Human Resources

Time off practices and the holidays

State HR is reminding us all to make sure supervisor approved time off around the holidays is appropriately recorded. This timely notice follows Whistleblower case No. 18-018 (Report No. 1021766), in which a state investigation confirmed that it is an improper governmental action to release employees early before a holiday without the expectation that employees use accrued or unpaid time off to cover the time away from the office. While this case involved the actions of the Department of Social and Health Services, the findings apply to all state agencies, including the University of Washington.

Should an employee request to leave early before a holiday:

  • Overtime eligible employees must account for missed work time by using available paid or unpaid time off.
  • Unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise, overtime exempt employees are not required to use time off to cover time missed, but are expected to otherwise work whatever time is necessary to ensure that work requirements and expectations are met. Therefore, an occasional supervisor approved partial-day absence does not require the use of paid time off.


  • For campus staff: Follow your department’s usual request procedure and enter the time off request in Workday. The Integrated Service Center (ISC) provides instructions on how to view and request time off.
  • For medical centers staff: Follow your department’s usual request procedure and enter the vacation time off request in Kronos.


  • Contact your HR consultant for assistance with time off policy questions.


  • Contact Internal Audit if you have questions specific to Whistleblower case No. 18-018 or state ethics rules at 206-543-4028 or