Leaves of Absence

Understanding your Leave Options

Depending on your situation you may use accrued leave or one of the other types of leave listed below. If you have any questions about which leave applies to you reach out to your HR Consultant.

How Much Leave Do I Have?

View your accrued leave balances:

  • Login to Web4U
  • Click on Employee tab
  • Click on View Leave Balances

Learn more about Accrued Leave

Applying for Leave

Submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor to request most of the leave types below. 

For more information on these types of leave as they apply to your job classification see your bargained agreement or handbook:

Quick Links

Supervisor's Resources

Classified employees:

  • Time sheets must be submitted by either the employee or the department each pay period for all paid or unpaid leave.
  • If on leave without pay for more than 10 days per month, no vacation or sick pay accruals will be credited for that month, including if absent due to a workers comp injury.
  • Holidays are not paid unless in full pay status the day prior to the holiday. The following are exceptions:
    • Cyclic employees – a cyclic employee must be in pay status previously in the same month to qualify for holiday pay.
    • Alternate workweek employees – their last regularly scheduled workday must be in full pay status.
  • If eligible to receive shared leave donations and accrued leave is exhausted, enter Sick Leave not Leave Without Pay on the time sheet. It will automatically use the shared leave bank of hours when payroll is run.
  • Vacation and sick leave taken is deducted and reflected on the paycheck received during the following pay period:
    • Leave taken during 1st – 15th of the month will be deducted and reflected on the paycheck received on the 25th of the month.
    • Leave taken during 16th – 31st  of the month will be deducted and reflected on the paycheck received on the 10th of the following month.
  • Seniority is adjusted for each day of leave without pay.
  • Vacation and sick leave is accrued and reflected on the paycheck distributed on 10th of the month.

Professional staff:

  • Time sheets must be submitted by either the employee or the department each pay period for all paid or unpaid leave.
  • If on leave without pay for more than 10 days per month, no vacation or sick pay accruals will be credited for that month, including if absent due to a workers comp injury.
  • Holidays are not paid unless in full pay status the day prior to the holiday. The following are exceptions:
    • Cyclic employees – a cyclic employee must be in pay status previously in the same month to qualify for holiday pay.
    • Alternate workweek employees – their last regularly scheduled workday must be in full pay status.
    • Professional staff whose positions are FLSA exempt from overtime (Group 2).
  • If eligible to receive shared leave donations and accrued leave is exhausted, enter Sick Leave not Leave Without Pay on the timesheet. It will automatically use the shared leave bank of hours when payroll is run.
  • Vacation and sick leave taken is deducted and reflected on the paycheck received during the following pay period:
    • Leave taken during 1st – 15th of the month will be deducted and reflected on the paycheck received on the 25th of the month.
    • Leave taken during 16th – 31st  of the month will be deducted and reflected on the paycheck received on the 10th of the following month.
  • Vacation and sick leave is accrued and reflected on the paycheck distributed on 25th of the month.
  • Partial day absences taken for FMLA purposes need to be reported on timesheets; additionally, time taken for FMLA purposes must also be tracked and reported to Human Resources.

Western is committed to supporting employees and job applicants with disabilities. Those in need of an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment, selection and/or employment process are encouraged to utilize the information below. Those needing an accommodation to participate in a WWU sponsored public event are to contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance. Students needing an accommodation for academic purposes are to contact the Disability Access Center.

To request an accommodation:

  1. Fill out the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form
  2. Have your doctor fill out the Medical Certification for Reasonable Accommodation Request
  3. Submit forms to Disability Services in Human Resources.

Policy

Procedures

Forms

Applicable State and Federal Laws

Related Resources

Other Types of Leave

The University grants up to three (3) days of paid bereavement leave for the death of a family member or household member. See your Union Contract or Handbook for definitions of a family member. Additional sick leave may be used with supervisor approval.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Leave with pay granted to employees to serve on juries, as trial witnesses, or to exercise other subpoenaed civil duties. Employees will be allowed to retain any compensation paid to him or her for jury duty service. Civil leave will not be paid if employees are a party to the matter or have an economic interest in the matter.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Classified employees may be granted leave without pay for community volunteerism or service above and beyond their paid community service leave day.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Classified employees may be granted leave without pay for formal collective bargaining sessions or union activities.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

The Washington State Domestic Violence Law (RCW 49.76) allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to take reasonable or intermittent leave from work (paid or unpaid) to take care of legal or law enforcement needs or get medical treatment, social services assistance or mental health counseling. Family members of a victim may also take reasonable leave to help the victim obtain treatment or seek help. 

More resources and information.

