Human Resources

Watch this page! Information will be updated with the launch of Workday and the Integrated Service Center (ISC) on June 27, 2017.

As of June 19, 2017, the current UW payroll system (HEPPS; OPUS) and other legacy systems, including Employee Self Service (ESS) and OWLS, will no longer accept edits and will be converted to read-only in preparation for Workday go-live. Learn more about how you can get ready for Workday by visiting the HR/Payroll Modernization Program website.

Time and leave glossary



Absences from work must be taken as paid or unpaid leave. Use of leave must be approved by the employee’s supervisor. Leave benefits vary by employee type.

Alternate Work Schedule:
See Work Schedule.

Anniversary Date:
An employee’s most recent date of hire into regular state service; it is not changed by transfers among state employers or leaves of absence. For classified staff, this is the date on which the annual leave balance
may not exceed 240 hours. Professional staff have different leave requirements.

See UW policy requirements for professional staff.

Annual Leave (Vacation Leave):
All classified non-union, contract classified and professional staff earn annual leave hours for each full month of their employment. Employees working less than a full time schedule accrue annual leave hours on a prorated basis.

Annual Leave Accrual Month:
The calendar month when the annual leave accrual rate changes in accordance with the accrual schedule for the employee’s appointment type (e.g., classified non-union, contract classified, professional staff).

Annual Leave Accrual Rate:
The number of hours of annual leave credited to an employee per month of active service. The accrual rate is defined in the provisions of the applicable human resources program: Department of Personnel (classified
non-union) rules and University Policy for classified non-union employees, collective bargaining agreements for contract classified staff, and the Professional Staff Program for professional staff employees.

Annual Leave Maximum:
See Maximum Annual Leave Balance.

Appointment Type:
The category of human resources programs that cover the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment. These appointment types are eligible to accrue leave:

  • Classified non-union staff: Employees in positions covered by the Department of Personal civil service rules; job codes 2000 – 6999.
  • Contract classified staff: Employees in positions covered by a collective bargaining agreement; job codes 7000 – 8999.
  • Professional staff: Employees in positions covered by the UW Professional Staff Program. Professional staff positions are exempt from coverage by civil service laws (RCW 41.06); job codes 1000 – 1999 or 9000 – 9999.
  • Educators: Employees in 9-month educator positions in the College of Education; job codes 0417 – 0419.
  • Librarians: Employees in academic positions; job codes 0401 – 0413.
  • Hall Health Center physicians.
    Hall Health Physicians are assigned to job codes 1611 – 1620.

Attendance Incentive Program:
For employees whose sick leave balance exceeds 480 hours, the Annual Attendance Incentive Program allows for monetary compensation for any accrued and unused sick leave accumulated during the previous calendar year. Payment is made at the rate of 25%; all hours compensated are deducted
from the sick leave balance.

See Attendance Incentive Program webpage.


Bereavement Leave: Bereavement is paid time off from work that is in addition to annual leave or sick leave as provided by collective bargaining agreement (contract classified staff), Department of Personnel rules (classified non-union staff) or the provisions of the applicable employment program (professional staff and librarians).


Child Care Emergency Leave:
A paid or unpaid leave granted to classified and professional staff for situations causing an employee’s inability to report for or continue scheduled work because of emergency child care requirements, such as
the unexpected absence of the regular care provider, the unexpected closure of the child’s school, or an unexpected need to pick up the child at school earlier than normal.

Civil Duty Leave:
Paid leave granted to employees to serve on a jury or as trial witnesses, or to exercise other subpoenaed civil duties in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or employment program.

Compensatory Time (CA):
Leave time credited to eligible employees who request and receive supervisor approval to receive such time in lieu of cash payment for overtime or holiday work time.

Classified Staff:
Monthly paid employees holding a .50 FTE or more appointment who occupy jobs that are covered by the civil service rules and/or labor contracts.

Cyclic Year Positions:
A position scheduled to work less than 12 full months each year due to known, recurring periods of leave in the annual cycle. Such positions are most commonly created for 9, 10, or 11 month appointments. Also

see Service Period.

Cyclic Yearly Leave (CYL):
Scheduled periods of leave without pay each year due to known, recurring periods in the annual cycle when the position is not scheduled to work. For classified staff who have completed a probationary period and professional staff who have completed 6 months of service, cyclic year leave without pay does not constitute a break in service and is not deducted from the employees’ length of service in granting periodic salary increments (classified staff), or in computing the employees’ vacation leave accrual rate.


