WASHINGTON STATE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND

 

ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY                                 Date: March 21, 1991

                                                                                    Revised:  November 28, 2005

 

SUBJECT:      Leave Policy – Classified Employees

 

Applicability:  All classified employees of the Washington State School for the Blind who are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Prepared by:   Cherie Willhide, Human Resources Manager

 

Approved by:  Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent

 

I.                   Purpose:

 

The purpose of this policy is to provide the employer with guidance regarding its role and responsibility in the leave processes for non-WMS and non-represented employees.  This policy complies with the requirements set forth in 357-31.

 

II.                Policy:

 

The Employer establishes the following regarding the accrual and conditions of leave accrual and usage for the types of leave referenced within 357-31.

 

RESPONSIBILITY

 

Executive Management:

For purposes of administrative responsibility the executive management of the Washington State School for the Blind will be responsible for the review and approval of leave policies and any changes or revisions to the Leave Policy content.

The executive management of the Washington State School for the Blind will also be responsible for decision-making on matters for which authority has not been otherwise delegated.

 

 

Managers and Supervisors:

Managers and Supervisors will be responsible for monitoring compliance and approval of leave requests as set forth within this policy for those employees under their direct supervision.

Managers and Supervisors will work in tandem with the Human Resources office to ensure compliance in the implementation and administration of the Leave Policy.

Human Resources:

Assist executive management in the administration and compliance of the Leave Policy.

Provide recommendations regarding the appropriate human resource practices in the administration of the Leave Policy.

Human Resources and Financial Services will monitor and track the appropriate required provisions and usage of leave as stated within the Leave Policy.

Training and education on the Leave Policy will be required as part of New Employee Orientation for those employees covered by this policy.

 

Definitions:

 

The definitions per WAC 357-31 apply to this policy as follows:

 

Anniversary Date: Anniversary date is the unbroken service date plus prior state service minus leave without pay when it exceeds 15 consecutive calendar days as provided in 357-31-345.  The anniversary date is used to determine when vacation leave over 240 hours is lost and for computing the rate of vacation leave accrual beginning with the 5th year of total state service

 

Unbroken Service Date: The date a general government employee began current continuous state service.  This date is used for computing the rate of vacation leave accrual through and including the employee’s 4th year of continuous service.  The unbroken service date is adjusted by leave without pay when it exceeds 15 consecutive calendar days as provided in 357-31-345.

 

Minor/dependent child: A biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is:

a)      Under 18 years of age, or

b)      18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

c)      Persons who are in loco parentis are those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child.

 

Child: A biological, adopted, or foster child or a stepchild.

 

Family members: Individuals considered to be members of the family are parent, step-parent, sister, brother, parent-in-law, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, minor/dependents child, and child.

 

Household members: Persons who reside in the same home who have reciprocal duties to and do provide financial support for one another.  The term does not include persons sharing the same house when the living style is primarily that of a dormitory or commune.

 

Parent: A biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.  A person who had day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support the employee when he or she was a child is considered to have stood in loco parentis to the employee.

 

Parent-in-law: A biological parent of an employee’s spouse or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee’s spouse when the employee’s spouse was a child.  A person who had day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support the employee’s spouse when he or she was a child is considered to have stood in loco parentis to the employee’s spouse.

 

Emergency health condition: A sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances related to a person’s health, which requires immediate action and is typically short-term in nature.

 

Full-time Employee: An employee who is scheduled to work:

40 hours in one (1) workweek;

 

Part-time Employee: An employee who is scheduled to work less than that required for a full-time employee.

 

Section A: Holidays

 

The Washington State School for the Blind recognizes the following legal holidays as designated by RCW 1.16.050:

1.      First day of January (New Year’s Day)

2.      Third Monday of January (Martin Luther King Day)

3.      Third Monday of February (President’s Day)

4.      Last Monday of May (Memorial Day)

5.      Fourth day of July (Independence Day)

6.      First Monday of September (Labor Day)

7.      Eleventh day of November (Veterans Day)

8.      Fourth Thursday of November (Thanksgiving Day)

9.      Fourth Friday of November (Day After Thanksgiving Day)

10.  Twenty-fifth day of December (Christmas Day)

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established separate procedures detailing the requirements for Holiday entitlement and usage for full-time and part-time employees based on the criteria established in 357-31.

 


 

Section B: Personal Holiday

 

Washington State School for the Blind classified employees are entitled to one personal holiday per calendar year. Any classified employee scheduled to be, or has been continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least (4) months is eligible for the personal holiday.

