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UW/SEIU 1199 Contract (Effective 7/1/13 - 6/30/15)
Article 15 Leaves of Absence

15.1 Leave Procedure. All leaves as delineated in Sections 2 through 11 below are to be requested from the Employer in writing as far in advance as possible, stating all pertinent details and the amount of time requested. A written reply to grant or deny the request shall be given by the Associate Administrator for Patient Care Services or Clinic Administration, or respective designee, within 30 days.

15.2 Parental Leave.

  1. Parental leave shall be granted to a permanent employee because of the birth of a child of the employee and in order to provide care, or because of the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  2. An employee is entitled to disability leave, parental leave, and family medical leave-serious health condition during any twelve-month period. The employer may change the twelve- month period for FMLA from the current calendar year definition to a rolling twelve (12) month period and will notify the union if such a change is made, and will be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
    1. Parental leave shall not total more than four (4) months, including the twelve (12) workweeks provided in 15.2(2), unless additional time is granted by the Human Resources official.
    2. Requests for up to four (4) months of parental leave that exceed the provisions of 15.2(2) may be denied on the basis of operational necessity.
    3. Parental leave must be taken during the first year following the child's birth or placement of the child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  3. The employee shall submit a written request for parental leave to the employing official or designee and must receive the approval of both the employing official and the Human Resources official.
    1. The employee shall provide not less than thirty (30) days notice, except that if the child's birth or placement requires leave to begin in less than thirty (30) days, the employee shall provide notice as is practicable.
    2. Within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the request, the institution shall provide the employee with a written response and, if the leave is denied, rationale supporting the operational necessity.
  4. Parental leave may be a combination of the employee's accrued vacation leave, sick leave up to ten (10) days, personal holiday, compensatory time, and leave of absence without pay. The combination and use of paid and unpaid leave during a parental leave shall be per choice of the employee unless the leave is pursuant to FMLA. For parental leave under the FMLA, the Employer may require that employees use a portion of their accrued but unused paid leave subject to the following:
    1. The Employer will not require the use of paid leave such that it would result in the employee having fewer than eighty (80) hours of accrued vacation leave or eighty (80) hours of accrued sick leave, counted separately, upon return to work.
    2. Vacation and sick leave that has been requested and approved prior to the request for the use of FMLA for parental leave will not be considered under (a) above when requiring employees to use leave during FMLA-covered parental leave.
    3. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors to agree on a leave use rate that will consider the employee's historical leave usages, such as the need to retain additional hours for later health leaves.
    4. Employees may choose to use all of their accrued but unused paid leave during parental leave.
  5. The institution shall maintain health care coverage during parental leave granted under 15.2(2), in accordance with the requirements of the public employee's benefits board. As specified in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the institution may recover the premium for maintaining coverage during the period of unpaid parental leave if the employee does not return to work.
  6. If necessary due to continued approved parental leave, the employee shall be allowed to use eight (8) hours per month of the accrued paid leave identified in subsection (4) of this section for up to four months, including the twelve workweeks provided in 15.2(2), during a parental leave of absence without pay to provide for continuation of benefits as provided by the public employees' benefits board. The employer shall designate on which day of each month the eight (8) hours' paid leave will be used.

