Shared Leave

Western is committed to supporting employees when they face difficult work/life issues that require the use of shared leave. The state program allows a state employee to come to the aid of another state employee who is likely to take leave without pay or terminate his or her employment because the employee:

  • suffers from, or has a relative or household member suffering from, an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which is of an extraordinary or severe nature;
  • is sick or temporarily disabled because of a pregnancy disability;
  • needs the time for parental leave;
  • has been called to service in the uniformed services;
  • is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking;
  • is volunteering with a governmental agency or a nonprofit organization when a state of emergency has been declared within the United States; or
  • is a veteran or spouse of a veteran who requires assistance while attending medical appointments or treatments for a service connected injury or disability.
  • Until the expiration of Proclamation 20-05 (Stay Home – Stay Healthy) issued by Governor Inslee and declaring a state of emergency in the state of Washington, or any amendment to this proclamation, whichever is later, Western may permit an employee to receive Shared Leave relating to COVID-19. 

Effective March 17, 2020, the following changes were also made to amend RCW 41.04.665:

  1. Employees may maintain up to 40 hours of applicable leaves in reserve and be eligible for shared leave.
  2. Employees receiving industrial wage benefits may receive up to 25% of their base salary in shared leave.
  3. Shared leave may be used intermittently.

Receiving Shared Leave

You must:

  • Be an employee that is entitled to accrue sick and/or vacation leave;
  • Have a qualifying reason;
  • Have depleted or will deplete accrued leave depending on qualifying reason.

To request Shared Leave for COVID-19 related reasons:

  1. Complete the Shared Leave Application (COVID Related Reasons) Form
  2. Submit form to hr.disability@wwu.edu

To request Shared Leave:

  1. Complete the Shared Leave Application Form
  2. Have your health care provider fill out the Shared Leave Medical Certification Form or submit verification document.
Reason Documentation
Your own or family member with extraordinary or severe illness Medical Certification from health care provider
Uniformed service Copy of military orders
Victim of domestic violence Police report, court order, or a statement from attorney, clergy, medical professional, or advocate
Volunteer service for declared state of emergency Proof of acceptance of your offer to volunteer for either a governmental agency or a nonprofit organization during a declared state of emergency
Pregnancy or parental leave Medical Certification provided through Taking Family or Medical Leave Policy

You may receive up to 480 hours of shared leave per condition or situation. Total donations shall not exceed 522 days of leave for the entire duration of state employment. Exceptions may be made with VP approval for extraordinary circumstances for an employee qualifying for the shared leave program because the employee is suffering from an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition which is of an extraordinary or severe nature.

Shared leave received from the state Shared Leave Pools are not included in the 522 day limit.

End of Shared Leave

Shared leave use will end when you are released to return to work, the need to care for your family member ends, or you separate employment.

Unused donations will be returned to the donors.

Donating Shared Leave

You can donate your sick leave, vacation leave or personal holiday in 4 hours increments to another employee that is approved to receive Shared Leave under the following conditions:

  • Your request to donate leave will not cause your vacation leave balance to fall below 80 hours after the transfer.
  • Your request to donate leave will not cause your sick leave balance to fall below 176 hours after the transfer.

You may not donate leave that you would otherwise lose due to separation of employment

You may donate to an employee at another state agency, it it requires VP approval. Donations to another agency equals the dollar value of leave plus fringe benefits (46%). Following VP approval, payment is then issued to receiving agency.

Complete the Shared Leave Donation Form

Washington State Shared Leave Pools

There are other opportunities to participate in the shared leave program by donating to a leave pool, not a specific individual.

Foster Parent Shared Leave Pool

The purpose of the Foster Parent Shared Leave Pool is to allow any state employee to voluntarily donate their leave to be used as shared leave for any eligible state employee who is a licensed foster parent pursuant to RCW 74.15.040 and is caring for a foster child or is preparing to care for a foster child in their home.

Uniform Service Shared Leave

The Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool was created so that state employees who are called to service in the uniformed services will be able to maintain a level of compensation and employee benefits consistent with the amount they would have received had they remained in active state service. An employee is eligible to receive shared leave from the pool if there if leave is available in the pool and meets eligibility requirements under Access and Donating to Uniformed Shared Leave Pool Policy.

Veterans In-State Service Shared Leave Program

The Veterans In-State Service Shared Leave Program (VISSLP) was created to allow employees to voluntarily donate their leave to be used for a veteran to attend medical appointments or treatments for a service connected injury or disability; or the employee is a spouse of a veteran who requires assistance while attending medical appointments or treatments for a service connected injury or disability.

Employees can voluntarily donate leave to these pools with approval by the appropriate Director/Dean and Vice President.

Policies

Procedures

Related Resources