Paid Sick Leave

Archived: Active
Effective Date: January 1, 2018
Steward: Associate VP for Human Resource Services
Approval Authority: President and Vice Presidents
Approval Date: March 1, 2018
  1. Purpose

Paid sick leave is available for student employees and overtime-eligible temporary, hourly employees who are covered under the Washington State Minimum Wage Requirements and Labor Standards Act to care for their health and the health of their family members. 

  1. Applies To

 

  • All student employees.

 

  • All overtime-eligible temporary, hourly employees. 

 

  • Does not apply to members of the faculty who are covered by the faculty collective bargaining agreement, represented exempt staff covered by the Student Support Services Staff Union collective bargaining agreement, classified employees covered by the classified employees collective bargaining agreement, non-represented exempt and classified staff, or volunteers.

 

III.Authorized Uses of Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave may be used for the following:

  1. An employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; 

 

  1. Preventive care such as a medical, dental or optical appointment and/or treatment; 

 

  1. Care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, health condition and/or preventive care such as a medical/dental/optical appointment;   

 

  1. Closure of the College or employee’s child’s school or place of care by order of a public official for any health-related reasons; and

 

  1. If the employee or the employee’s family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and includes:

 

  • Seeking legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee and their family member(s) including, but not limited to, preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

 

  • Seeking treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

  • Attending health care treatment for a victim who is the employee's family member.

 

  • Obtaining, or assisting the employee's family member(s) in obtaining, services from a domestic violence shelter; a rape crisis center; or a social services program for relief from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

 

  • Obtaining, or assisting a family member in obtaining, mental health counseling related to an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in which the employee or the employee's family member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

 

  • Participating, for the employee or for the employee's family member(s), in: safety planning; or temporary or permanent relocation; or other actions to increase the safety from future incidents of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

  1. Positive Time Reporting

Employees will accurately report time worked in the automated timesheet system in accordance with the College’s positive time reporting process.  Time worked that is reported in the timesheet system will be used to calculate an employee’s paid sick leave accrual.

 

  1. Notification and Accrual of Paid Sick Leave 

Effective January 1, 2018 or at the commencement of employment, employees will accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one (1) hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees will not accrue paid sick leave while using paid sick leave.  There is no cap on the number of paid sick leave hours that may be accrued in a year.

 

Employees will be provided with a paid sick leave notification at the start of their employment, which contains information regarding the following:

  • authorized use of paid sick leave,
  • the college’s paid sick leave accrual year,
  • eligibility for use,
  • carryover of paid sick leave, and
  • information about prohibition against retaliation. 

 

Employees will be notified of their paid sick leave balances for each pay period via the timesheet system, including:

  • accrued paid sick leave since the last notification;
  • used paid sick leave since the last notification; and  
  • current balance of paid sick leave available for use.

 

VI.        Increments of Use for Paid Sick Leave

Employees are eligible to use accrued, unused paid sick leave in increments consistent with the College’s time system and practices once the paid sick leave has been recorded in the timesheet system.

 

  1. Eligibility to Use Accrued Paid Sick Leave

Employees are eligible to use accrued, unused paid sick leave once the paid sick leave has been recorded in the timesheet system.

 

  1.  Shift Swapping

The supervisor(s) may not require, as a condition of an employee using paid sick leave, that the employee search for and find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which the employee is using paid sick leave. 

 

Upon mutual agreement between the employee and their supervisor(s), an employee may work additional hours or shift(s), or trade shifts with another employee, in lieu of using available paid sick leave for missed hours or shifts that qualify for the use of paid sick leave.

 

  1. Reasonable Notification for the Use of Paid Sick Leave for Care of Self or a Family Member

 

  1. Foreseeable Use of Paid Sick Leave

For a foreseeable absence, the employee must provide notice to their supervisor(s) at least ten (10) days, or as early as possible, before the first day paid sick leave is used.

 

  • Employees are required to submit a paid sick leave request via the timesheet system. 

 

  1. Unforeseeable Use of Paid Sick Leave

For an unforeseeable absence, the employee must contact their supervisor(s) as soon as possible.

 

  • If the need for paid sick leave arises before the required start of the employee’s shift, notice should be provided no later than one (1) hour before the employee’s required start time.

 

  • In the event it is not possible to provide notice of an unforeseeable absence, a person, on the employee’s behalf, may provide such notice.

 

  • Employees are required to submit a paid sick leave request via the timesheet system. 

 

  1. Reasonable Notice for Use of Paid Sick Leave for Domestic Violence Leave

 

  1. Foreseeable Use of Paid Sick Leave

An employee must give advance notice, in accordance with WAC 296-135-060, to their supervisor(s) as soon as possible for the foreseeable use of paid sick leave to address issues related to the employee or the employee’s family member being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

 

  • Employees are required to submit a paid sick leave request via the timesheet system.

