350-09
LEAVES OF ABSENCE

POLICY & PROCEDURE

Subject:

LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Index: HUMAN RESOURCES & RISK MANAGEMENT

Number: 350-09 (replaces 300-22)

Effective Date

10/15/2005

Supersedes

7/1/1978

Page

1 of 3

Staff Contact

Michael R. Webby

Approved By

Kathy Keolker-Wheeler

1.0 PURPOSE:

To establish guidelines for the approval, requirements and use of such leaves of absence in order to assure that such requests are reviewed and approved or denied in an impartial manner. The City recognizes that occasionally employees may need to take a paid or unpaid leave of absence when special circumstances require their absence from work for an extended period of time.

Reasonable effort will be made to grant leaves of absence where the request appears to be justified, to the benefit of the employee, without adversely affecting the operations of the department.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments and divisions

3.0 REFERENCES:

Collective Bargaining Agreements

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 350-08 - Sick Leave

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 350-03 - Family Medical Leave Act/Washington Family Care Act

City or Renton Policy & Procedure 350-07 - Military Leave

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 350-05 - Jury Duty

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 350-01 - Bereavement Leave

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 310-12 - Worker’s Compensation/Industrial Insurance Program

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 310-10 - Volunteer Service Opportunities

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 330-11 - Types of Employment Pay, Benefits & Retirement

City or Renton Policy & Procedure 320-02 - Compensatory Time

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 330-12 - Vacation

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 330-07 - Holidays

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 330-07 - Personal Holiday

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 350-04 - Inclement Weather

Police/Fire Civil Service Rules

4.0 POLICY:

Employees may request a leave of absence for a period not to exceed three (3) months, using the guidelines below. Under no circumstances may an employee use a leave of absence to work for another employer or to pursue self-employment.

4.1    Service Accruals:

4.1.1    All paid leave with the exception of sick leave must be used before an employee may begin taking an unpaid leave of absence. (Note: For specific details on a medical unpaid leave of absence, refer to FMLA policy 350-03 or Worker’s Compensation/Industrial Insurance Program policy 310-12).

4.1.2    The orientation period associated with new hires, promotion, etc. shall be extended for employees on approved leaves that exceed thirty (30) days except as otherwise prohibited by USSERA or FMLA.

4.1.3    Sick leave, personal leave and vacation accruals will be credited to an employee only during a pay period in which an employee has been in a paid status for at least one half their scheduled hours. Longevity dates, salary increase dates, and seniority dates will not be adjusted for employees on approved leaves of absence (paid or unpaid). See policy 330-11 Types of Employment Pay, Benefits & Retirement for proration table.

4.2    Benefits:

4.2.1    Per pay period longevity pay and deferred compensation premiums will be credited to an employee only during a pay period in which the employee has been in a paid status for at least one half their scheduled hours.

4.2.2    Holiday benefits will be paid as long as an employee is in a paid status for at least one half his/her scheduled hours in any pay period

4.2.3    City paid life insurance and disability insurance will be continued for up to three months during an unpaid leave of absence.

4.2.4    Unless otherwise stated in the applicable collective bargaining agreement, health and dental benefits coverage will be provided to the end of the month following a thirty (30) day unpaid leave of absence provided the employee pays the employee share of the applicable healthcare premium.

4.2.5    When City paid health and dental benefits end, an employee who is on an unpaid leave of absence may continue health and/or dental coverage by paying for COBRA continuation coverage. COBRA continuation coverage is available for a period of up to eighteen (18) months or as otherwise established under Federal or State law.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1    Orientation Period: An initial period of employment with the City formerly known as “Probationary Period.”

6.0 PROCEDURE:

6.1    Supervisory approval is required for leaves of absence less than 30 days. Department Administrator approval is required for leaves of absence expected to extend up to 90 days. Leaves of absence without pay for periods in excess of 90 days can only be granted by the Mayor. In no case will unpaid leaves of absence extend beyond six months.

6.2    Completed leave request or leave of absence forms must be forwarded immediately through the supervisor and Department Administrator to Human Resources & Risk Management for processing. HR will coordinate with employees and Payroll for payment of insurance premiums, voluntary deductions, and for any other attendant requirements.

6.3    Employees who fail to return to work on the date specified in the Leave of Absence form or Leave Request form without receiving prior written approval may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.