Unpaid time off
This page was updated November 1, 2022.
The University may allow unpaid time off if you don’t have enough accrued time off to cover your time away from work or on an approved leave of absence without pay. Unpaid time off must be approved by your supervisor.
The use of unpaid time off may impact other employment provisions as outlined below.
Use of paid time off first
In most cases, you must deplete your accrued time off before taking unpaid time off, unless you are on:
- Disability leave
- Parental leave
- Leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- Leave designated as FMLA
- a PFML leave of absence
However, the specific terms and conditions under which you may take unpaid time off versus paid time off are defined by your employment program or collective bargaining agreement.
Your benefits may be impacted by extended use of unpaid time off. If you are on an approved medical, parental, or military leave of absence, you must remain in pay status for at least eight hours per month in order for the University to continue paying its portion of your health insurance. For continuation of benefits, it is encouraged that employees apply paid time off on the first work day of the month. Contact the Integrated Service Center (ISC) about continuing your benefits during extensive periods of unpaid time off.
Employees on a personal leave of absence are not allowed to intersperse accrued time off for medical coverage.
Vacation accrual and progression start date
If you hold an FTE, you do not accrue any vacation time off during a calendar month in which you have taken more than 80 hours of unpaid time off, prorated for part-time employment. For a 0.5 FTE, that would be 40 hours. The 80 hours includes any holidays that you took as unpaid time off.
Progression start date (classified employees)
Your progression start date is not affected by the use of unpaid time off.
Probationary and trial service period
Your probationary or trial service period may be impacted by taking unpaid time off.
|If you are:||Then your probationary/trial service period will be:|
|Classified non-union||Extended by one workday for each work shift of unpaid time off|
|Contract covered||Impacted as stated in your collective bargaining agreement|
If you will have an extensive period of unpaid time off, contact the Integrated Service Center to understand your insurance coverage options and to arrange for alternate payment of payroll deductions.
Contact Transportation Services to discuss discontinuing parking deductions from your paycheck while on an extended time off.
APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff
APS 45.2 Leave Use and Compensation for Classified and Professional Staff During Suspended Operations and During Inclement Weather
APS 45.4 Leave Related to Active Military Duty
Temporary unpaid time off policy due to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)
Effective from March 1, 2020 through July 23, 2020, contract covered, classified non-union, and professional staff were allowed to use unpaid time off prior to exhausting paid time off with no impact to:
- Months of service toward a higher vacation accrual rate.
- Accruals of vacation and sick time when unpaid time off exceeds 80 hours (prorated) in a month.
- Progression start date towards step increases when unpaid time off exceeds 80 hours (prorated) in a month (see below for classified non-union staff).
- Continuous service dates.
- Probationary or trial service period (see below for classified non-union staff).
Step increase, accruals, and months of service were reconciled at the end of each month. Under WAC 357-31-355, probationary or trial service periods were adjusted for each workday of unpaid time off taken by classified non-union employees who used unpaid time off outside of a furlough. Under WAC 357-46-067 progression start dates were adjusted for classified non-union employees who used unpaid time off during a furlough. Employees were required to remain in pay status for at least 8 hours per month in order for the University to continue paying the employer portion of their health insurance.
From July 23, 2020 until October 31, 2022, contract covered, classified non-union, and professional staff could use unpaid time off prior to exhausting their paid time off.