 

  1. Unforeseeable Use of Paid Sick Leave

If an employee is unable to give advance notice because of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance related to the employee or the employee’s family member being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the employee or their designee must provide notice, in accordance with WAC 296-135-060, to the employee’s supervisor(s) no later than the end of the first day that the employee takes such leave.

 

  • On the day following the employee’s return from paid sick leave, an employee is required to submit a paid sick leave request via the timesheet system.

 

  1. Rate of Pay When Using Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave hours will be compensated at the employee’s regular rate of pay, excluding overtime rates, where applicable. 

The College will pay paid sick leave to an employee no later than the payday for the timesheet certified for the pay period in which the paid sick leave was used by the employee.  If verification is required under Section XII, paid sick leave will be paid to the employee no later than the payday for the pay period during which verification was provided by the employee to the supervisor(s). 

Paid sick leave hours will not count toward the calculation of overtime.

 

  1. Verification for Absences Exceeding Three Days

If an employee is seeking to use or has used paid sick leave for more than three (3) days during which the employee is or was required to work, the employee may be required by their supervisor(s) to provide verification that establishes or confirms that the use of paid sick leave is or was for an authorized purpose.

 

  1. When an employee or the employee’s family member is sick for more than three (3) consecutive days for which the employee is required to work, acceptable verification may include:

 

  • A doctor’s note or a signed statement by a health care provider indicating that the use of paid sick leave is necessary to take care of the employee or an employee’s family member.

 

  • A written or oral statement from the employee indicating that the use of paid sick leave is necessary to take care of themselves or a family member.

 

The employee must provide verification to their supervisor(s) within ten (10) calendar days of the first day an employee used paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member. 

 

Employees are not required to provide any details concerning the specific nature of the health condition in order to use paid sick leave, unless otherwise required by law.  Any information provided will be kept confidential.

 

  1. When an employee or the employee’s family member has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the employee’s choice of any of the following documents, or any combination thereof, satisfy this verification requirement:

 

  • A written statement that the employee or an employee’s member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and that the leave was taken to address related issues.

 

  • A police report indicating that the employee or the employee’s family member was a victim of domestic violence.

 

  • Evidence from a court or prosecuting attorney showing that the employee or the employee’s family member appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in court in connection with an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

 

  • A court order of protection.

 

  • Documentation from any of the following persons from whom an employee or an employee’s family member sought assistance in addressing the domestic violence situation indicating that the employee or the employee’s family member is a victim:
  • an advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  • an attorney;
  • a member of the clergy; or
  • a medical or other professional such as a social service provider, paralegal or realtor.

 

  1.  When an employee is absent due to the closure of the employee’s child’s school or place of care by a public official due to health-related reasons, acceptable verification may include:

 

  • Notice of closure by a public official that the student employee received regarding employee’s child’s school or place of care.

 

For use of paid sick leave for purposes authorized under federal, state or local laws that permit employers to make medical inquiries, the college may require verification that complies with such certification requirements.

 

  1. Unreasonable Burden or Expense for Verification

If an employee believes obtaining verification for use of paid sick leave would result in an unreasonable burden or expense, the employee shall contact their supervisor(s), orally or in writing, and indicate that their absence is for an authorized purpose and provide an explanation of why verification would result in an unreasonable burden or expense.  If the employee chooses to put this in writing they may complete the ”Employee Verification of Authorized Use of Paid Sick Leave” form or by approval from the supervisor(s), the employee may send an e-mail which includes all of the same information that is contained in the ”Employee Verification of Authorized Use of Paid Sick Leave” Form.

 

Within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the explanation, the supervisor(s) will work with the employee to identify an alternative for the employee to meet the verification requirement in Section XII in a way that does not result in an unreasonable burden or expense, including exempting the employee from the verification requirement based on the employee’s explanation. 

 

A supervisor(s) may choose to not pay an employee for paid sick leave taken in excess of three (3) consecutive days until verification is provided. 

 

A student employee has the right to contact the supervisor’s manager or director or the Student Employment Office if the student employee believes the proposed alternative still results in an unreasonable burden or expense.

 

A temporary, hourly employee has the right to contact the supervisor’s manager or director or Human Resource Services if the temporary, hourly employee believes the proposed alternative still results in an unreasonable burden or expense.

 

If an employee is not satisfied with the identified alternatives, the employee may consult with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

 

Online: www.Lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights

Call: 1-866-219-7321, toll-free

Visit: www.Lni.wa.gov/Offices

Email: ESgeneral@Lni.wa.gov

 

XIV.Use of Paid Sick Leave for Unauthorized Purposes

If the College can demonstrate that the employee’s use of paid sick leave was for purposes not authorized under this policy and/or in accordance with state law, the college may withhold payment of paid sick leave for such hours, but may not subsequently deduct those hours from the employee’s legitimately accrued, unused sick leave balance. 

 

  • If the college withholds payment for the use of paid sick leave hours for unauthorized purposes, the college will provide notice, in writing, to the employee.

