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HR Operations

Prior Washington state service credit

Prior state service credit may be awarded for past Washington state employment. This credit is used to establish your:

  • Annual leave (vacation) accrual rate
  • Annual and sick leave balances

You may be eligible for prior service credit if you are a monthly paid UW employee who has previously worked as a monthly paid employee for the state of Washington.

If you have worked for a: You may receive credit for:
State agency
  • Annual leave accrual rate
  • Annual leave balance
  • Sick leave balance
Public institution of higher education
  • Annual leave accrual rate
  • Annual leave balance
  • Sick leave balance
Public education service district
  • Sick leave balance

But credit for previous state employment isn’t automatic when you start working at the UW. You must tell us about your previous state employment by submitting a credit request form to your department’s HR Operations office.

Annual leave accrual rate adjustment

Annual leave accrual rate is based on length of service. Therefore, your accrual rate may increase if your prior state employment time is added.

You must have at least 48 months of qualifying state employment (combined current and previous) before you see an adjustment to your annual leave accrual rate.

If you are awarded an accrual rate adjustment, your accrual month is also adjusted. The accrual month is the month in which your leave accrual rate increases according to the accrual schedule for your employment type.

Annual and sick leave transfer

You can transfer your annual and sick leave balances if you are moving — without a break in service — from another state agency to the UW. However, if you are transferring without a break in service from a public education service district, you can transfer only your sick leave balance (not annual leave balance).

Sick leave reinstatement

If you had a break in service, we can reinstate your previous sick leave balance if ALL of the following are true:

  • You left behind a sick leave balance at your previous employer
  • Your previous employer was a Washington state agency or public institution of higher education (not educational service district)
  • Your break in service was:
    • No more than five years for classified nonunion employees
    • No more than three years for contract classified employees or professional staff

 Requesting prior state service credit

Complete and submit the Prior Service Credit for Previous Washington State Employment (MS Word) to your department’s HR Operations office.

Human Resources will verify your previous service and notify both you and your department of your qualifying service credit. If your previous service does not qualify, HR will notify you of the reason.

Your department’s timekeeper will input your qualifying prior service credit in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS), Kronos, or other authorized leave tracking system. However, if the combination of your current and prior service credit is less than 48 months, your annual leave accrual rate and accrual month won’t change immediately. When you complete 48 months, your accrual rate and accrual month automatically change in the leave tracking system.

Your transferred or reinstated leave balances are entered immediately upon notification from HR.