Disability Leave:
Leave of absence granted to an employee who is precluded from performing his/her job duties because of a disability, including those related to pregnancy and child birth. See the University of Washington Disability Leave of Absence Policy for classified staff, professional staff and librarians and the University
of Washington Disability Accommodation Request Process

Discretionary Leave (D):
Discretionary Leave is an annual (calendar year) maximum of 6 paid days off work that a department or division head may award to professional staff employees to recognize noteworthy achievement and work effort that have significantly contributed to the unit’s mission, goals and/or objectives.

See Professional Staff Program for Discretionary Leave for award approval and use instructions.


9-month educator positions, job class codes 0417 – 0419.

See Appointment Type.

Excepted Work Period:

See Work Schedule.


For Faculty appointments, see Academic HR.

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
Federal entitlement for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for eligible employees as a result of any of the following conditions:

  • Parental leave for the first year care of the employee’s newborn or newly placed adopted or foster child;
  • Personal medical leave due to the employee’s own serious health condition that requires the employee’s absence from work;
  • Leave to enable the employee to care for the employee’s family member who suffers from a serious medical condition that requires on-site care or supervision by the employee.

See the Family & Medical Leave Act webpage for details and employee eligibility requirements. Eligible employees may use accrued paid leave, if available, to cover time on an FMLA leave of absence.

Family Member:
The term “family member” means the employee’s spouse or same or opposite sex domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister or brother. Family Member also includes individuals in the following relationships with the employee’s spouse or domestic partner: child, parent, or grandparent, as well as those persons in a “step” relationship.

See employment category specific information for details on eligibility.

*Child means a biological child, adoptive or foster child, or a child for whom an individual stood in loco parentis.

Fixed Duration Appointment:
A specific type of limited duration appointment that may be authorized by collective bargaining agreement. Employees in a fixed duration appointment who meet eligibility requirements accrue leave but do not have layoff/seniority rights.

Full-Time Employment:
Work consisting of 40 hours per week.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE):
The percentage of full-time employment.


100% = 1.0 FTE = 40 hours/week
75% = 0.75 FTE = 30 hours/week
50% = 0.5 FTE = 20 hours/week


Graduate Student Appointment:
See Graduate Student Service Appointment information.


Hall Health Physicians:
Job class codes 1611 – 1620. See Appointment Type.

Eligible classified staff, professional staff, and librarians receive 10 paid holidays plus 1 personal holiday each calendar year.

Holiday Credit (HA):
Also referred to as Holiday Compensatory Time. Time off credit granted to an employee when a holiday occurs on the employee’s regularly scheduled day off.

Household Members:
Persons who reside in the same home as the employee and have reciprocal duties to, and provide financial support for, one another. Household members shall also include foster children and legal wards.

See also Family Members.


Interspersal (of leave):
The use of 1 accrued paid leave day (8 hours) per month during approved disability or parental leave without pay for the purpose of maintaining the employee’s health insurance coverage.


Job Class Title & Code:
Each position is assigned a job class title. Each class title has a unique and corresponding job class code. Classified non-union and contract classified job class titles, codes, and their corresponding salary ranges are found in the UW Classified Staff Compensation Plan.


L&I (Labor and Industry) Buy Back:
Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness can use any combination of sick leave, annual leave, or leave without pay to cover their absence from work. Many employees choose to use sick leave or annual leave to make up the difference between time loss payments and their regular wages, or to continue their regular income until time loss payments begin. Full sick leave pay and time loss benefits cannot be received concurrently. The University is required to have a “buy back” program for eligible workers who are on paid sick leave and who also receive time loss payment from L&I for the same period of time. The buy back program reconciles this “double payment” and allows for reinstatement of a proportionate amount of sick leave to the employee’s leave record.
The employee is required to buy back sick leave, but has the option of buying back vacation leave as well. See the Frequently Asked Questions/Procedure about Buy Back for details, or contact the Workers’ Compensation Program Coordinator (206-543-0183) with questions or for further information.

Leave of Absence Without Pay (L):
Unpaid leave which may be allowed for time that an employee is absent for such reasons as disability, parental leave, child care emergencies, and education. For cyclic year schedules, see cyclic year leave.