 

  • If the employee maintains that the use of paid sick leave was for authorized purposes under Section III, the employee may file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

 

XV.     Carryover of Paid Sick Leave Hours

At the end of the accrual year, unused paid sick leave balances of forty (40) hours or less will carry over to the following year.  Any unused paid leave in excess of forty (40) hours will be forfeited.  Accrual of paid sick leave in the subsequent accrual year will be in addition to the previous year’s carryover hours.

XVI.Separation from Employment 

When an employee separates from employment with the College, there will be no financial or other reimbursement for accrued, unused paid sick leave at the time of separation.

  1. Reinstatement of Unused Paid Sick Leave Upon Re-employment 

If an employee is rehired by the College into a position covered by this policy within twelve (12) months of separation, any accrued, unused paid sick leave will be reinstated to the employee’s paid sick leave balance.  The reinstated paid sick leave will be available to use upon reinstatement minus any carryover adjustment made under Section XV, if applicable.

 

Should an employee covered by this policy be appointed to a regular classified or exempt staff position with the College within twelve (12) months of separation, the employee’s accrued, unused sick leave balance will be reinstated at the time of appointment to regular staff position minus any carryover adjustment made under Section XV, if applicable. 

 

XVIII.Retaliation Prohibited

Any discrimination or retaliation against an employee for lawful exercise of paid sick leave rights is not allowed. Employees will not be disciplined for the lawful use of paid sick leave.

If an employee feels they are being discriminated or retaliated against, the employee may contact:

 

Human Resource Services   

Call:  360.867.5361

Visit:  Library 3103

Email:  jobline@evergreen.edu

 

If an employee is not satisfied with the college’s response, the employee may contact the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. 

Online: www.Lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights

Call: 1-866-219-7321, toll-free

Visit: www.Lni.wa.gov/Offices

Email: ESgeneral@Lni.wa.gov

 

XIX.Questions about Paid Sick Leave 

Student employees, timesheet approvers and supervisors may contact the Student Employment Office. 

Call:  360.867.5520

Visit:  Library 1102

Email:  EmploymS@evergreen.edu

 

Temporary, hourly employees and supervisors may contact Human Resource Services.

 

            Call:  360-867.5361

            Visit:  Library 3102

Email:  TimeSheetDL@evergreen.edu

 

XX.   Definitions

Absences exceeding three days:  Absences exceeding three (3) days an employee is required to work and for which the employee has used or will use paid sick leave for any portion of those three consecutive work days.

 

Accrual Year:  The paid sick leave accrual year is by calendar year (i.e., January 1 to December 31).

 

Commencement of employment:  Is no later than the beginning of the first day on which the employee is authorized or required by the College to be on duty on College premises or at a prescribed work place. 

 

Family member:  Is a child (including biological, adopted, foster, step or legal guardian), parent (including biological, adopted, foster, step or legal guardian), spouse, registered domestic partner, spouse’s parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. 

 

Health-related reason:  A serious public health concern that could result in bodily injury or exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin, or hazardous material. Health-related reason does not include closures for inclement weather.

 

Hours worked:  All hours, including overtime, during which the employee is authorized or required by the College to be on duty on College premises or at a prescribed workplace.

 

Normal hourly compensation or regular rate of pay:  The hourly rate that an employee would have earned for the time during which the employee worked or used paid sick leave and does not include overtime standards, holiday pay, or other premium rates. 

 

Overtime-eligible employees:  Employees who are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of state and/or federal law.

 

Pay period:  Generally the 1st through the 15th and the 16th through the end of the month. 

 

Payday:  Generally on the 10th and 25th of each month.

 

Separation or separates from employment:  The end of the last day an employee is authorized or required by the College to be on duty on College premises or at a prescribed workplace.

 

Student employee:  An hourly employee enrolled as a student at the College on a full-time or part-time basis, appointed by the College to a position designated as student employment, and is associated with the College primarily in the pursuit of an academic degree.

 

Temporary, hourly employee: Excluding student employees, is an appointment made by the College where the number of hours to be worked by the individual will not exceed one thousand fifty (1,050) hours in any twelve (12) consecutive month period from the original date of temporary hire with the College.  

 

Verification:  Evidence that establishes or confirms that an employee's use of paid sick leave is for an authorized purpose.

 

Workweek:  A fixed and regularly recurring period of one hundred sixty-eight (168) hours, or seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods. Workweeks will begin at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and end at 12:00 midnight the following Saturday. 

 

 

See also:

 

RCW 49.46

RCW 49.46.010(3) and (4)

RCW 49.46.020

RCW 49.46.210((1)(b) and (c)

RCW 49.46.210 (2)

RCW 49.76

WAC 296-126-002(8)

WAC 296-128-600 to WAC 296-128-770

WAC 296-128-780 through WAC 296-128-860

WAC 296-135-060

WAC 296-135-070

WAC 357-19-435(1)