Chapter 7 - Leaves and Time Off

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option



The City has six different types of leave:

(1)    Vacation
(2)    Sick leave
(3)    Leave without pay.
(4)    Jury and Witness leave.
(5)    Military leave.
(6)    Administrative leave.
(7)    Bereavement leave.
(8)    Holiday leave.
(9)    Faith or Conscience leave
(10)  Family Medical leave
(11)  Domestic Violence leave


(a) Each regular full-time employee is entitled to vacation leave as follows:

Years of Vacation Hours
Employment Completed Earned

0-4 years 8 hours/month
5-9 years 10.00 hours/month
10-14 years 12.67 hours/month
15-19 years 14 hours/month
20-24 years 15.33 hours/month
25+ years 17.33 hours/month

(b) New employees accrue vacation during the first six months of their employment with the City. However, new employees must satisfactorily complete six months of employment with the City before they may use vacation leave. Regular part-time employees will receive vacation leave  pro-rata. Temporary employees are not eligible for vacation leave benefits. Employees do not accrue vacation leave benefits during a leave without pay.
(c) Employees must take vacation leave in hourly increments. The City requires employees to use a minimum of one hour in each instance of leave taken.
(d) Each department is responsible for scheduling its employees’ vacation leaves without undue disruption of department operations. An employee shall submit leave requests to his/her department head at least two weeks before he/she intends to take a vacation leave that he/she expects to last over one day.
(e) 240 hours is the maximum number of vacation leave hours an employee may carry over from December 31 of one year to January of the next year. Hours not used or not carried over shall be lost.


(a) All regular full-time employees accrue sick leave benefits at the rate of eight hours for each completed full month of service for the City. Regular part-time employees may accrue sick leave benefits on a pro-rata basis according to hours worked.
(b) Temporary employees do not earn sick leave benefits. Employees do not accrue sick leave benefits during a leave without pay or during any leave, other than vacation, lasting longer than ten consecutive days.
(c) . Employees must use sick leave in 30 minute  increments.
(d) Sick leave covers those situations in which an employee is absent from work due to:

(1) Physical injury or illness to the employee, except that sick leave may not be used at the same time an employee is receiving time loss benefits under the Industrial Insurance Act;
(2) The need to care for the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, dependent child, or parent who is ill;
(3) Medical or dental appointments for the employee or dependent child, provided that the employee must take a reasonable effort to schedule such appointments at times which have the least interference with the work day;
(4) Exposure to contagious disease where on-the-job presence of employees would jeopardize the health of others;
(5) Use of prescription drug which impairs job performance or safety;
(6) Actual periods of temporary disability associated with pregnancy or childbirth. Employees may request additional time off beyond the actual period of disability; vacation leave; compensatory time; or leave without pay may be used; and
(7) The death of an immediate family member, in addition to the three days of bereavement leave as approved by the department head or Mayor.
(e) The City shall require a doctor’s certificate when an employee is absent for a period over three days. The City may also request the opinion of a second doctor, at the City’s expense, to determine whether the employee suffers from a chronic physical or mental condition which impairs his/her ability to perform the essential functions of the job. The City may terminate employees who are habitually absent due to illness if the City cannot reasonably accommodate their disability and/or when the employee’s absenteeism prevents the orderly and efficient provisions of service to the citizens of the City.
(f) Employees who use all their accumulated sick leave and require more time off work due to illness or injury may, with the Mayor’s prior approval, take leave without pay. The City also has a Shared Sick Leave Policy, reference EWMC 2.36.090.
(g) 960 hours is the maximum number of sick leave hours an employee may carry over from December 31 of one year to January of the next year. Hours not used or not carried over shall be lost.
(h) If an employee is discharged for any reason, the employee shall lose, without any benefit being paid, all accumulated sick leave. Such sick leave will be reinstated if the employee is rehired by the City within 90 days of being terminated.


(a) The Mayor may grant leaves of absence without pay for absences from work not covered by any other type of leave or other leave balances are exhausted. Examples of situations for which leave without pay may be granted include time off for personal reasons, pursuing an education, or fulfilling military obligations in excess of fifteen days per year.
(b) Only regular full-time and regular part-time employees who have worked for the City for over six months are eligible for leave without pay. The following requirements apply:

(1) The Mayor may grant leave without pay to an employee for a period of up to ninety days upon the approval of the Mayor. Further extensions are at the discretion of the Mayor.
(2) An employee must exhaust all accrued vacation before taking any leave without pay.
(3) An employee's benefits are suspended during the period of unpaid leave until the employee returns to work. Vacation, sick leave and/or any other benefits do not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay.
(4) In certain circumstances, self-payment of benefits may apply. See Section 6.3 on Insurance Benefits.
(5) If an employee fails to promptly report for work at the end of the unpaid leave, the City will presume that the employee resigned.