Leave-Bearing Appointment:
50% FTE or greater position eligible to earn vacation and sick leave.

Academic positions with job class codes 0401 – 0413. See Appointment Type.


Maximum Annual Leave Balance:
Unless provided otherwise by civil service rule or collective bargaining agreement, all classified non-union and contract classified employees may carry a maximum annual leave balance of 240 hours. Review the applicable collective bargaining agreement or employment program information or contact your Human
Resources Operations Office
for assistance. The maximum annual leave balance is per employee and
not per number of appointments. Librarians have a maximum annual leave balance of 288 hours.

Military Leave With Pay (M):
A maximum of 21 working days between October 1 and September 30 is allowed for military training leave with pay. The employee must be under military orders, a copy of which should be given to the department at the time of the leave request. This leave is in addition to vacation/sick leave and does not result in any reduction of accrued leave balances, benefits, performance ratings, privileges, or pay.

Military Leave Without Pay (MWO):
Under federal and state law all UW employees are entitled to military leave of absence without pay for active service in the uniformed services of the United States or the State of Washington. The employee is also entitled to reinstatement to the former position with restoration of seniority and adjustment of salary for missed increments, if applicable.


Non-Scheduled Work Period:
See Work Schedule.


Online Payroll Update System. See the OPUS

Overtime (OT):
Additional compensation, as provided by collective bargaining agreement, University policy, and/or civil service rule, given in the form of either cash or compensatory time, to overtime-eligible UW employees when the hours worked exceed the threshold for overtime eligibility.

Online Work/Leave System. See the OWLS webpage.


Parental Leave:
Leave of absence granted to an employee for first year care of the employee’s newborn or newly-placed adopted or foster child. (See classified non-union rules and/or provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement or Professional Staff program). See the Family and Medical Leave webpage.

Part-Time Employment:
A position assigned to a regular work schedule of at least 20 hours but less than 40 hours per week.

In Pay Status:
On payroll receiving regular salary for working that day or having used paid leave, including shared
, to remain on payroll.

Periodic Increment Date (PID):
The date upon which a classified non-union or contract classified employee is scheduled to move to a higher salary step within the range for his/her current job class.

Personal Holiday (PH):
An annual paid leave day selected by the employee to be used at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor. Eligibility for a personal holiday is established by collective bargaining agreement for contract classified staff, civil service rules for classified non-union staff and university policy for professional staff.

Post Entry Review Message (PERM):
A system-generated e-mail sent when an online payroll transaction takes place or when a completed monthly summary is released in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS).

Previous State Employment, Crediting for:
Employees with previous qualifying state service may apply for and may receive credit toward their annual leave accrual rate based upon the combined total years of state employment. The crediting process is administered by Human Resources.

Probationary Period:
For non-permanent classified non-union and contract classified employees the initial period of employment established by civil service rule, University policy or collective bargaining agreement. Classified staff do not achieve “permanent” status until the probationary period is successfully completed. The probationary period for the Campus Police Officer job class extends from the date of appointment until 12 months following the successful completion of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission Basic Law Enforcement Academy or twelve months from the date of appointment if academy training is not required.

Project Assignment:
Professional staff temporary assignment of generally no more than 9 months.

See the Professional Staff Temporary Appointments webpage.

Pro-Rating (of Leave Accrual Rates):
Pro-rating is the averaging of different accrual rates that apply within a month, based upon the following circumstances:

  1. a change of percent FTE during the month (both annual leave and sick leave).
  2. a change in position to one covered by a different leave accrual rate (annual leave only).


Records Retention Schedule:
An approved and established timetable for maintaining records common to most departments within the UW. Retention schedules state the period of time a record must be kept and when it can be destroyed. Retention requirements refer to information in all formats; paper as well as electronic records.

See Records Management.

Regular Work Schedule:
See Work Schedule.


A term used for professional leave with pay for eligible faculty and librarians.

See Work Schedule.

Term used to describe an employee terminated from regular monthly employment with the UW for reasons other than unsatisfactory job performance or behavior.

Service Period:
Number of months a position is scheduled to work, usually 12 months throughout the year. A cyclic year position is scheduled to work less than 12 full months each year, due to known, recurring periods of
leave in the annual cycle; usually between 9 and 11 months.