Faculty and staff at Western may serve in elective offices without change in their employment status so long as such activities do not interfere with their regular University duties and responsibilities.  In cases where there may be such interference, faculty/administrator shall request a leave of absence without pay from the President or Dean through the appropriate major administrative office before filing for elective office.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

An employee may take leave in the event of an unexpected short-term emergency requiring an immediate response. The employee must inform their supervisor as soon as practicable. These emergencies include:

  • Minor/dependent child care emergencies such as unexpected absence of regular care provider, unexpected closure of child’s school, or unexpected need to pick up child at school earlier than normal.
  • Elder care emergencies such as the unexpected absence of a regular care provider or unexpected closure of an assisted living facility.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact Julie Moon.

Volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, and members of the Civil Air Patrol called to duty to respond to an emergency call, fire alarm, or an emergency service operation may be granted leave without pay.

More info: RCW 49.12.460

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Leave without pay will be granted for up to two (2) workdays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.  Leave will be granted unless it causes an undue hardship or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. Compensatory time, personal holiday or vacation leave may be used in lieu of leave without pay.

More info: RCW 1.16.050

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Overview:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed and signed into law on March 19, 2020.  The Act provides for two paid leaves that employers across the United States must provide to employees in response to the coronavirus epidemic.  The FFCRA is effective on April 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020.  The Act provides for two sources of paid leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). 

Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for: 

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or 
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and 
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. 

Notice: Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving paid sick time. 

Qualifying Reasons for Leave: 

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee: 

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; 
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; 
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis; 
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2); 
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or 
  6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury. 

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees may elect to use any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for the first two weeks of partial paid leave under this section.  

If you want to take leave for a child whose school or place of care is closed, you must be the one providing care to the child. Leave is not available if both parents or another individual is present to care for the child. Also, leave can only be taken for children 14 years of age or younger. If you must care for a 15-17 year old child, you must identify the special circumstances required to provide care. 

Duration of Leave: 

For reasons (1)-(4) and (6): A full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period. 

For reason (5): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave (two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family & medical leave) at 40 hours a week, and a part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period. 

Calculation of Pay:

For leave reasons (1), (2), or (3): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period). 

For leave reasons (4) or (6): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period). 

For leave reason (5): employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period).  

Leave Supplementation:

You may not simultaneously take paid sick leave under the FFCRA and use accrued sick/vacation leave to supplement the difference.

How to apply for FFCRA leave: 

If you are unable to work (or telework) and need to take time off under FFCRA, please notify your supervisor as soon as possible and do the following: 

  1. Fill out a Leave Request Form. 
    • If taking time off for your own diagnosis or quarantine due to COVID-19 (reason 1-3), then select “COVID-19 Employee 100% Paid Sick.” 
    • If taking time off to care for family member (reason 4) or leave under reason 6 then select “COVID-19 2/3 Paid Sick.” 
    • If taking time off due to your child’s school or place of care being closed (reason 5), then select “COVID-19 Child 2/3 Paid Leave.”  
  2. Route form to supervisor. 
  3. Supervisor will then route the form to hr.forms@wwu.edu
  4. Upon receipt of your form, HR will reach out to you to gather more information about your request and may request documentation to substantiate your need for leave. HR will verify if employees have been employed for at least 30 calendar days for the paid family leave. HR will also calculate the average number of hours worked for part-time employees to determine the paid sick time hours to be received. 

If you are needing to take more than 2 weeks of leave under FFCRA for reasons 1,2,3,or 4, then contact Julie Moon, Medical Leave & Disability Administrator to see if you may be eligible to take additional leave under traditional FMLA or the new Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave program.

Forms 

Applicable Federal Law 

Related Resources: 

Classified employees may be granted leave without pay for government service in the public interest. This may include, but is not limited to, the U.S. Public Health Service or Peace Corps leave.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact your HR Consultant.

Classified employees will be granted paid leave not to exceed three (3) days in a two (2) year period, as needed for the purpose of participating in life-giving procedures. Life-giving procedure defined as a medically supervised procedure involving the testing, sampling, or donation of blood, platelets, organs, fluids, tissues, and other human body components for the purposes of donation, without compensation, to a person or organization for medically necessary treatments. Employees will provide reasonable advance notice before taking such leave and will provide written proof from an accredited medical institution, physician or other medical professional that the employee participated in a life-giving procedure.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

  • On time sheet, add in comment to indicate number of hours/days you were away for procedure.

For help, contact Julie Moon.

 

After six years of service to the University, tenured faculty and full-time professional staff may apply to the President or Dean through the appropriate Vice President for professional leave to acquire knowledge and/or experience which will enhance the employee’s future contributions to the University.

To request this leave, submit a Leave Request Form to your supervisor.

For help, contact the Provost's Office.