POLICY 13
LEAVE

SECTION INDEX:    Leave

1    Purpose

2    Reference

3    Application

4    Guidance

4.1    Definitions

4.2    Vacation

4.3    Sick Leave

4.4    Military Leave

4.5    Bereavement Leave

4.6    Leave of Absence Without Pay

4.7    Shared Leave

4.8    Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

a.    Eligibility

b.    Miscellaneous

c.    Qualifying Reason: Non-military

d.    Qualifying Reason: Military

e.    Serious Health Condition

f.    Maintenance of Benefits

g.    Job Restoration

h.    12 Month Period

i.    Use of Paid Time Off during FMLA

j.    Additional Leave for Pregnancy

4.9    Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Leave

4.10    Mandatory Leave

4.11    Jury Duty

4.12    Adverse Weather Conditions

4.13    Leave for Exempt Employees

4.14    Leave for Faith or Conscience Reasons or to Attend an Organized Activity Conducted by a Religious Denomination

5    Forms

5.1    Shared Leave Request Form

5.2    Shared Leave Donation Form

5.3    FMLA request form

1. PURPOSE

The City provides leave for employees to take time off for qualifying reasons, to maintain a balance between work and personal needs, and to sustain a healthy and productive workforce.

2. REFERENCE

•    Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-3, February 5, 1993)

•    Title 29, Part 825 of the Code of Federal Regulations

•    RCW 49.12.270 Washington Family Care Act

•    RCW 49.78 – Washington Family Leave Law

•    WAC 162-30-020(5) Pregnancy Disability Leave

3. APPLICATION

This Policy applies to all individuals employed by the City of Olympia unless conflicting leave provisions are established otherwise by contract or statute (e.g., civil service rules, union contract, individual employment contract or memorandum of understanding.), in which case the latter apply. Exempt employees should refer to Section 4.13 for information about specific issues regarding their leave.

Failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action including termination from City service.

4. GUIDANCE

4.1. DEFINITIONS

a.    Departments will record requests for absences as either Scheduled or Unscheduled and Approved or Denied.

Absence

Any period of time and length when the employee was scheduled to be at work, but was not. When an employee is going to be absent they are responsible for notifying their supervisor.

Scheduled

Absence approved at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance. In scheduling absences, supervisors balance the City’s operational needs with the employees’ preferences. However, when they cannot be balanced, the City’s needs take precedence.

Unscheduled

Absence that is not scheduled with at least twenty-four (24) hours' notice, including leaving before the end of the work schedule or being late for work.

Approved

Supervisor has given the employee permission to take off the time requested.

Denied

A supervisor turns down a request for time off, thereby requiring the employee to be at work.

Habitual Absence

Excessive “unscheduled” absences in a rolling twelve month period; a pattern of unscheduled leave in conjunction with regular days off, vacation, compensatory time, holidays or work assignments, or frequent single day absences indicating an “earn and burn” pattern.

b.    Employee's immediate family (this definition is applicable throughout this policy unless specifically noted otherwise):

Your spouse/domestic partner

Your parent or spouse/domestic partner's parent

Your sibling

Your grandchild, as a single person, or with your spouse/domestic partner

Your grandparent

The spouse/domestic partner of your child, as a single person, or with your spouse/domestic partner

Your child, as a single person, or with your spouse/domestic partner

 

4.2. VACATION

a.    Acceptable Uses: Accrued vacation leave may be used to receive compensation for absences from the workplace, including absences due to illness within the immediate family (refer to Section 4.1.b) and personal emergencies.

b.    Accrual: Regular full-time employees accrue vacation leave according to the schedule below. Regular part-time employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week accrue vacation leave on a pro-rated basis according to the budgeted FTE authorization as shown in the complement.

VACATION ACCRUALS

YEARS OF SERVICE*

HOURS PER MONTH / PAY PERIOD

 

YEARS OF SERVICE*

HOURS PER MONTH/ PAY PERIOD

0-1

2

8 / 4

9 / 4.5

 

15, 16, 17

18, 19

14 / 7

15/ 7.5

3, 4, 5

10 / 5

 

20, 21, 22

16 / 8

6, 7, 8, 9

11 / 5.5

 

23, 24

17 / 8.5

10, 11, 12

13, 14

12 / 6

13 / 6.5

 

25+

18 / 9

*Years of Service mean continuous service from the last date of hire.

c.    Maximum Accruals: Non-exempt employees may accumulate unused vacation leave up to a maximum of three-hundred and twenty (320) hours. Exempt employees see Section 4.13.

d.    Probation: New probationary employees accrue vacation leave, but use during probation is at the discretion of the Department Director or designee. Vacation leave earned by new employees during their probationary period cannot be cashed out if the employee’s employment with the City ends before the completion of the probationary period.