15.3 Disability Leave.

  1. Disability leave shall be granted for a reasonable period to a permanent employee who is precluded from performing his/her job duties because of a disability (including those related to a pregnancy or childbirth). Disability includes a serious health condition of the employee as provided in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
  2. An employee is entitled to a total of twelve (12) workweeks for disability leave, parental leave, and family medical leave-serious health condition during any twelve-month period. The employer may change the twelve- month period for FMLA from the current calendar year definition to a rolling twelve (12) month period and will notify the union if such a change is made, and will be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  3. In any case in which the necessity for leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee shall provide not less than thirty (30) days' notice, except that if the treatment requires leave to begin in less than thirty (30) days, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.
  4. The disability and recovery period shall be as defined and certified by the employee's licensed health care provider. The employee shall provide, in a timely manner, a copy of such certification to the employer.
  5. Certification provided under this section shall be sufficient if it states:
    1. The date on which the serious health condition commenced;
    2. The probable duration of the condition;
    3. The appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition
    4. A statement that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position.
  6. The employer may require, at its expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider designated or approved by the employer. The health care provider shall not be employed on a regular basis by the employer.
  7. In any case in which the second opinion differs from the original certification, the employer may require, at its expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a third health care provider designated or approved jointly by the employer and the employee. The opinion of the third health care provider shall be final and binding.
  8. The employer may require that the employee obtain subsequent recertifications on a reasonable basis.
  9. Disability leave may be a combination of sick leave, vacation leave, personal holiday, compensatory time, and leave of absence without pay and shall be granted at the written request of the employee. The combination and use of paid and unpaid leave during a disability leave shall be per the choice of the employee unless the leave is pursuant to FMLA. Disability leave under the FMLA, the Employer may require that employees use a portion of their accrued but unused paid leave subject to the following:
    1. The Employer will not require the use of paid leave such that it would result in the employee having fewer than eighty (80) hours of accrued vacation leave or eighty (80) hours of accrued sick leave, counted separately, upon return to work.
    2. Vacation and sick leave that has been requested and approved prior to the request for the use of FMLA for disability leave will not be considered under (a) above when requiring employees to use leave during FMLA-covered disability leave.
    3. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors to agree on a leave use rate that will consider the employee's historical leave usages, such as the need to retain additional hours for later health leaves.
    4. Employees may choose to use all of their accrued but unused paid leave during disability leave.
  10. The institution shall maintain health care coverage during disability leave granted under 15.3(2), in accordance with the requirements of the public employee's benefits board. As specified in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the institution may recover the premium for maintaining coverage during the period of unpaid disability leave if the employee does not return to work.
  11. If necessary due to continued disability, the employee shall be allowed to use eight (8) hours of accrued paid leave per month for up to four (4) months, including the twelve (12) workweeks provided in 15.3(2), to provide for continuation of benefits as provided by the public employee's benefits board. The employer shall designate on which day of each month the eight (8) hours paid leave will be used.

15.4 Military Leave. Military training leave and military leave without pay shall be granted in accordance with applicable law.

In accordance with applicable State and Federal law, leave to serve in the military shall be granted without pay and will not be considered part of the employee's annual leave time unless the employee requests to use annual leave. Upon return from military leave and following the employee's request for reinstatement in accordance with applicable State and Federal law, the employee shall be reinstated to his/her former position or to the position the employee would have held had the employee's continuous employment not been interrupted. Upon reinstatement, the employee will be placed on the salary and vacation accrual scales at the level the employee would have been had the employee been continuously employed.

15.5 Extended Leaves (RN). In addition to other approved leave programs, there shall be an extended leave program at Harborview Medical Center. The program shall provide for three to five registered nurses to be eligible for a leave of absence not to exceed six months following completion of four years of unbroken service as an RN at HMC. Participants in the program shall use vacation, holiday or compensatory leave as a portion of the requested leave.

The criteria developed by the Joint Labor/Management Committee, Recruitment and Retention Coordinator and union representative on the Recruitment and Retention Committee will be used to administer the extended leave program.

15.6 Leave of Absence.

  1. Leave of absence without pay may be allowed for any of the following reasons:
    1. Conditions applicable for leave with pay;
    2. Disability leave;
    3. Educational leave;
    4. Leave for government service in the public interest;
    5. Parental leave;
    6. Child care emergencies;
    7. To accommodate annual work schedules of employees occupying cyclic year positions.
  2. Requests for leave of absence without pay must be submitted in writing to the employing official or designee and must receive the approval of both the employing official and Human Resources.
  3. Leave of absence without pay extends from the time an employee's leave commences until he/she is scheduled to return to continuous service, unless at the employee's request the employing official and the Human Resources official agree to an earlier date.
  4. Vacation leave and sick leave credits will not accrue during a leave of absence without pay which exceeds ten (10) working days in any calendar month.
  5. A classified employee taking an appointment to an exempt position shall be granted a leave of absence without pay, with the right to return to his/her regular position, or to a like position at the conclusion of the exempt appointment; provided application for return to classified status must be made not more than thirty (30) calendar days following the conclusion of the exempt appointment.
  6. After six months of continuous employment, permission may be granted for leave of absence without pay for up to one year of study, without loss of accrued benefits. An employee shall not incur any reduction in pay when participating in an educational program at the request of the employer.

