Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

PERSONNEL
60.58
Revised 10-12
Human Resource Services
335-4521

Shared Leave

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OVERVIEW

State law authorizes the University to permit an employee to receive shared leave under certain conditions. The statute also authorizes the University to grant an employee's request to donate leave to employees who have been approved to receive shared leave by the University. (RCW 41.04.650 through 41.04.670)

Civil Service Employees

Refer to WAC 357-31 for additional shared leave guidance with respect to civil service employees who are not members of a bargaining unit.

Collective Bargaining Unit Employees

Employees who are members of collective bargaining units refer to the applicable bargaining unit agreements regarding shared leave rules and procedures.

REQUESTING SHARED LEAVE

Eligibility

A WSU employee is eligible to request participation in the shared leave program when the employee is entitled to accrue sick leave or annual leave.

The following individuals are not eligible to receive shared leave:

NOTE: If the workers' compensation claim is denied, the employee may apply for shared leave. If a workers' compensation claim is reopened and the employee receives benefits, the employee is not eligible for shared leave and may have to repay any shared leave used.

Criteria

When deciding whether or not to grant a request for shared leave, the University considers the applicability of criteria from RCW 41.04.665 described below:

  1. The employee suffers from or has a relative or household member suffering from an extraordinary or severe illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition which is serious, extreme, and/or life threatening. The injury, illness, impairment, or condition must prevent the employee from working for at least five days. See below.

    An employee's relative is limited to the employee's spouse, state-registered domestic partner, child, grandchild, grandparent, or parent. NOTE: Child is defined as a biological child, stepchild, or adopted child. A child for whom the employee is a legal guardian also qualifies.

  2. The employee is called to service in the uniformed services. See below.

  3. A state of emergency is declared anywhere within the United States by the federal or any state government and the employee has the needed skills to assist in responding to the emergency or its aftermath, and

    The employee volunteers his or her services to a governmental agency or a nonprofit organization engaged in humanitarian relief in the devastated area, and

    The governmental agency or nonprofit organization accepts the employee's offer of volunteer services.

  4. The employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

  5. The illness, injury, impairment, condition, consequence of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or the call to military service or emergency volunteer service has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to go on leave without pay status or terminate state employment.

  6. The employee's absence and use of shared leave are justified.

  7. The employee has depleted or will shortly deplete his or her:

    Compensatory time, personal holiday, annual leave, and sick leave reserves, assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #1 above;

    Personal holiday, annual leave, and paid military leave allowed under RCW 38.40.060, assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #2 above;

    Personal holiday and annual leave, assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #3 or #4 above.

  8. The employee has abided by the University's rules regarding:

    Sick leave use, assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #1 or #4 above; or

    Military leave, assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #2 above.

  9. The employee has diligently pursued and been found to be ineligible for worker's compensation benefits (see RCW 51.32), assuming the employee qualifies for shared leave under #1 above. (NOTE: If a worker's compensation claim is later opened, the employee would not be eligible for shared leave and must notify HRS.)

Examples of Qualifying Conditions

Examples of an extraordinary or severe illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition include:

Application for Shared Leave

To request approval to receive shared leave hours, an employee submits all of the following documentation to HRS:

To obtain the form, contact HRS, or go to:

http://hrs.wsu.edu/

For medical conditions, HRS requires a completed medical leave certification in a form satisfactory to HRS and any other documentation from a health care provider that demonstrates that the health condition meets the criteria for applying for shared leave.

Prior to deciding whether or not to grant the employee's request for shared leave, HRS reviews the submitted documentation and determines whether the health condition qualifies the employee to apply for shared leave or if additional documentation is needed.

To obtain the medical leave certification form, contact HRS, or go to:

http://hrs.wsu.edu/

If the employee is incapacitated, an employee's representative may provide the employee's documentation.

Employees must have their Time/Leave Reports audited by HRS prior to any shared leave use in order to ensure accurate leave balances.

HRS Pullman maintains and completes the Time/Leave Report for the employee during the time he or she is receiving or using shared leave.

Maximum Shared Leave Granted

Shared leave for a medical condition is not granted for longer than a total of 90 calendar days or 522 hours (for a full-time employee) per condition or event.

NOTE: The number of hours of shared leave received per condition or event is based on the employee's FTE (Full-Time Equivalent). A full-time employee receives up to 522 hours per condition. A part-time employee receives the number of hours prorated according to the employee's FTE percentage.