Other probationary employees accrue vacation leave and may use it upon approval of their supervisors

e.    Scheduling: In scheduling absences, supervisors balance the City's operational needs with the employees' preferences. However, when they cannot be balanced, the City's needs take precedence.

f.    Cash Out: Upon separation from City service, accrued vacation leave, up to a maximum of two-hundred and forty (240) hours (30 days), will be paid to the non-exempt employee (or their estate). At the employee's option, vacation cash out upon termination of employment, may be transferred, up to the maximum allowable amount, to the City’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

New employees in their probationary period are not eligible to receive vacation leave cash out.

4.3. SICK LEAVE

Sick Leave is provided to all employees to attend to their health concerns and those of their family members.

However, this Section 4.3 does not apply to employees that are considered exempt employees under RCW 49.46.010(3)(c) (exempt employees). Those employees should go to Section 4.13(c) of this Policy for direction on application and use of sick leave.

This Section 4.3 does not apply to employees that are considered exempt employees under RCW 49.46.010(3)(j) (24-hour shift firefighters). Those employees should go to their Collective Bargaining Agreement and OFD internal policies for direction on the application and use of sick leave.

In addition to the immediate family members covered in this Policy under Section 4.1(b). for the purposes of sick leave:

Child shall also include a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status; and

Parent shall also include a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.

a.    Accrual:

1.    Regular full-time employees accrue paid sick leave at the rate of eight (8) hours of sick leave for each month of continuous service. Regular part-time employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week will accrue sick leave on a prorated basis according to the budgeted FTE authorization as shown in the complement. There is no cap on sick leave accrued during the year, but an employees accrued sick leave will be reset at a maximum of 960 hours on January 1, of each year (if an employee’s sick leave balance at the end of the year is less than 960 hours there will be no reset.)

2.    All other employees (temporary (seasonal), emergency, paid interns, paid volunteers, paid instructor) who make at least minimum wage will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. There is no cap on the paid sick leave these employees accrue during the year, but an employee in these categories will have their sick leave balance reset to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave on January 1 of each year (if an employee’s sick leave balance at the end of the year is less than 40 hours there will be no reset.).

3.    All employees accrue and are allowed to use paid sick leave in fifteen (15) minute increments.

b.    Acceptable Uses: Accrued sick leave may be used only for the following reasons:

1.    An absence resulting from an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care;

2.    An absence to allow the employee to provide care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care for a family member who needs preventive medical care; and

3.    When the employee's place of business has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason, or when an employee's child's school or place of care has been closed for such a reason.

4.    An employee is authorized to use paid sick leave for absences that qualify for leave under the Domestic Violence Leave Act, Chapter 49.76 RCW.

c.    Notice: The City requires you to give reasonable notice of an absence from work using paid sick leave. You should provide as much notice to your supervisor as is reasonably possible that you are going to be out using sick leave, but at a minimum you should contact your supervisor before the shift. In the notice, you may be required to tell your supervisor who the sick leave is being used for and whether it is an illness, injury, preventive care or other medical reason, but your supervisor will not inquire as to the specific nature of the illness.

d.    Verification: A supervisor may require reasonable verification from an employee's health care provider if the sick leave absence is for more than three (3) consecutive work days. The verification requested must be provided to the supervisor within 10 calendar days of the request. If the burden or cost of providing documentation from the health care provider is excessive or unreasonable, the employee may be required to work with Human Resources (HR) to resolve the issue. In the event that HR cannot resolve the issue, the employee can appeal to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries about the request for documentation.

e.    No Cash Out: Accrued sick leave hours have no cash value.

f.    Use of Sick Leave: Employees cannot use sick leave accruals until they have been employed with the City for 90 days. However, supervisors retain the right to grant sick leave use on a case-by-case basis once the employee has earned at least 8 hours of sick leave.

The use of accrued sick leave will not be the basis for any adverse action against the employee (including discipline) unless the sick leave is used for a non-qualifying reason.

g.    Rehire: Any employee rehired by the City within twelve (12) months shall have their sick leave restored to their previous balance up to a maximum of 960 hours. Additionally, if they have sick leave that carried over from one year to the next, the hours necessary to qualify for using sick leave will also carry over (e.g. if the employee worked 70 days before leaving the City, they only have to work 20 more days (to meet the 90 day requirement) if they are rehired.to begin using the paid sick leave.