15.7 Leave of Absence - Duration. Leave of absence without pay shall not exceed twelve (12) months except for educational leave which may be allowed for the duration of actual attendance and leave for government service in the public interest. Leave of absence without pay may be extended for an additional twelve (12) months upon signed request of the employee and signed approval of the employing official or designee and the Human Resources official. Additional leave of absence without pay may be approved by the Human Resources official.

15.8 Civil Duty Leave. Leave of absence with pay shall be granted employees to serve on jury duty, as trial witnesses, or to exercise other subpoenaed civil duties.

15.9 Anniversary Date. Leave with pay shall not alter an employee's anniversary date of employment or otherwise affect his/her compensation or status with the Employer.

Leave without pay for a period of ten (10) working days or less shall not alter an employee's anniversary date of employment or the amount of vacation pay or sick leave credits which would otherwise be earned by him/her.

When a leave of absence without pay exceeds ten (10) working days in any calendar month, or exceeds ten (10) consecutive days, the date will be extended by one (1) month, except for Military Leave (Article 15.4) and Worker's Compensation Leave (Article 24).

15.10 Leave of Absence - Employee Rights. Employees returning from an authorized leave of absence shall be employed in the same position or in another position in the same class in the same geographical area and organizational unit, providing that such reemployment is not in conflict with Article 22 Seniority, Layoff, Rehire.

15.11 Union Leave. Employees who intend to absent themselves from work for the purpose of attending and participating in Union business functions or programs such as meetings, conventions, seminars, or in other meetings called by the Union may do so under the following conditions:

  1. Use accrued vacation leave in accordance with Article 14;
  2. Take leave of absence without pay in accordance with Article 15.7;
  3. Use accrued holiday compensatory or personal holiday time in accordance with Article 14;
  4. Use accrued compensatory time in accordance with departmental procedure.

The Union and/or the employee shall request approval from the affected employee's immediate supervisor at least one (1) week prior to the planned absence for approval.

15.12 Leave Due to Child Care Emergencies.

  1. Absence due to child care emergencies, such as unexpected absence of regular care provider, unexpected closure of child's school, or unexpected need to pick up a child at school earlier than normal, shall be charged to one of the following:
    1. Compensatory time;
    2. Vacation leave;
    3. Sick leave;
    4. Personal holiday;
    5. Leave of absence without pay.
  2. Use of any of the above leave categories is dependent upon the employee's eligibility to use such leave. Accrued compensatory time shall be used before any other leave is used.
  3. Use of vacation leave, sick leave, and leave of absence without pay for emergency child care is limited to a maximum of three (3) days each per calendar year.
  4. The employee upon returning from such leave shall designate in writing to which leave category the absence will be charged. For the purpose of this section, advance approval or written advance notice of vacation leave, personal holiday and/or leave of absence without pay shall not be required.

15.13 Domestic Violence Leave. Pursuant to state law, if an employee or family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the employee may take reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave or leave on a reduced leave schedule to take care of legal or law enforcement needs to ensure the employee's or family member's health and safety. In addition, leave may be taken by the employee to seek medical treatment, mental health counseling and social services assistance for the employee or the employee's family member.

For purposes of this section, "family member" includes an employee's child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, domestic partner or a person who the employee is dating. The employee must provide advance notice of the need for such leave, whenever possible and may be required to provide verification of need and familial relationship (e.g. a birth certificate, police report).

An employee may elect to use any combination of her/his accrued leave or unpaid leave. HMC shall maintain health insurance coverage for the duration of the leave.

The Employer shall maintain the confidentiality of all information provided by the employee including the fact that the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and that the employee has requested leave.

15.14 Military Spouse Leave. Pursuant to state law, up to fifteen (15) business days of leave will be granted to an employee whose spouse is on leave from deployment or before and up to deployment during a period of military conflict. An employee who takes leave under this section may elect to substitute any accrued leave to which s/he is entitled. The employee must provide notice to HMC within five (5) business days of receiving notice of call or order to active duty or notice that the employee's spouse will be on leave from deployment.