Chapter 3.80
LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY

Sections:

3.80.010    Permissible Uses.

3.80.020    Limitation.

3.80.030    Leave of Absence Without Pay.

3.80.040    Leave of Absence Without Pay – On-the-Job Injury.

3.80.050    Unpaid Leave for Maternity Reasons.

3.80.060    Military Leave – Active Duty.

3.80.065    Domestic Violence Leave.

3.80.070    Leave of Absence Without Pay to Run for or Take Public Office.

3.80.080    Court Transcript Leave.

3.80.090    Unpaid Holidays for Faith and Conscience.

3.80.010 Permissible Uses.

The following types of leaves of absence without pay and benefits may be granted:

A.    Recovering from physical or mental illness or injury or maternity;

B.    Sabbatical leave, which shall mean work, education or other experience which reasonably adds to the skills or understanding of employees and is related to the employee's present or future County position or class;

C.    Personal growth and experience leave or other reason if granting the leave would be in the best interests of the County;

D.    Recovering from an on-the-job injury under Section 3.80.040;

E.    Military Leave – Military leave shall be granted in accordance with Chapter 3.81;

F.    Family Leave in accordance with Chapter 3.67;

G.    To run for or take public office under Section 3.80.070.

(Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.42.010)

3.80.020 Limitation.

A leave of absence without pay may be granted as set forth in this Section for up to one year.

A.    A department director may approve a leave of absence without pay for any reason up to a maximum of 30 calendar days.

B.    A leave of absence without pay in excess of 30 days under subsections B. and C. of Section 3.80.010 may be granted after the employee has worked for Pierce County for at least 26 accruable pay cycles. However, a leave of absence without pay may be granted to employees with less than 26 accruable pay cycles upon the recommendation of the department director and approval of the Human Resources Director if they consider the leave to be in the best interest of the County. Leaves of absence without pay in excess of 30 days under subsections A., D., E., and F. may be approved without regard for completion of 26 accruable pay cycles. All leaves of absence without pay in excess of 30 days require the approval of both the department director and the Human Resources Director.

C.    Employees requesting a leave of absence without pay under the provisions of Section 3.80.010 A., B., C., and F. must have exhausted all accrued vacation, accrued compensatory time, accrued personal holiday, accrued furlough days, or accrued sick leave (if appropriate usage) prior to utilizing any approved leave of absence without pay. (See subsection 3.52.040 a.3.d. regarding furlough leave.)

(Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.42.020)

3.80.030 Leave of Absence Without Pay.

Leave of absence without pay shall result in the discontinuance of benefits (accrual of sick leave, vacation, payment of insurance premiums, etc.) for the period of the leave except as provided by law for family leave, military leave, and domestic violence leave, and the employee's anniversary date will be adjusted accordingly. Such loss or discontinuance of benefits and/or adjustment of anniversary date will occur only if an employee is in a non-pay status for more than 30 percent of any pay cycle, or in the case of payment of insurance premiums, 30 percent of any month or as otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement. Employees may have the option of paying for medical benefit premiums while in an unpaid leave status, to insure continued coverage and avoid any new waiting periods required under contracts with the health carriers. (Ord. 2016-84 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 2010-14 § 1 (part), 2010; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 83-5 § 4, 1983; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.42.030)

3.80.040 Leave of Absence Without Pay – On-the-Job Injury.

A leave of absence without pay necessary for medical reasons caused by an on-the-job injury covered by the County's Workers' Compensation program shall not result in the discontinuance of benefits (accrual of sick leave, vacation, furlough, or holidays) for up to a maximum of 26 pay cycles per covered injury, unless the employee is in a non-pay status for more than 30 percent of any pay cycle. The County will pay its share of the premium cost of health insurance provided by the County (Chapter 3.56) provided the employee continues to pay their share for a period not to exceed 12 months. Time-loss payments under the County's Workers' Compensation program beyond 26 pay cycles per covered injury are considered to be nonpay status. Employees shall retain their anniversary date during a leave of absence without pay caused by an on-the-job injury and shall receive step increases which would have automatically been granted them, but employees shall not automatically receive step increases reserved as merit increases. Leaves of absence without pay due to on-the-job injury are subject to the limitations of Section 3.80.020 of the Administrative Guidelines. (Ord. 2011-28 § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2010-14 § 1 (part), 2010; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 91-64 § 1 (part), 1991)