 

An employee may donate all or part of his/her personal holiday to the Shared Leave Program or to provide care as provided for within 357-31- 425, and 070.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established separate procedures detailing the requirements for Personal Holiday entitlement and usage for full-time and part-time employees.

 

 

Section C: Leave General Conditions

 

The Washington State School for the Blind sets forth the following policy regarding the request and approval of leave.  Employees will be allowed to use vacation leave without advance approval when the employee is requesting the use of vacation leave to respond to family care emergencies or for an emergency health condition as provided in 357-31-200(2).

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will treat unauthorized absences as unauthorized leave without pay and may be grounds for separation under the provisions of WAC 357-46-210.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will transfer any unused leave credits (sick and vacation) for employees who change state employers without a break in service.

 

Leave accruals for part-time employees will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status in the month to that required for full-time employment.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established separate procedures detailing the requirements for the request and approval of leave.

 

Section D: Sick Leave

 

Full-time employees will accrue 8 hours of sick leave per month.  Part-time employees will accrue sick leave each month on a pro-rata basis in accordance with 357-31-115

 

Full-time employees who are in pay status for less than (80) non-overtime hours in a month do not earn a monthly accrual of sick leave.[1]

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may require medical verification or certification of the reason for sick leave use.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant the use of sick leave under the specific criteria set forth in the Washington State School for the Blind Leave Procedures and in accordance with 357-31-130.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will allow the use of accrued sick leave under the following conditions:

a)      For condolence or bereavement

b)      When an employee is unable to report for work due to inclement weather in accordance with the (Employer Name) policy on Inclement Weather (357-31-255).

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will require that employees follow the established procedures for requesting sick leave.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind prohibits the use of sick leave in advance of its accrual in accordance with 357-31-140.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may allow the use of sick leave while the employee is on vacation leave (357-31-145)., provided the employee submits the request within three days of their return to work and the leave request in accompanied by a physicians note indicating the need for sick leave.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind, in concurrence with the attendance incentive program established by RCW 41.14.340, employees will be paid for accrued sick leave in accordance with 357-31-150 and the established employer procedures for payment of accrued sick leave.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will not pay for accrued sick leave for employees who separate employment for any reason other than retirement or death.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will restore any unused sick leave credits to which the employee was entitled at the time of separation, to former employees who are re-employed within five (5) years of their separation from state service.

 

 

Section E: Vacation Leave

 

Full-time employees of the Washington State School for the Blind will accrue vacation leave at the following rates:

During first year of continuous state employment

12-days (8.0 hours per month)

During second year of continuous state employment

13 days (8 hours, 40 minutes per month)

During third and fourth years of continuous state employment

14 days (9 hours, 20 minutes per month)

 

During fifth, sixth, and seventh years of total state employment

15 days (10 hours per month)

During eighth, ninth, and tenth years of total state employment

16 days (10 hours, 40 minutes per month)

During the eleventh year of total state employment

17 days (11 hours, 20 minutes per month)

During twelfth year of total state employment

18 days (12 hours per month)

During thirteenth year of total state employment

19 days (12 hours, 40 minutes per month)

During fourteenth year of total state employment

20 days (13 hours, 20 minutes per month)

During fifteenth year of total state employment

21 days (14 hours per month)

During sixteenth and succeeding years of total state employment

22 days (14 hours, 40 minutes per month)

 

Part-time employees with the Washington State School for the Blind will accrue vacation leave on a pro-rata basis in accordance with 357-31-125

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant the use of vacation leave and implement the accrual and pay out of vacation leave under the specific criteria set forth in the Washington State School for the Blind Leave Procedures and in accordance with 357-31-165 through 225.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will require that the established procedures be followed for requesting vacation leave.

 


The Washington State School for the Blind will grant the use of vacation leave under the following conditions:

a)      As a result of the employee’s serious health condition

b)      To care for a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent of the employee who has a serious health condition or an emergency health condition.

c)      To care for a minor/dependent child with a health condition that requires treatment or supervision.

d)     For parental leave as provided in 357-31-460

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may withhold approval pending verification of the existence of the serious health condition.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will consider the needs of the employee but may require that leave be taken when it least interferes with the operational needs of the employer (357-31-205).

 

Section F: Compensatory Time

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will require requests for use of accrued compensatory time be in accordance with the criteria set forth within this Leave Policy and established Leave Procedures.  When considering employee requests for use of accrued compensatory time the Washington State School for the Blind will assess its work requirements and the wishes of the employee.