An employee shall not receive more than 261 days of shared leave during his or her entire career of state employment. (RCW 41.04.665)

Relative or Household Member Condition

Shared leave to care for a relative or household member is not granted for longer than a total of 90 calendar days or 522 hours (for a full-time employee) per condition or event.

To receive shared leave, the employee must provide written documentation from a health care provider/agency which demonstrates to the satisfaction of HRS that the relative or household member requires the presence of the employee during the employee's regular work hours for the person's care.

Acceptable documentation includes notes regarding such requirements from the health care provider and/or social service agency in the family member section of the medical leave certification form.

Copies of the medical leave application and certification forms are available on the Managers→Leave & Holidays area of the HRS website at:

http://hrs.wsu.edu/

Alternatives to Shared Leave

WSU encourages and pursues other methods of reasonably accommodating the employee's needs, such as modified duty, modified hours, flextime, or special assignments in lieu of shared leave.

Long-Term Disability

Employees have the option of purchasing optional long-term disability (LTD) insurance through HRS, with waiting periods ranging from 30 to 360 calendar days. If an employee applies for shared leave and is found to be eligible, shared leave is only to be applied to cover the employee's chosen optional waiting period or up to a maximum of 90 calendar days or 522 hours for a full-time employee, whichever is shorter.

Shared leave hours may be saved for use during the FML period and during an additional month of leave in order to pay the employee health premiums. No more than eight hours of shared leave may be used for this purpose.

NOTE: The number of hours of shared leave received per condition is based on the employee's FTE (Full-Time Equivalent). A full-time employee receives up to 522 hours per condition. A part-time employee receives the number of hours prorated according to the employee's FTE percentage.

Verification of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking

When an employee or an employee's family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and the employee is seeking to use shared leave, HRS requires verification to support the request.

The employee must provide HRS with one or more of the following:

An advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
An attorney;
A member of the clergy; or
A medical or other professional qualified to render an opinion in this matter.

Review and Approval Process

The shared leave request is reviewed by HRS Pullman on a case-by-case basis. HRS determines whether the employee's request for shared leave is approved or denied based upon the criteria in the law and this policy.

Shared leave is not granted for longer than 90 calendar days or 522 hours (for a full-time employee) per condition, event, or occurrence.

HRS may contact the employee's supervisor, dean, or area director to determine if other alternatives can be pursued to accommodate the employee in lieu of the use of shared leave.

Redetermination or Appeal

To request a redetermination or appeal of a denied shared leave request, the employee submits a written statement to the Director, Human Resource Services Pullman, French Administration 139, mail code 1014.

A redetermination of a denied shared leave request must be submitted no later than 30 days after the date of the denial letter.

DONATING LEAVE

A WSU employee who accrues annual leave, sick leave, or personal holidays may request approval to donate leave to an approved shared leave recipient.

All donations of leave must be to a specific person in a specific University department or state agency. (See also below.)

Refer to RCW 41.04.665 and WAC 357-31-425 regarding the terms for donating annual and sick leave, and personal holidays. HRS reviews submitted donation forms to ensure that the donations are within compliance with these provisions.

Employees may not donate annual leave hours that would otherwise be lost on the next anniversary date due to exceeding maximum leave accruals. Employees may not donate annual leave, sick leave, or personal holidays that would otherwise be lost due to separation of employment.

Faculty Donors

Faculty may donate up to 40 hours of sick leave per approved recipient and a maximum of 80 hours of sick leave per calendar year.

Donation Request

The donor employee submits a completed Request to Donate Shared Leave form to HRS, along with a copy of her or his most recent Time/Leave Report. Complete and/or print the master on 60.58.11 to obtain copies of the Request to Donate Shared Leave form.

After HRS verifies that the employee is eligible to request to donate leave, HRS determines whether or not to grant the request. If HRS grants the request, the donated hours are deducted from the employee's Time/Leave Report.

HRS then notifies the employee eligible to receive shared leave of the transferred hours.

Funding Source

Donor Employees

Employees may donate leave hours within WSU regardless of the salary funding source.

When an employee supported by a sponsored project makes a leave donation, the project gains the hours the employee would have otherwise taken for leave.

Recipient Employees

An employee whose salary expenses are supported by a sponsored project must have the expenses reassigned to a nonsponsored fund in order to receive shared leave. An employee whose salary expenses are assigned to a nonsponsored project maintains the current funding source.

Prepare either a Position Action/PRR (see 58.02) or an Expense Assignment Action (see 58.03) to change an employee funding source.

Converting Hours

HRS converts the donor employee's hours to a monetary value based upon the donor's current salary.

The equivalent of the recipient employee's salary is the basis for determining the number of hours of shared leave actually received.