3.80.050 Unpaid Leave for Maternity Reasons.

Unpaid leaves granted in compliance with WAC 162-30 for sickness or disability may extend up to 60 days after the birth of the infant. Extensions beyond 60 days shall require the filing of a physician's certificate, stating the need for additional leave due to the sickness or disability and must include a prognosis for recovery and an expected date the employee will be released to return to full duties. (Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.42.050)

3.80.060 Military Leave – Active Duty.

Unpaid military leave shall be granted in accordance with Chapter 3.81. (Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code 6.42.060)

3.80.065 Domestic Violence Leave.

Employees requiring reasonable leave under the Domestic Violence Leave Act (pursuant to Chapter 49.76 RCW; Chapter 296-135 WAC) may elect to use sick leave or other paid time off, compensatory time, or unpaid leave for the activities listed in PCC 3.13.030 A.1.f, pursuant to the following procedures:

A.    Employees requesting such leave shall give advance notice according to their departmental leave request policy. If the employee is unable to request leave in advance due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance due to the domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the employee or his or her designee must give oral or written notice no later than the end of the first day the employee takes such leave; and

B.    The employee must provide timely written verification that:

1.    The employee or the employee's family member is a victim; and

2.    The leave was taken for one of the activities in PCC 3.13.030 A.1.f.

(Ord. 2016-84 § 1 (part), 2016)

3.80.070 Leave of Absence Without Pay to Run for or Take Public Office.

A.    Employees or officers may be candidates for and serve if elected or appointed as non-County officials in unpaid or token payment positions provided loss of time is reasonable and is such as to not require a substitute. The employee shall take vacation leave or unpaid leave of absence when performing his/her elected or appointive duties.

B.    Employees or officers will be permitted to announce and run as candidates for paid elective or appointive office. Reasonable loss of time will be permitted provided such loss does not require a substitute and the employee uses leave of absence without pay or vacation leave when campaigning activities are during work hours. If elected to a paid elective or appointive position, the employee shall be required to resign or be terminated if his/her paid elected or appointive position requires the hiring of a substitute to replace the employee while on leave of absence without pay performing the elected or appointive duties.

C.    All political activity by County employees shall be in compliance with applicable laws.

(Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 91-64 § 1 (part), 1991; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.42.080)

3.80.080 Court Transcript Leave.

A.    The County shall designate a leave code to be known as "Court Transcript Leave". Such leave shall be a leave-without-pay for all other purposes, but shall be treated as compensated time for the purposes of maintaining the employee's medical and dental benefits.

B.    Court Transcript Leave may be requested by regular, full-time Court Reporters and with the approval of the Judges' Executive Committee and Managing Reporter may be granted when necessary to complete court transcripts.

C.    The Managing Court Reporter or Presiding Judge shall first work towards filling vacancies created by such leave with existing County Court Reporters. If no County Court Reporter is available, an employee who has been approved for Court Transcript Leave may designate a Court Reporter Pro-Tem, who has been approved by the Judge and who will be paid by the County.

(Ord. 97-2 § 1, 1997)

3.80.090 Unpaid Holidays for Faith and Conscience.

Employees may request up to two unpaid days per calendar year for reasons of faith or conscience or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Employees must request the time off as far in advance as possible and shall specify the reason for the leave under this Section. Such leave will be granted unless the employee's absence on the specified days would impose an undue hardship on the County or if the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. (Ord. 2016-84 § 1 (part), 2016)