4.4. MILITARY LEAVE

The City of Olympia supports the participation of its employees and their spouses or domestic partners in the National Guard and the Reserve and regular components of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. The City will fully comply with all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the treatment of employees engaged in military service.

a.    ADVANCE NOTICE: Unless precluded by military necessity, employees must provide their immediate supervisor, manager, or department director with written or oral advance notice of their intent to take any military leave. Employees must provide as much advance notice as possible. If copies of valid military orders, annual drill schedules, or other documentation are available, employees are requested to provide them before any military leave begins. If such documents are not immediately available, employees must provide them no later than thirty (30) days after any military leave begins. Supervisors/managers/department directors receiving notice of an employee's intent to take military leave must prepare a Personnel Action Form (PAF), attach all available documentation, and submit it to Human Resources.

b.    REINSTATEMENT / REEMPLOYMENT: Employees on extended military leave (leave beyond twenty-one (21) days) must contact the City as soon as they know when their military service is going to end and apply for reinstatement/reemployment. The initial application may be verbal but must be followed by a written application as soon as possible if the period of military service has been thirty (30) days or more. Applications should be directed to an immediate supervisor, a manager, or a department director. The City will endeavor to reemploy persons returning from military leave as soon as possible after their return from service. Reinstatement/reemployment to a former position is based on length of military service. Supervisors/managers/department directors receiving and accepting applications for reinstatement/reemployment must prepare a PAF and submit it to Human Resources as soon as possible.

1.    Service of 1 to 90 Days: Reinstatement/reemployment to the position the employee would have held had they remained continuously employed, so long as the employee is qualified for the position or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the City. If the employee can't become qualified, reinstatement will be to the position held at the time military service began.

2.    Service of 91 or More Days: Reinstatement/reemployment to the position the employee would have held had they remained continuously employed, so long as the employee is qualified for the position or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the City, or to a position of like seniority, status, and pay, so long as they are qualified. If the employee can't become qualified, reinstatement will be to the position held at the time military service began or to a position which nearly approximates that position.

c.    RETURNING TO WORK: Employees must return to work as soon as possible after military leave. Time limits for return depend on the duration of service:

1.    Service of 1 to 30 days: The beginning of the next regularly scheduled work period on the first full day following completion of service and expiration of an eight (8) hour rest period following safe transportation home.

2.    Service of 31 to 180 days: Written application for reinstatement/ reemployment must be submitted and the employee must return to work no later than fourteen (14) days after the completion of military duty.

3.    Service of 181 or more days: Written application for reinstatement/ reemployment must be submitted and the employee must return to work no later than ninety (90) days after completion of military duty.

4.    Extensions for disability or injury incurred during military service: Deadlines for reinstatement/reemployment and returning to work may be extended for up to two years for employees who are convalescing due to a disability or injury incurred or aggravated during military service. Employees must apply for disability/injury extensions to their Department Director or the Human Resources Director. Applications shall be in writing and shall include medical information pertaining to the request. The City reserves the right to seek or request additional medical information or a second medical opinion. If the extension is granted, employees may at their option use accrued sick leave during the disability / injury extension up to the amount accrued prior to beginning military leave. Employees who receive annual leave instead of separate vacation and sick leave accruals may use accrued annual leave in this situation.

Failure to apply for reinstatement/reemployment and return to work in accordance with the time limits specified in (a), (b), and (c) above, unless through no fault of the employee, may be considered an unauthorized absence from work, jeopardize reinstatement/reemployment rights, result in loss of eligibility for benefits, or may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

d.    MILITARY LEAVE WITH PAY: In accordance with RCW 38.40.060, employees serving in the National Guard or a Reserve component in the Armed Forces of the United States of America are entitled to a maximum of twenty-one (21) working days of paid military leave during each year beginning October 1 and ending the following September 30.

1.    Employees assigned to work shifts between eight (8) and twelve (12) hours long will be required to use one paid military leave day to compensate for missing a regular work day;

2.    Employees assigned to twenty-four (24) hour shifts (e.g. Firefighters) will be required to use one paid military leave day in order to compensate for missing a full twenty-four (24) hour shift.

Use of this paid leave will not result in loss of seniority or any benefits conferred by seniority, pay, or leave accruals and will not impair other rights and benefits to which the employee is entitled.

e.    MILITARY LEAVE WITHOUT PAY:

1.    Military leave that extends beyond twenty-one (21) working days as specified in Section 4.4(b) shall be without pay. Employees must provide the City with valid military orders no later than thirty (30) days after a military leave without pay begins.

2.    Employees may elect, in accordance with current federal and State of Washington laws and regulations, to continue paying for medical, dental, and retirement benefits during a military leave without pay.

