HR Operations

Sick time off

All monthly paid classified and professional staff earn sick time off.

Sick time off is commonly used for:

  • Your own illness, injury, or disability
  • A family member’s illness, injury, or disability
  • Your or a family member’s medical and dental appointments


You accrue sick time off hours once a month on the last day of the month.

Accrual rate

All full-time staff earn eight hours of sick time off per month. This accrual rate is the same for all employees, no matter your employment program, and does not change with length of service.

Maximum time off accrual

There is no limit on the amount of sick time off you may accrue.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees (0.5 FTE or higher) earn sick time off on a prorated basis, based on their percentage of full-time equivalent (FTE).

For example, 20 work hours per week equals 0.5 FTE. Therefore, a 0.5 FTE employee earns 50 percent of the time off that a full-time employee earns, or four hours.

New employees

As a new employee, when you start accruing sick time off hours depends on what day you started in your first month on the job.

If you started between the: You:
1st and15th of the month Accrue your monthly hours for that month
16th and last day of the month Do not accrue monthly hours for that month, but start accruing the following month

For example, if your first day is February 7, you will receive eight hours for the month of February.

But if you start work on February 21, you won’t earn any sick time off hours for February. You will earn your March hours on March 31.

Cyclical positions

If you hold a cyclical position, you earn time off for the overall number of months you work, even if your position begins or ends mid-month.

For example, if you work September 16 to June 15, you earn nine months of sick time off. You wouldn’t earn time off in September, but you would receive your monthly time off accrual for June (as long as you are in pay status until the end of your position on June 15).

Prior Washington state service credit

If you have previously worked for a Washington state agency, public institution of higher education, or public education service district, you may be eligible to transfer or reinstate your sick leave balance from your previous employer. Visit Prior Washington State Service Credit for more information.

Unpaid time off

You do not accrue any time off during a calendar month in which you have taken more than 10 equivalent days of your FTE as unpaid time off. (For 1.0 FTE, that would be 80 hours; for 0.5 FTE, that would be 40 hours.) The 10 days includes any holidays that you took as unpaid time off.

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Using sick time off

You can use sick time off as soon as you accrue it. When possible, schedule your sick time off in advance following your department’s usual time off request procedure. If you are not able to request sick time off in advance, follow your department’s usual call-out procedure.

For campus staff: Check your sick time off balance or enter sick time off requests in Workday. The Integrated Service Center (ISC) provides instructions on how to view and request time off. Contact the ISC if you have questions.

For medical centers staff: Check your sick time off balance or enter sick time off requests in Kronos.

FMLA certification

Certain reasons for using sick time off may fall under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If this is the case, you will be asked to follow our FMLA policy and procedures. This will include providing medical certification from a health-care provider. Visit FMLA for additional information.

Other medical certification

Even if your sick time off is not covered by FMLA, you may still be asked to provide medical certification.

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Attendance Incentive Program

Each January, you have the opportunity to receive payment for excess sick time off hours, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements of the program. For more information, visit Attendance Incentive Program.

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Donating to shared leave programs

You may be able to donate sick time off hours to help another employee in need of leave for medical or military reasons. For more information, visit:

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Job changes

Transferring departments

If you move from a time off-eligible staff position in one department to a time off-eligible staff position in another department, your sick time off balance will transfer with you.

Change in FTE

If your FTE status changes in the middle of a calendar month, the number of sick time off hours you earn for that month will be prorated, based on the amount of time worked at each FTE during that month.

Change in employment program

All employees who earn time off have the same sick time off accrual rate. Therefore, if you move from one employment program to another (for example, from classified non-union to professional staff), your accrual rate stays the same, and your sick time off balance transfers with you.

Moving from faculty to professional staff

The amount of sick time off that transfers with you when moving from faculty to professional staff is dependent on your faculty appointment and your length of service as a faculty member.

Faculty appointment Length of service as faculty Amount of sick time off granted to professional staff position

(12-month appointment)

8 or more years 480 hours, less any sick time off taken in the previous 12 months
Less than full-time 8 or more years A prorated amount based on percentage of FTE, less any sick time off taken in the previous 12 months
Full-time or less Less than 8 years A prorated amount as determined by Human Resources
Moving from staff to faculty, student, or hourly

If you move from a staff position to a faculty, student, or hourly position, your sick time off balance does not transfer with you, nor are you paid for those lost sick time off hours. However, if you later return to a time off-eligible position, your sick time off balance may be reinstated.

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Leaving UW employment

You are not paid for your unused sick time off hours when you leave UW employment (unless your separation is due to retirement or death — see below).

If you return to UW employment later, your sick time off balance may be reinstated. For more information, visit Prior Washington State Service Credit.

Time off accrual in your final month

If your UW employment ends on or after the 16th of the month, you will earn your eight hours of sick time off for that month. However, if you separate prior to the 16th of the month, you do not accrue any sick time off for that month.

Transfers to another state agency

Your sick time off balance may transfer with you if you move from University employment to a time off-eligible staff position at another state agency, public institution of higher education, or public education service district without a break in service, depending on the specific terms of your new job.

Separation due to retirement

When you retire from UW employment, 25 percent of the cash value of your unused sick time off balance is placed into a tax-free Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) medical expense account. For more information, visit VEBA.

Members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union are not eligible for a VEBA and therefore receive a taxable cash payment for their unused sick time off at the same 25 percent rate.

Separation due to death

If an employee dies while still employed by the UW, the employee’s estate will receive 25 percent of the cash value of the employee’s unused sick time off balance.

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Supervisor responsibilities

Time off requests

You should respond to an employee’s time off request as soon as possible.

Assess whether the time off request could fall under FMLA. If FMLA may be applicable, follow your department’s FMLA procedures, or contact your leave specialist.

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Additional resources

  • APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff

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