 

When an employee requests use of compensatory time to care for a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent of the employee who has a serious health condition or an emergency health condition, or to care for a minor/dependent child with a health condition that requires treatment or supervision; the Washington State School for the Blind may withhold approval pending verification of the existence of the serious health condition.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may schedule compensatory time off during the final sixty (60) days of the biennium.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will require that accumulated compensatory time be used before vacation leave is approved, except in those instances where this requirement would result in loss of accumulated vacation leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section G: Workers Compensation and Leave Use

 

Employees of the Washington State School for the Blind who sustain a work related injury or illness that is qualified under the workers compensation law may choose to receive time-loss compensation exclusively, or combine time-loss compensation with any accrued paid leave 357-31-235.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures for employees who use accrued sick leave, vacation leave and/or holiday pay during the period when they are receiving time-loss compensation.

 

Section H: Bereavement Leave

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant (3) days of paid bereavement leave for the death of a family member or a household member.  The employee may request less than (3) days of bereavement leave (357-31-250).

 

Additionally, the employee may request and the Washington State School for the Blind may grant the use of paid leave (accrued compensatory time, sick leave, vacation leave, and/or a personal holiday) or leave without pay for the purpose of bereavement.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may require verification of the family member’s or household member’s death. 

 

Section I: Inclement Weather

 

When Washington State School for the Blind determines that inclement weather conditions exist, employees may use accrued compensatory time, accrued vacation leave, up to three days of accrued sick leave within any calendar year or the use of leave without pay in lieu of paid leave at the employees’ request.  The types of leave used shall be in the order as stated above.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures for the request and usage of leave for the purpose of inclement weather.

 

Section J: Suspension of Operations

 

The Washington State School for the Blind when it is determined that public safety, health, or property is jeopardized due to emergency conditions, may suspend operations for the entire Washington State School for the Blind organization or any portion(s) of the organization.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures regarding the suspension of operations to include at minimum but not be limited to: the effect of suspended operations on employees who are not required to work during closure; leave usage; compensation; compensation for employees required to work during suspended operation; employee notification of suspended operations; what occurs when prior notice has not been given and employees are released until further notice; and how employees who are not required to work during suspended operations are affected. 

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will not suspend the operation for more than fifteen (15) calendar days without approval of the Director of the Department of Personnel (357-31-280).

 

Section K: Family Care Emergencies

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will authorize absences because of an employee’s inability to report for continued scheduled work due to a family care emergency under the following circumstances:

 

The employee must be authorized for care of their spouse, household member or spouse’s child, parent or grandparent up to the limits specified in 357-31-300.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind defines a family care emergency in the following manner:

 

a)      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.

 

b)      Elder care emergencies such as the unexpected absence of a regular care provider or unexpected closure of an assisted living facility. 

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures that address the following regarding family care emergency leave usage: the types of leave than can be used and when; limitations on how much leave can be used for family care emergencies; and the approval process when request for leave for family care emergencies are made. (357-31-295; 300; and 305)

 


Section L: Jury Duty

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant a leave of absence with pay when an employee is required to report for jury duty service.  Further documentation of jury duty service verification will be required 357-31-310.

 

Employees of Washington State School for the Blind are allowed to keep any compensation received for serving as a member of a jury in addition to their regular pay. (357-31-315)

 

Section M: Miscellaneous Reasons for Leave

 

When an employee of Washington State School for the Blind receives a subpoena under the following circumstances they will be granted a leave of absence with pay to respond to the subpoena:

 

a)      The employee has been subpoenaed on the employer’s behalf; or

 

b)      The subpoena is for a legal proceeding unrelated to the personal or financial matters of the employee.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant leave with pay for the following reasons:

 

a)      To allow an employee to receive assessment from the employee advisory service.

 

b)      To take an examination or participate in an interview for a position with a state employer during scheduled work hours 357-31-325.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may deny an employee’s request to participate in an interview or take an examination during scheduled work hours based on operational necessity.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may grant leave with pay for an employee to perform civil duties including but not limited to fire fighting, search and rescue efforts or donating blood.