3.    Vacation, annual leave, and sick leave accruals will stop on the first day of the first full pay period of unpaid military leave and will restart on the first day of the first full pay period after an employee returns to work at the accrual rates that the employee would have been entitled to had they been continuously employed. Seniority and other benefits conferred by seniority, such as eligibility for promotional consideration, eligibility for longevity pay, step increases, increases in vacation, annual leave or sick leave accrual rates will not be affected during an unpaid military leave.

4.    Employees will not be required to use accrued vacation, annual leave, or compensatory time during an unpaid military leave. However, employees may elect to use those accruals if they so desire.

5.    Delays between the end of military service and reporting to work that conform to the limits specified in Section 4.4(a)(b)(c) above shall be considered an extension of unpaid military leave.

6.    Employees who are unable to return to work within the time limits specified in Section 4.4(a)(b)(c) above will be required to request a leave of absence in accordance with and subject to the provisions contained in this policy.

7.    If an employees who has been granted an extension of the return to work time limits in accordance with Section 4.4(e), is still unable to return to work at the expiration of the extension period, they must request a leave of absence in accordance with and subject to the provisions contained in this policy.

f.    MILITARY LEAVE FOR SPOUSES:

1.    Employees who are spouses or domestic partners of members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves are entitled to fifteen (15) days of unpaid leave per deployment provided:

a.    The leave is requested during a period of active military conflict, as declared by the President or Congress, or a period in which members of the Reserve are ordered to active duty, and

b.    The employee works an average of twenty (20) hours per week, and

c.    Notice of intent to take leave is made within five business days of receiving official notice of an impending call or order to active duty or notice of a leave from deployment.

2.    Employees may elect to use accrued vacation, annual leave, or compensatory time during this military leave period.

3.    This type of military leave is in addition to leave available under FMLA and any other leave to which the employee may be entitled.

4.5. BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

a.    Immediate Family: When a regular full-time employee's immediate family member or household member dies, the employee may take up to three work days of bereavement leave with pay. Regular part-time employees will be allowed an equivalent amount of time off prorated according to the budgeted FTE authorization. This leave will not be charged to the employee's vacation or sick leave bank. In extraordinary circumstances, additional time off may be approved by the department director or their designee and charged to sick leave, vacation, or compensatory time earned.

b.    Other: When a regular full-time employee's non-immediate family member or non-household member dies, bereavement leave may be granted, at the discretion of the department director or their designee, and charged to the employee's sick leave accrual. If the employee has no sick leave available, they may use vacation leave or accrued compensatory time with the permission of the department director or their designee, or leave without pay with the permission of the City Manager.

4.6. LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY

a.    Purpose: Employees may request a leave of absence without pay.

b.     Approval: Except for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or military leave purposes, approval of a leave of absence without pay of more than eighty (80) hours is at the discretion of the City Manager. Except in an emergency, the leave without pay must be approved in advance by the Department Director or designee, before being submitted to the City Manager for final approval. Consideration will be given to the following:

1.    The nature of the absence;

2.    The performance record of the employee;

3.    The impact upon the effective operation of the assigned department; and

4.    The availability of vacation and/or sick leave accruals.

A leave of absence without pay for health reasons may be granted only after the employee's sick leave, annual leave, and compensatory leave accruals are exhausted and the employee's recovery is reasonably expected in the foreseeable future.

A leave of absence without pay for other than health reasons may be granted only after the employee's annual leave and compensatory leave accruals are exhausted.

c.    Duration: A leave of absence without pay will not exceed twelve (12) months.

d.     Service Break: A leave of absence without pay of more than eighty (80) hours is considered a break in City service. During a service break no vacation or sick leave hours will accrue, benefit premiums will not be paid by the City (employees may continue benefits at their own expense, at no more than 102% of the applicable premium, as allowed by individual insurance carriers) and the anniversary date will be adjusted by the length of the service break.

e.    Vacation, Annual Leave, and Sick Leave Accruals: Vacation, annual, and sick leave accruals will stop on the first day of the first full pay period of leave of absence without pay and will restart on the first day of the first full pay period after an employee returns to work.

