of his or her resignation.
(d) Except for payment authorized or excluded under subdivision (c), an employee who returns to state service during the period through which his or her lump-sum payment was computed may refund the amount of lump-sum payment which exceeds his or her break in service and have the balance of credits restored as though he or she had remained in state service and taken the time off.
(e) If the provisions of this section are in conflict with the provisions of a memorandum of understanding reached pursuant to Section 3517.5, the memorandum of understanding shall be controlling without further legislative action, except that if the provisions of a memorandum of understanding require the expenditure of funds, the provisions shall not become effective unless approved by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.