Sick time off for regular contract covered, classified, and professional staff
Last updated: September 22, 2023
This page applies to all professional, classified, and contract covered staff.
All classified non-union staff, contract covered staff, professional staff, and student employees earn sick time off. This page outlines rules for classified non-union, contract covered staff, and professional staff, including nonpermanent employees. For sick time off provisions for student hourly employees, view the sick time off for student hourly employees webpage.
Sick time off can be used:
- For your own illness, injury, health condition, or disability
- For preventative care such as a medical, dental, or optical appointment(s)
- For a family member’s illness, injury, health condition, or disability, and/or preventive care such as medical, dental, or optical appointment
- For the closure of the UW by order of a public official for any health-related reason
- For the closure of a child’s school or place of care by order of a public official for any health-related reason. A school or place of care is considered closed if the physical location is closed and even if some or all instruction is provided online where the child is expected or required to complete assignments.
- For domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking covered absences
- For a family care emergency absence
- During furlough for benefits maintenance only if the employee has previously exhausted all other paid time off balances
Family member definition
“Family member” is defined as a child or parent (including biological, adopted, foster, step, or legal guardian, or de facto parent), a spouse, state registered domestic partner, spouse’s parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.
You accrue sick time off hours once a month on the last day of the month and it is available for use the first of the following month. Accruals must not exceed 8 hours in a month.
All full-time staff earn eight hours of sick time off per month. This accrual rate is the same for all monthly paid staff, no matter your employment program, and does not change with length of service.
Regularly scheduled part-time employees with an FTE earn sick time off on a prorated basis, based on their percentage of full-time equivalent (FTE). For example, a part-time employee with a 0.5 FTE who works 20 hours of a 40-hour full-time workweek earns 50 percent of the time off that a full-time employee earns, or four hours.
For part-time employees who don’t hold an FTE, the amount of sick time off earned is based on actual hours paid in a month, not to exceed 8 hours.
For example, an hourly nonpermanent-hourly or intermittent employee who worked 64 hours in a month in which there are 168 pay period hours accrues 3.05 hours of sick time off for the month.
Impact of unpaid time off
Overtime exempt classified non-union employees do not accrue any time off during a calendar month in which they have taken more than 80 hours (pro-rated for part time) of unpaid time off.
Overtime eligible classified and professional staff employees and overtime exempt contract classified and professional staff who have more than 80 hours of unpaid time off in a month (prorated for part-time) accrue sick time off on a prorated basis proportionate to the number of hours in pay status for the month.
Maximum time off accrual
There is no limit on the amount of sick time off you may accrue.
As a new employee, when you start accruing sick time off hours depends on whether you are overtime eligible or exempt, your employment program, and what day you started in your first month on the job.
|If you started between the:||You:|
|1st and 15th of the month||Accrue hours for that month|
|16th and last day of the month||Overtime exempt classified non-union employees do not accrue hours for that month, but start accruing the following month
Overtime exempt contract classified and professional staff, and overtime eligible classified non-union, contract covered, and professional staff accrue sick time off on a prorated basis proportionate to the number of hours in pay status for the month
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 time off balance from your previous employer. Visit UWHR’s Prior Washington State Service Credit webpage for more information.
Using sick time off
Paid sick time off accrues at the end of the month and is available for use on the first of the following month. Sick time off may be used only for authorized purposes.
For foreseeable absences, you should provide notice at least ten days in advance of the absence, or as early as practicable to schedule your sick time off in advance following your unit’s time off request procedure. If you are not able to request sick time off in advance, follow your unit’s 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.
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 UWHR’s FMLA webpages 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.
Verification may only be requested if you use or request to use paid sick time off after absences of three consecutive scheduled work days.
Three consecutive scheduled work days — An employee who is scheduled to work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays uses paid sick time off (in any amount) on Wednesday and Friday of the first week and Monday the next week. If sick time off is used again on the Wednesday of that week, the employee would have absences exceeding three days.
Corrective or disciplinary action may be taken if you:
- Fail to provide verification according to your unit’s policy
- Fail to provide appropriate notice of the need for sick time
- Use sick time off for unauthorized purposes
If you are seeking to use or have used sick time off for authorized purposes for more than three (3) consecutive days, your unit may require you to provide verification that establishes that the use of sick time off is for an authorized purpose.