4.7. SHARED LEAVE

Shared leave provides regular part-time and full-time, benefitted City employees with the opportunity to come to the aid of fellow City employees who are themselves or have family members suffering from an extraordinary or severe illness, injury, impairment, or condition which prevents the individual from working. Such circumstances can cause great economic and emotional distress to employees and their families. This opportunity to help co-workers benefits both employees and the City.

a.    Use of Vacation Leave: City employees can donate vacation leave to the shared leave account to be used by fellow employees who qualify because of an unusual situation in their lives.

b.    Qualifying event: The City Manager may permit an employee to receive shared leave if:

1.    The employee suffers, or has a family member suffering from an illness, injury, impairment, or condition, which is of an extraordinary or severe nature, and which has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay or terminate their employment with the City; and

2.    The employee has depleted or will shortly deplete their total accrued vacation, sick leave, compensatory time, holiday time and/or other paid leave; and

3.    The employee has abided by this Leave Policy;

4.    The employee is reasonably expected to return to City service from the disabling event; and

5.    Sufficient funds exist in the Shared Leave Revolving Account.

c.    APPLICATION/APPROVAL PROCESS: An employee must submit a Shared Leave Request Form (PDF) to their department director and provide a copy to their immediate supervisor, which includes the following documents: Shared Leave Request Form (PDF), FMLA request form (PDF), and medical documentation. The department director will provide the employee’s request with a cover letter to the HR Director recommending approval or denial of the request, with factual information supporting the recommendation. HR will review the shared leave request to determine if the eligibility requirements have been met and if there are sufficient funds available in the shared leave bank. After review, the HR Director will attach the Shared Leave Request Form (PDF) and forward the request to the City Manager. The City Manager, or designee, will provide HR with a final decision, denying or approving the request. The HR Director will communicate the decision to the department director of the requester

d.    AMOUNT OF LEAVE RECEIVED: The City Manager or designee will determine the amount of shared leave, if any, an employee may receive. The employee will be required to provide appropriate documentation explaining both the necessity for and amount of the leave. An employee may be eligible to receive a total of 1,048 hours of shared leave during the employee's employment, or seven-hundred and twenty (720) hours during a single occurrence of illness or injury. Shared leave will be given in increments of 360 hours or less. If the employee is eligible to receive more than 360 hours, prior to the use of the original 360 hours, HR will check back with the employee to determine continued need and eligibility. The amount an employee is eligible for will not be adjusted based on the amount of hours the employee regularly works. Once the qualifying event has ended and/or the employee returns to work, any unused shared leave will be returned to the shared leave revolving account.

e.    STATUS WHILE ON LEAVE: While on shared leave, an employee will continue to be classified as a City employee and will receive the same treatment, in respect to salary and benefits, as they would otherwise receive if using vacation leave, except the employee will not accrue or be eligible to receive paid leave such as vacation, sick leave or holiday leave. Accruals will stop the first day of a pay period an employee uses shared leave exclusively.

f.    ELIGIBILITY TO DONATE VACATION LEAVE: The only type of leave that can be donated to the shared leave account is vacation leave. To be eligible to donate vacation leave, an employee must have at least eighty (80) hours of accrued vacation. Only hours in excess of eighty (80) may be donated. All donations of vacation leave are strictly voluntary.

g.    IMMEDIATE FAMILY DEFINED: For the purposes of shared leave, immediate family is defined in policy 13-Leave 4.1.b as spouse, domestic partner, parent or spouse/domestic partner’s parent, grandchild, partner’s grandchild and dependent children of the employee. Under exceptional circumstances, the City Manager may allow the use of shared leave for other family members.

h.    CANCELLATION: The City, in its sole discretion, may cancel this program at any time.

i.    PROCEDURES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

a.    Employee: Responsible for submitting their request for shared leave to their supervisor and department director, which includes the Shared Leave Request Form, FMLA request form (optional) and medical documentation.

b.    Human Resources: Responsible for reviewing shared leave requests, tracking the shared leave revolving account, and the communication to the shared leave requester.

c.    Administrative Services Department (ASD): ASD (Payroll) will be responsible for making appropriate leave deductions from an employee’s leave accruals and transferring funds to the shared leave revolving account.

d.     Department Director: Responsible for providing cover letter with recommendation along with the original request and documentation to Human Resources.

e.    City Manager: The City Manager is responsible for approving the use of shared leave. The decision of the City Manager is final.

4.8. FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE (FMLA)

The City provides 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for qualifying family and medical reasons.

a.    Eligibility: The employee must

1.    Have worked for the City for at least twelve (12) cumulative months;

2.    Have worked at least one-thousand, two-hundred and fifty (1,250) hours in the previous twelve (12) months; and

3.    Not have exhausted their allotment of FMLA leave for the current year.

b.    Miscellaneous

1.    Domestic partners registered with the City are entitled to family medical leave by City ordinance to care for a partner or the child of a partner.

2.    Spouses and domestic partners employed by the City are jointly entitled to a combined total of twelve (12) weeks of family leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care.

3.    Leave for birth or for placement for adoption or foster care must conclude within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement.

