Human Resources

End of WA COVID-19 state of emergency

Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end October 31, 2022. The information below summarizes changes to staff pandemic policies beginning November 1:

  • Suspension of annual forfeiture of vacation time off balances greater than 240 hours will expire: Forfeiture of excess vacation time on a classified employee’s anniversary date resumes on July 31, 2023. Classified employees will lose all earned vacation hours over 240 on that day. Please encourage employees to use their excess vacation time off during this nine-month grace period.
  • New hire PEBB benefit (healthcare benefit) eligibility: The UW will revert to pre-pandemic rules governing healthcare benefits eligibility. Eligible employees will receive healthcare benefits beginning on the first of the month following their first day of employment. Nonpermanent employees will need to work (or be expected to work) an average of 80 hours a month (with a minimum of 8 hours per month) for more than 6 consecutive calendar months (e.g. total of 480 hours in 6 consecutive months) in order to qualify for healthcare benefits.
  • COVID Shared Leave: Individuals will no longer be able to request shared leave soley based on a COVID-19-related reason. Shared leave continues to be available for eligible employees experiencing qualifying reasons such as a severe, extraordinary, or life-threatening health condition or parental leave.
  • Continuation of benefits for employees: Employees will no longer be able to intersperse time off to maintain benefits eligibility unless they are on an approved medical or family leave of absence.
  • Administrative leave: Paid administrative leave will no longer be available for workplace COVID-19 exposure.
  • Sick time off: Sick time off usage may continue to be used for COVID-19-related family and personal illness, but family care emergency usage returns to a limit of three days per time off type.
  • Use of unpaid time off prior to paid time off: Employees should follow the rules of their employment program for use of unpaid time off.

Public health accommodation for high-risk employees: Due to the ongoing presidential declaration of a national public health emergency, state law requiring accommodations during a public health emergency remains in effect. We will communicate any change to this policy and next steps at a future date when its expiration is known.

HR will contact classified employees about their vacation. This information will be posted in UW Insider and webpages about these temporary policies will be sunset once the policies have expired.

Your partnership is an important part of the University’s response to COVID-19. Please contact your Human Resources Consultant with any questions.