(a) The City will grant time off with pay to employees required to serve on a jury or as a witness in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, if they are neither the plaintiff nor defendant in the judicial action. This benefit shall be in addition to any other leave offered by the City. Employees, receiving notification to report to serve jury duty, or when subpoenaed, shall notify their department head or his/her designee immediately.
(b) An employee who is empanelled for jury service or who is subpoenaed to testify at a trial shall receive his/her regular rate of pay, not to exceed eight hours per day for each day served.
(c) If the court excuses an employee from jury duty, the employee shall immediately notify his/her department head or his/her designee. At its discretion, the City may require the employee to report to work.


(a) On a case-by-case basis, the City may place an employee on administrative leave with pay for an indefinite period, as approved by the Mayor to be in the best interest of the City, during the pendency of an investigation or other administrative proceeding.


(a) The City shall grant military leave of absence to any employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves of the United States and who is ordered to active military duty for training. The military leave of absence shall be with pay for a period not to exceed fifteen working days during each calendar year. Any working days taken beyond fifteen working days shall be charged as vacation leave. During the time he/she is on such leave, the employee shall receive his/her regular pay, plus the amount of his/her military pay, if any is granted.
(b) Regardless of his/her status, any employee who voluntarily, or upon demand, leaves a position, other than temporary, to enter upon active duty in the armed forces of the United States, or the Washington National Guard, shall be placed on military leave without pay and shall be entitled to be restored to his/her former position, or one of like seniority, status and pay; provided, he/she applies for reemployment within ninety days of his/her termination or separation.


If a death occurs in an employee's immediate family requiring the attendance of an employee (funerals are included), the City will grant an employee three days of bereavement leave. If the death of an immediate family member requires an employee to travel out-of-state, the City will grant an employee two, additional days of bereavement leave.


(a) The City recognizes the following holidays:

New Years Day January 1
Martin Luther King’ Birthday 3rd Monday in January
President’s Day 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day 1st Monday in September
Veteran’s Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day December 25
Floating Holiday

(b) The City will observe any holiday falling on Saturday on the preceding Friday, and it will observe any holiday falling on Sunday on the following Monday.
(c) The City will pay non-exempt regular full-time employees for the holiday plus their regular rate of pay for any time worked on an observed holiday. Such time must be pre-authorized by the supervisor.
(d) The City will pay temporary or part-time regular employees at their regular straight time rate for hours worked on a holiday on a prorated basis.
(e) When an employee is off due to sick leave or any other type of leave on a holiday, no time for such leave will be charged to the employee.
(f) If an employee is required or agrees to work on a recognized holiday, such employee shall be granted another regular working day off, provided that the employee designates a day, with the approval of his/her department head within a period of 45 days following the holiday worked.
(g) The City shall allow each employee, upon notice and approval of his/her department head, to designate and take one floating holiday per calendar year. Floating holidays cannot be carried over to the next year.

7.10 Faith or conscience leave.

An employee may take two days of unpaid leave per calendar year for a reason of faith; for a reason of conscience; or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.

To take an unpaid leave, an employee must submit a written request for leave at least 30 days in advance to his or her supervisor. The City will allow an employee to take the unpaid leave on the day requested, unless an employee’s absence would unduly disrupt operations, impose an undue hardship, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. The City adopts the Office of Financial Management’s definition of “undue hardship.”


(a) The City complies with federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) and with Washington’s Family and Medical Leave Act. This means that, in cases where the law grants an employee more leave than these policies provide, the City provides the employee the leave required by law. If a department head receives a request from an employee for unpaid leave, he or she should contact the City Attorney immediately.
(b) The FMLA provides up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave every twelve months, to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.
(c) Unpaid FMLA leave may be granted for any of the following reasons:

(1) To care for a child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care;
(2) To care for an employee’s spouse/domestic partner, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition; or
(3) For serious health condition that makes an employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job.

Leave to care for a child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care must be concluded within twelve months of the birth or placement.

(d) Under some circumstances, an employee may take FMLA leave in blocks of time, or by reducing an employee’s normal weekly or daily work schedule if a medical condition warrants such. In such cases, the City may request the employee to provide a written certification from his/her health care provider which includes the projected dates and duration of treatment and a statement of the medical necessity for taking the leave or working a reduced schedule.
(e) The City may temporarily transfer an employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the alternative position would better accommodate the employee requesting the change in working schedule.
(f) If an employee intends to take FMLA leave for the birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a child, the Mayor must pre-approve all leave requests.
(g) At the employee’s request or at the City’s direction, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave.
(h) The City may require an employee to use accrued sick leave and vacation leave as part of the employee’s FMLA entitlement.

7.12 Domestic violence leave.

“Intermittent leave” is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. “Reduced leave schedule” means a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or hours per workday, of an employee.

If he or she is a victim of domestic violence, an employee may take reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced leave schedule, with or without pay, to: (1) Seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or employee's family members 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; (2) Seek treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or to attend to health care treatment for a victim who is the employee's family member; (3) Obtain, or assist a family member in obtaining, services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social services program for relief from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; (4) Obtain, or assist 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; or (5) Participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee's family members from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.