4.    If leave is for birth or placement for adoption or foster care, use of intermittent leave or leave on a reduced work schedule is subject to the City's approval.

c.    Qualifying Reasons for Leave: Non-military

1.    The birth of a child;

2.    The placement of a child by adoption or foster care; or

3.    To care for themselves or an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

d.    Qualifying Reason for Leave: Military

1.    Caregiver Leave - FMLA provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave, in a single twelve (12) month period, to eligible employees to care for a spouse, child, parent, or next of kin (nearest blood relative) who:

a.    is a member of the armed forces;

b.    was wounded on active duty; and is:

i.    undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy;

ii.    an outpatient; or

iii.    on a temporary disability retired list.

An eligible employee can only take a total of twenty-six (26) week of unpaid leave in a twelve (12) month period, even if there is more than one qualifying event.

2.    Active Duty Leave - The FMLA provides up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for "qualifying exigencies" (QE) that arise when the spouse, child, or parent of an eligible employee is a member of the National Guard or Reserves and is on active duty or is called to active duty, or is in the regular armed services and is called for a deployment in a foreign country.

There are eight (8) categories of "exigency" leave:

a.    Short-notice deployment - When the covered military immediate family member is notified of a deployment of seven (7) or less days, an eligible employee may take up to seven (7) days of leave for any reason related to that deployment. The seven (7) days begins to run when the covered family member is provided the short-notice deployment.

b.    Military Events - Allows leave to attend any official ceremony, program or event sponsored by the military, and to attend immediate family support and assistance programs and information briefings sponsored by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross.

c.    Child Care and School Activities - Eligible employee may take leave to arrange for child care or attend certain school functions of their child of a covered military immediate family member, including leave to:

i.    arrange for alternative school or childcare;

ii.    provide childcare on an urgent, immediate need (not regular) basis;

iii.    enrollment or transfer of a child in a new school or day care facility; and

iv.    attend meetings with school or day care staff regarding discipline, parent-teacher conferences, and school counselors.

QE leave is not intended to be used to meet with staff at a school or daycare facility for "routine" academic concerns.

d.    Financial and Legal Arrangements - Eligible employees are allowed leave to make or update financial or legal arrangements to address the covered military family member's absence while on active duty/call to active duty, such as preparing or executing a will, powers of attorney, transferring bank account signature authority, obtaining military identification cards, and securing military service benefits. Department of Labor (DOL) specifically mentions coverage to enroll in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Leave is not available for routine matters, such as paying bills.

e.    Counseling - Leave is available for the employee to attend counseling by a non-health care provider. Leave is available where the counseling is needed by the employee, the covered military member, or the child(ren) of the covered military member needs counseling, PROVIDED that the counseling arises from active duty service or call to active duty. As examples, DOL cites counseling by a military chaplain, pastor, or minister, or counseling offered by the military or a military service organization that is not a health care provider.

f.    R & R - Up to 5 days of leave is available to an eligible employee to spend time with a covered military family member on rest and recuperation leave during a period of deployment.

g.    Post-Deployment Activities - Leave is available for the eligible employee to attend ceremonies incident to the return of the covered military family member, including arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and any other official ceremony or program sponsored by the military for a period of ninety (90) days following the termination of the covered military member's active duty status. It is also available for the employee to take leave to address issues arising from the death of a covered military family member, such as meeting and recovering the body and making funeral arrangements. The DOL specifically noted coverage for participation in the Department of Defense (DOD)-sponsored Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

h.    Additional Activities - The City and employee may agree to FMLA coverage of other activities which arise out of a covered military members call or service to active duty/contingency operation. The City and employee must agree on coverage, timing, and duration.

e.    Serious Health Condition: A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

1.    Any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical-care facility; or

2.    Any period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three calendar days from work, school, or other regular daily activities that also involves either two (2) visits to a medical provider within thirty (30) days, or one (1) visit to a medical provider within seven (7) days plus continuing treatment by (or under supervision of) a health care provider; or

3.    Continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable or so serious that, if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three calendar days, plus two visits to a health care provider in a year; or

4.    Prenatal care.

Employees seeking to use leave are required to provide thirty (30) day advance notice of the need to take leave when the need is foreseeable. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee should provide notice by the next business day.

f.    Maintenance of Health Benefits

The City maintains group health insurance coverage at its expense for an eligible employee on leave, whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken, and on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If the employee fails to return from leave, the City may recover the premiums paid for any coverage unless the failure to return is due to a "serious health condition" or other circumstances beyond the employee's control.