Verification must be provided within 10 calendar days of the first day you used sick time off to care for yourself or a family member. You are not required to provide any details concerning the specific nature of the health condition in order to use sick time off, unless otherwise required by law.
If verification is requested, acceptable verification may include:
- A doctor’s note or a signed statement by a health care provider indicating that the use of sick time off is necessary to take care of yourself or your family member; or
- Notice that your child’s school or place of care was closed by a public official for a health-related reason.
If you or a member of your family have been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, review UWHR’s Time off related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking webpage.
Unreasonable burden or expense for verification
If obtaining verification for use of paid sick leave would result in an unreasonable burden or expense for you, please contact your Human Resources Consultant. You will be asked to provide an oral or written statement that explains:
- Your use of paid sick leave was for an authorized purpose; and
- how the verification requirement creates an unreasonable burden or expense.
Within 10 calendar days of receiving your statement, the University will make a reasonable effort to identify and provide alternatives for you to meet the verification requirement in a manner which does not result in an unreasonable burden or expense.
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 the Attendance Incentive Program webpage.
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:
- Shared Leave Program
- Organ Donor Shared Leave Program
- Uniformed Services Shared Leave Pool Program
- Veterans’ In-State Service Shared Leave Pool Program
- Foster Parent Shared Leave Pool Program
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 average of the higher FTE in each pay period.
If you move from a sick time off accruing staff position to another sick time off accruing staff position, your entire sick time off balance transfers with you.
If you move from a sick time off accruing staff position to an academic position (excluding faculty, see below), your balance does not transfer but will be “held” for potential reinstatement if you return to a staff position.
If you move from a staff position to a temporary hourly staff or student hourly position, only a maximum of 40 hours of sick time off will transfer.
Moving from faculty to monthly paid 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|
|Full-time (12-month appointment)||8 or more years||480 hours, less any sick time off taken in the previous 12 months|
|8 or more years||A prorated amount based on percentage of FTE, less any sick time off taken in the previous 12 months|
|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 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 classified non-union, contract covered staff, or professional staff position, your sick time off balance may be reinstated.
If you move to a student hourly position, only a maximum of 40 hours will transfer; the rest will be “held” for potential reinstatement as outlined in the Prior Washington State Service Credit webpage.
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 as follows:
|Separated As | Returned As||What Happens with Your Sick Time Off|
|Regular or Nonpermanent/Intermittent to Regular or Nonpermanent/Intermittent||Full balance of sick time off may be reinstated as outlined in the Prior Washington State Service Credit webpage.|
|Regular or Nonpermanent/Intermittent to Temporary||A maximum of 40 hours is reinstated. The remainder is “held” for potential reinstatement if you return to state service as outlined in the Prior Washington State Service Credit webpage.|
|Temporary to Regular or Nonpermanent/Intermittent||If you are rehired within 12 months of your termination date, your balance is reinstated.
If your rehire date falls in the next calendar year following your termination date, a maximum of 40 hours will be reinstated as though the annual cap had been applied.
Time off accrual in your final month
As a terminating employee, whether you earn a sick time off accrual in your final month depends on whether you are overtime eligible or exempt and what day you separate in your last month on the job.
|If you terminate between the:||You:|
|1st and 15th of the month||Overtime exempt classified non-union employees do not accrue hours for that month
Overtime exempt contract covered and professional staff, and overtime eligible classified non-union, contract covered, and professional staff employees accrue sick time off on a prorated basis proportionate to the number of hours in pay status for the month.
|16th and last day of the month||Accrue hours 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 classified non-union, contract covered, and professional 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. In order for your balance to transfer, your UW department must ensure Workday reflects that you are moving to another state agency without a break in service.
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 UWHR’s VEBA webpage.
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 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.
Time off requests
You should respond to an employee’s time off request as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, including whether the time off request could fall under FMLA, contact your leave specialist.
You may not require that the employee find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which they are using paid sick time off.
Any discrimination or retaliation against an employee for lawful exercise of paid sick time off rights is not allowed. Corrective action may not be taken for the lawful use of paid sick time off.