Shared Leave (SH):
A program which allows eligible state employees to donate part of their accumulated annual, sick leave, and personal holiday leave hours to co-workers whose regular paid leave has been depleted because of extraordinary illness.

See Shared Leave webpage.

Sick Leave (S):
Paid leave granted to salaried employees to be used for illness or injury or as otherwise allowed by collective bargaining agreement, civil service rule or University policy. All full-time classified non-union, contract classified, and professional staff earn 8 hours of sick leave for each month of full time employment. Employees working less than a full-time schedule accrue sick leave hours on a prorated basis.

Individual having the authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or having the responsibility to direct their work. The supervisor is responsible for review of the employee’s work and leave record.

Supporting Documents:
Information sources providing the data used to create the official leave record, both online (e.g., OWLS) or paper (e.g., Form 220). Examples of supporting documents include: leave request and overtime authorization forms, weekly time sheets, time cards, and summons to report for jury duty.


Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant graduate student appointment.

See the collective bargaining agreement for RA/TA positions and Graduate Student Service Appointment information.

Temporary Employee:
An hourly paid employee whose appointment may not exceed 1,050 hours, excluding overtime, in any 12 consecutive month period. See Temporary Employment webpage. Temporary Hourly employees are not normally eligible for any leave benefits. Temporary employees may be eligible for certain unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

See also: the Fixed-Duration Appointment webpage and the Professional Staff Limited Term Temporary Assignment webpage.

Records work and leave hours using the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) or the paper Form 220.

Trial Period:
A “trial service period” or “transition review period” or “rehire trial period” served when a classified employee moves to another position or accepts an appointment through the layoff process. The terms and length of the trial period are established by collective bargaining agreement, civil service rules and/or by University policy.


UW Hire Date:
Start date of current period of continuous UW service in a regular, monthly-paid position.


See Annual Leave.

Vacation Accrual Month:
The month when the vacation accrual rate changes in accordance with the accrual schedule for the employee’s appointment type (e.g., classified non-union, contract classified, Librarians, professional staff). The vacation accrual month is adjusted for each month that an employee is on leave without pay in excess of 10 working days (80 hours).

See Annual Leave Accrual Month.

VEBA: Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association:
VEBA is a tax-free medical expense account funded by the 25% sick leave cash-out at retirement. It can be used by the retiree and eligible dependents to pay medical expenses after retirement.

See the VEBA webpage.


Work Period Designation (Work Schedule):
Scheduled work days and hours. Each position is assigned to one of three work period designations (see note below for Research Technologists):

  1. Scheduled:
    1. The Regular Scheduled work period for full-time staff consists of five consecutive and uniformly scheduled 8-hour days in a 7-day period. This is a daily repetition of the same working hours and a weekly repetition of the same working days. For part-time staff, a regular scheduled work period consists of the same number of consecutive and uniformly scheduled work days consistent with the percent FTE, and a weekly repetition of the same work hours and work days.
    2. An Alternate Scheduled work period is a consistent schedule per day/week of other than five uniform and consecutive days in a 7-day period. This schedule may be due to operational
      necessity or employee convenience but is determined by the department.
  2. Nonscheduled: The “Nonscheduled” work period is varied and inconsistent. It applies to those positions for which hours cannot be consistently scheduled, but which reflect the required percent FTE per week. Assignment of a position to the non-scheduled work period designation requires approval by the department’s Human Resources Consultant.
  3. Excepted: The “Excepted” work period designation applies to classes and positions which are generally not eligible for overtime compensation. See also professional staff.

Overtime eligibility for classified job classifications is shown in the UW Classified staff Compensation Plan under the “OT Eligible” column.

(Research Technologist 1 positions [except those in the department of Bioengineering] are eligible for overtime payment only when the employee works in excess of 40 hours in the work week. Employees
in such positions are not assigned to one of the above work period designations.)

Work Study:
A full-time UW student who is employed in a position that is part of a work study program.

Work Week:
A fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – 7 consecutive 24-hour periods (e.g., Monday, 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, 12:00 midnight, or Sunday, 12:01 a.m. through Saturday, 12:00 midnight). The work week is designated by the employer and may begin on any day of the week and any hour of the day; it need not coincide with the calendar week. Each employee must have a designated work week, which is then noted on the weekly time sheet and the work and leave record, either online (OWLS) or paper (Form
220). If a standard work week pertains to a group of employees, it should be so documented and published within the work unit or department.