SHARED LEAVE TRANSFER BETWEEN STATE AGENCIES OR INSTITUTIONS

WSU transfers shared leave to and receives shared leave from other state of Washington agencies or institutions with the approval of both employers, in accordance with WAC 357-31-410 and RCW 41.04.665.

When shared leave is transferred to another state agency or institution, equivalent funding is also transferred from the approved donor's department.

Employees Supported by Sponsored Projects

Employees whose salary expenses are supported by sponsored projects are not eligible to donate leave.

An employee whose salary expenses are supported by a sponsored project may receive shared leave from employees of other state of Washington agencies or institutions. However, the employee's funding source must be changed to a nonsponsored fund in order to receive the shared leave.

Prepare either a Position Action/PRR (see 58.02) or an Expense Assignment Action (see 58.03) to change an employee funding source.

RETURNING HOURS

If the recipient employee does not use the shared leave hours, unused hours are returned to the donor employee's accrual balances. The hours are proportionately returned to the appropriate type of leave accrual, i.e., annual leave, sick leave, personal holiday. If there are multiple donors, the unused hours are returned to the donors on a prorated basis. (WAC 357-31-445 and RCW 41.04.665)

Human Resource Services sends a memorandum to the donor and the donor's department when returning unused donated hours.

USE OF SHARED LEAVE

The recipient employee uses the donated leave as if it were his or her own, and is not required to repay the value of the leave that he or she uses.

An employee using shared leave continues to receive the same treatment in respect to salary and employee benefits as the employee normally receives if using his or her own leave.

A probationary or trial service employee who uses shared leave has his or her probationary period or trial service period extended by the number of calendar days he or she is on shared leave.

Criteria

The employee must first use all accrued compensatory time, personal holiday, sick leave, and annual leave before being eligible to use any donated shared leave.

An employee called to military duty must first use her or his personal holiday, annual leave, and military leave balances before he or she is eligible to use shared leave.

An employee on emergency volunteer service must first use her or his personal holiday and accrued annual leave.

Abuse of Shared Leave

HRS Pullman investigates alleged or suspected abuse of shared leave by a recipient. If abuse is found, the appropriate employee processes are followed in accordance with the employment type, including consultation with the Faculty Status Committee, the Provost's Office, and HRS.

Employees determined to have abused the shared leave policy are subject to sanctions imposed using the due process protections of applicable University policies, handbooks, and collective bargaining agreements, including repayment of any improperly-used shared leave.

UNIFORMED SERVICE SHARED LEAVE POOL

The state of Washington created the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool to enable state employees who are called to service in the uniformed services to maintain levels of compensation and employee benefits consistent with the amount the employees would have received in active state service. The pool was also created to allow general government and higher education employees to voluntarily donate leave to be used by any eligible employee who has been called to service in the uniform services in accordance with RCW 41.04.685.

The Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool is administered by the Washington Military Department in consultation with the Office of the State Human Resources Director and the Office of Financial Management. (RCW 41.04.685)

Eligibility to Receive

An employee is eligible to receive shared leave from the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool for an unlimited period of time if the employee's monthly military salary is less than the employee's monthly state salary, as defined in RCW 41.04.685(10)(d).

If the employee's monthly military salary is greater than the employee's monthly state salary, the employee may still receive leave through the general shared leave program for up to 90 days.

Regardless of the employee's state and military salaries, up to eight hours per month may be used from the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool for the purpose of continuing the employee's medical benefits.

Donating Leave

An employee who is eligible to donate leave under RCW 41.04.665 may donate leave to the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool in accordance with RCW 41.04.685.

Contact Human Resource Service regarding leave donations to the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool.

Donating Leave to a Specific Employee

Employees may not direct leave donated to the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool to a specific individual.

Employees may donate leave to specific employees through the general shared leave program. See above.

Use of Pool Leave

An employee who has been called to service in the uniformed services and is eligible for shared leave under RCW 41.04.665 may request shared leave from the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool.

Employees must withdraw leave donated to the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool in accordance with procedures established by the Washington Military Department. For more information regarding these procedures, see the Military Department's Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool (USSLP) website at:

http://mil.wa.gov/usslp.shtml

Contact Human Resource Services to request shared leave from the pool; telephone 335-4521.

Abuse of the Pool

HRS investigates any alleged abuse of the Uniformed Service Shared Leave Pool. If HRS finds wrongdoing, the employee may be required to repay all of the shared leave received from the pool.

See PDF form:
60.58.11: Request to Donate Shared Leave
Complete and/or print as needed.