37.1 Purpose. In addition to the circumstances specified elsewhere in this Agreement, the Employer, in its discretion may approve a leave without pay for the following reasons specified below. Leaves without pay must be approved or denied by the Employer in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days of the request when practicable and if denied will include the reason for denial. Approval will set a date for the employee's return to work. Modification of the return date must also be approved in writing by the Employer.
37.2 Leave without pay may be granted for the following reasons:
37.3 Leave without pay for the following reasons is not covered by this Article:
37.4 Conditions Applicable to Leave without Pay:
Employees must submit any request for a leave without pay in writing. Except as required by law, a request for leave without pay must meet the following conditions:
37.5 Cancellation of Leave Without Pay. The Employer may cancel a leave without pay upon finding that the employee is using the leave for purposes other than those specified at the time of approval, or where there are extreme circumstances requiring the employee's return to work. The Employer will provide written notice to the employee that a leave without pay has been cancelled. The notice will set a date for the employee's return to work. Unless mutually agreed, the employee's failure to return to work on the date prescribed will be considered job abandonment.
37.6 Benefits During Leave. Employees are encouraged to contact the Employer's Benefits Office (phone # 206-543-2800) prior to any leave without pay to understand impact on benefits and learn about other points to consider.
37.7 Returning Employee Rights. Employees returning to work following an approved leave without pay will be returned to the position they held prior to the leave without pay or to another position in the same classification. In the event the employee's position is substantially impacted during the time the employee is on leave, he or she will be notified in writing and provided a time in which to exercise any rights available pursuant to this Agreement.
37.9 Government Service Leave. Leave without pay may be granted for government service in the public interest, including but not limited to the U.S. Public Health Service or Peace Corps.
37.10 Volunteer or Community Service Leave. Leave without pay may be granted for community volunteerism or service.
37.11 Formal Collective Bargaining Leave. Leave without pay may be granted to participate in formal collective bargaining sessions authorized by RCW 41.80 as mutually agreed by the parties.
37.12 Union Project Activities. An extended period of time to work for the Union.