In addition, pregnant employees may receive additional leave for the period of any disability associated with the pregnancy and childbirth and under the Washington Family Leave Act (FLA). (See section "g" below.) However, the City maintains coverage During FMLA and any period of disability, not during FLA leave. Employees would be eligible for COBRA health care at his/her own expense when the City's health care obligation ceases.

g.    Job Restoration: Upon returning from FMLA leave, an employee will be restored to their original job, or to another job with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms and conditions. However, the City is not required to reinstate employees who:

1.    Would have been laid off or otherwise had their employment terminated had they continued to work during the leave period (for example, due to a reduction in force);

2.    Give notice that they do not intend to return to work; or

3.    Are unwilling or are unable to return to work and have exhausted their leave.

h.    Twelve (12) Month Period: Each eligible employee is entitled to twelve (12) weeks of family medical leave on January 1 of each year, to use throughout the calendar year if a qualifying event occurs. Unused FMLA leave does not roll or accrue over from one year to the next.

i.    Use of Paid Time Off During Family Medical Leave: The City requires that employees use all accrued vacation, sick leave, or other paid time off (employees can choose the order of qualifying leave they want to use) while on FMLA leave until those paid leave banks are depleted. The City limits the use of accrued sick leave to situations that warrant its use under the City's sick leave policies. Employees are entitled to compensation while using FMLA leave only to the extent that they use accrued sick leave, vacation time, or other paid time off.

j.    Additional Leave for Pregnant Employees: Pregnant employees are entitled to unpaid disability leave for the period of time they are physically disabled due to pregnancy and/or childbirth and Family Leave Act (FLA) leave before or after any disability period.

1.    The period of disability normally lasts six weeks if the pregnancy and childbirth are without complications. With complications, such as required bed rest before childbirth, the period of disability can last longer.

2.    Pregnancy disability leave runs at the same time as FMLA leave, and does not extend the twelve (12) weeks of FMLA leave.

3.    Pregnancy disability leave runs consecutively (one begins after the other ends) with the FLA, and does extend the twelve (12) weeks of leave allowed under state law for the duration of the physical disability.

Note: State law does not apply when the qualifying event is the placement of a newborn by adoption or foster care.

4.9. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT LEAVE

a.    This leave is available to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and employees whose spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The leave may be taken in blocks, intermittently, or on a reduced leave schedule, but is limited to a reasonable amount. Domestic violence/sexual assault leave is unpaid, although an employee may elect to use accrued vacation, sick leave, annual leave or compensatory time.

b.    Permissible Uses: Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault leave may be taken for the following purposes:

1.    To seek law enforcement or legal assistance or to prepare for or participate in any legal proceeding related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;

2.    To seek health care treatment for physical or mental injuries from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or attend to such health care treatment for an immediate family member;

3.    To obtain (or assist an immediate family member in obtaining) services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social services;

4.    To obtain (or assist an immediate family member in obtaining) mental health counseling related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or

5.    To participate in safety planning, to temporarily or permanently relocate, or to take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or immediate family member relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

c.    Verification: The City may require verification to support the need for the leave. Depending on the situation, verification can take the form of police reports, court documents, or the employee's own written statement of the need for the leave. Except where disclosure is authorized or required by law, the City will maintain confidentiality of all information provided by the employee in conjunction with Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Leave.

4.10. MANDATORY LEAVE

The City has the right to send an employee home or not allow an employee to come to work for health reasons. Mandatory leave may be applied city-wide by declaration of the City Manager or may be applied to an individual employee upon approval of the department director or designee. Any employee not allowed to work for health reasons will have their time charged to sick leave, then vacation, compensatory time and finally, leave without pay.

4.11. JURY DUTY

Employees who are absent from work to serve jury duty will receive their regular City compensation and may keep all jury duty pay and expense money received for jury service. Time spent away from work for jury duty will not be deducted from vacation or sick leave accruals. If a recess or dismissal from jury service exceeds two (2) hours and occurs during the employee's normal work hours, the employee must report to work. Employees must notify their supervisor immediately when called to jury duty.

4.12. ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS

City services are in even greater demand during periods of adverse weather (such as snow, ice, heavy rain, etc.) and, therefore, are expected to report to work despite such conditions. If an employee is prevented from reporting to work under such circumstances, they may take vacation leave, arrange to make-up the hours missed, or take the day as unpaid leave at the discretion of the department director or their designee.

4.13. LEAVE FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES

For employees working in exempt positions, the following applies when considering leave:

a.    Vacation Accruals: Exempt employees may accumulate additional hours; provided that each January 1, the maximum accrual does not exceed four-hundred and eighty (480) hours.