 


Section N: Leave Without Pay

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may grant leave without pay for the following reasons in accordance with the Washington State School for the Blind leave policy:

 

a)      For any reason leave with pay may be granted, as long as the conditions for leave with pay are met;

b)      Educational leave;

c)      Leave for government service in the public interest;

d)     Military leave of absences (357-31-370);

e)      Parental leave (357-31-460);

f)       Family care emergencies (357-31-295);

g)      Bereavement (357-31-250);

h)      Accommodation of annual work schedules of employees occupying cyclic year positions as specified in 357-19-295;

i)        Serious health condition of an eligible employee’s child, spouse, or parent (357-31-525);

j)        Leave taken voluntarily to reduce the effect of an employer’s layoff;

k)      Leave that is authorized in advance by the appointing authority as part of a plan to reasonably accommodate a person of disability; or

l)        Employees receiving time loss compensation.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures to address the following elements of leave without pay usage and approval:

 

a)      Length of time an employee may remain on leave without pay;

b)      Return from authorized leave without pay (position/job class)

c)      Affect of leave without pay on employee anniversary date, unbroken service date and periodic increment date

d)     Seniority Date

e)      Probationary or Trial Service Date

 

Section O: Military Leave

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures regarding the usage and approval of military leave for the following:

a)      Paid military leave for active duty or active training duty;

b)      Additional military leave without pay (RCW 73.16)

 

Section P: Participation in Medical Expense Plans

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will allow for eligible employees to participate in a medical expense plan where instead of the sick leave cash out at retirement, the employees have the option to deposit equivalent funds in a medical expense plan that meets the tax deferred requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (357-31-275)

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established separate procedures for the medical expense plan criteria and eligibility in accordance with 357-31-150(2) and 357-31-275.

 

Section Q: Shared Leave

 

DEFINITIONS APPLICABLE TO SHARED LEAVE:

 

Employee: means any employee who is entitled to accrue sick leave or vacation leave and for whom accurate leave records are maintained.

 

Employee’s relative: normally must be limited to the employee’s spouse, child, grandchild, grandparent, or parent.

 

Severe or Extraordinary condition: is defined as serious or extreme and/or life threatening.

 

Service in the uniformed services: means the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service under competent authority and includes active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty including state-ordered active duty, and a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any such duty.

 

Uniformed services: means the armed forces, the army National Guard, and the air national guard of any state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty, or state active duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the Coast Guard, and any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or national emergency.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures regarding Shared Leave:

a)      Eligibility;

b)      Requirements for the amount of shared leave donated and received

c)      Process for requesting and donating shared leave

d)     Process for approval of shared leave

e)      Requirements for monetary transfer of leave between different state employers

f)       Documentation requirements

g)      Process for administering shared leave

h)      Process for returning unused shared leave

i)        Record keeping requirements for shared leave

 

Section R: Parental Leave

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant parental leave to permanent employees who have worked for the State of Washington for at least one thousand two hundred and fifty (1250) hours during the previous twelve (12) month period (357-31-465).

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant parental leave for the following:

a)      The birth and care of a newborn child of the employee; or

b)      Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care

 

Parental leave must be taken during the first year following the child’s birth or placement of the child with the employee for adoption or foster care.

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures regarding parental leave:

a)      Process for how and when parental leave can be requested

b)      Duration requirements of parental leave

c)      Requirements for additional leave due to sickness or temporary disability because of pregnancy or childbirth

d)     Requirements for paid or unpaid leave

e)      Parental leave designation under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

f)       Time requirement for granting disability leave due to pregnancy and/or childbirth

g)      Request and approval requirement for parental leave

h)      Requirement of medical certification for disability leave due to pregnancy and/or childbirth,

 

Section S: Family Medical Leave Act

 

The Washington State School for the Blind may designate a total of twelve (12) work weeks of accrued paid leave or leave without pay for the purposes of parental leave as family and medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  These twelve (12) weeks are in addition to any paid or unpaid leave the employee is eligible for and takes for sickness or temporary disability due to pregnancy or childbirth (357-31-495).

 

The Washington State School for the Blind will grant a leave of absence for the period of time that a permanent employee is sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy or childbirth (357-31-500). 

 

The Washington State School for the Blind has established procedures regarding the use and applicability of the Family Medical Leave Act:

a)      Criteria for paid or unpaid leave used during disability leave for pregnancy or childbirth

b)      Requirements of entitlement under the Family Medical Leave Act

c)      Definition of eligible employee under the Family Medical Leave Act

d)     Process for designation of Family Medical Leave Act use

e)      The employee choice to have paid or unpaid leave used for Family Medical Leave

f)       Requirements for intermittent or reduced Family Medical Leave usage

g)      Position return rights after Family and Medical Leave usage

h)      Continuation of health insurance benefits under Family Medical Leave usage.