1.    Cash Out:

a.    Separation: Exempt employees will be paid for accrued vacation leave up to a maximum of four-hundred and eighty (480) hours. At the employee's option, vacation cash out upon termination of employment may be transferred, up to the maximum allowable amount, to the City’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

Department Directors will be paid for accrued vacation leave up to a maximum of five hundred and sixty hours upon retirement. At the Director’s option, vacation cash out upon retirement may be transferred, up to the maximum allowable amount, to the City’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

b.    Exempt to Non-Exempt Position: Upon the effective date of the status change from exempt to non-exempt, an employee will be paid for the difference in accrued hours (up to 480 hours) and three-hundred and twenty (320) hours (maximum accrual for non-exempt employees). Any amount of accrued leave in excess of four-hundred and eighty (480) hours will be added to the three-hundred and twenty (320) hour bank and accruals will be frozen until such time as the balance is below three-hundred and twenty (320) hours; all hours used in the new bank will be paid at the new non-exempt rate.

c.    OPD Lieutenants: Upon promotion/appointment to any position not covered by an OPD Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), an OPD sergeant/officer’s first 300 hours of annual leave (as identified in the OPD CBA) will be converted to vacation leave. Any additional annual leave will be converted to sick leave.

b.    Partial Day Absences for Exempt Employees: Exempt employees who work only part of a regularly scheduled work day will not have their vacation banks deducted or their pay reduced except:

1.    When the employee is participating in a political activity on their own time;

2.    When the employee is taking time off in order to perform work for another organization for compensation;

3.    At the discretion of a department director on a case-by-case basis.

c.    Sick Leave: This Section 4.13 does not apply to employees that are considered exempt employees under RCW 49.46.010(3)(j) because they are 24-hour shift firefighters. Those employees should go to their Collective Bargaining Agreement and OFD internal policies for direction on the application and use of sick leave.

1.    Accrual: Regular full-time employees accrue paid sick leave at the rate of eight (8) hours of sick leave for each month of continuous service. Regular part-time employees who work at least twenty (20) hours per week will accrue sick leave on a prorated basis according to the budgeted FTE authorization as shown in the complement. Sick leave for these exempt employees will be capped at 960 hours.

All other employees (temporary/seasonal, emergency, paid interns, paid volunteers, paid instructor) who make at least minimum wage will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. There is no cap on the paid sick leave these employees accrue during the year, but a maximum of 40 hour of paid sick leave will be carried over to the next year.

In addition to the immediate family members covered in this Policy under Section 4.1(b) for the purposes of sick leave:

Child shall also include a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status; and

Parent shall also include a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.

All employees accrue and are allowed to use paid sick leave in fifteen (15) minute increments.

2.    Acceptable Uses: Accrued sick leave may be used only for the following reasons:

a.    An absence resulting from an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care;

b.    An absence to allow the employee to provide care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care for a family member who needs preventive medical care; and

c.    When the employee's place of business has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason, or when an employee's child's school or place of care has been closed for such a reason.

d.    An employee is authorized to use paid sick leave for absences that qualify for leave under the Domestic Violence Leave Act, Chapter 49.76 RCW.

3.    Notice: Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisors of their absences in the manner prescribed by their department or, at a minimum, before the start of their regularly scheduled work day.

4.    Verification: A supervisor may require reasonable verification from an employee's health care provider.

5.    No Cash Out: Accrued sick leave hours have no cash value.

6.    Use of Sick Leave: Employees cannot use sick leave accruals until they have been employed with the City for 90 days. However, supervisors retain the right to grant sick leave use on a case-by-case basis once the employee has earned at least 8 hours of sick leave.

7.    Rehire: Any employee rehired by the City within twelve (12) months shall have their sick leave restored to their previous balance up to a maximum of 960 hours.

8.    Partial Use: At the discretion of a department director, and on a case-by-case basis, exempt employees who work only part of their regularly scheduled work day because they are sick will not have their sick leave bank deducted or their pay reduced.

d.    Informal Leave: For exempt positions, informal paid leave may be taken in recognition of the time demands of the positions, as mutually agreed by the employee and the department director, their designee, or the City Manager.

4.14. LEAVE FOR FAITH OR CONSCIENCE REASONS OR TO ATTEND AN ORGANIZED ACTIVITY CONDUCTED BY A RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION

City employees are entitled to two unpaid holidays 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. The employer must allow the employee to take unpaid leave for up to two such holidays unless the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety.

Supervisors should contact Human Resources for advice if an employee asks for this unpaid leave.

5. FORMS

5.1    Shared Leave Request Form

5.2    Shared Leave Donation Form

5.3    FMLA request form

Revision history: January 2017; May 2017; February 2017; May 2016; January 2015; August 2014; March 2014; October 2013; September 2011; May 1990. Superseded: Administrative Guidelines Leave of Absence- Military Leave”; and “Employee Health Management”.