ISSUE 22 • MARCH 2012

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Suspended Operations Makeup Time Deadline

Suspended operations makeup time policy requires that overtime eligible professional and classified staff who choose to make up hours missed during suspended operations do so within 90 days of the instance of suspended operations.

The University’s Seattle campus suspended operations from January 18-20; the last day to make up time for hours missed is April 19. If the time is not made up, the employee must apply appropriate available leave or take leave without pay to cover the absence. OWLS timekeepers for UW Bothell and UW Tacoma should be sure to document the dates on which operations were suspended at those campuses and apply the 90 day makeup rule accordingly.

For specific instructions on calendar entries, refer to the OWLS User Guide suspended operations webpage.

Extending a Probationary or Trial Service Period

All contract-classified and classified non-union employees new to the UW will serve a probationary period; classified staff who transfer or promote to other classified jobs within the UW will serve a trial service period. The civil service rules and most of the labor contracts include provisions for leave use during these periods, but also require that the end date of the probationary period or the trial service period be extended by the amount of time used.

Before a probationary or trial service period can be extended, it first must be entered in the OWLS record; if a probationary period is not entered, errors could occur, potentially causing overpayments. When leave is used during the probationary period, the timekeeper must manually extend the probationary period end date in OWLS.

The extension of the probationary period or trial service period is entered in the OWLS profile tab and is calculated as described below:

WFSE/SEIU 925/ SEIU 1199/WSNA contract classified staff: Any paid or unpaid leave used within the probationary or trial service period extends the period for an amount of time equal to the leave. Weekends and holidays count in the calculation.

Classified non-union staff & IBU: Only LWOP and shared leave use extend the probationary or trial service period.

All other bargaining units: Check the contract.

Extension Examples for WFSE / SEIU 925 / SEIU 1199 / WSNA Contracts

Example 1:
An employee uses sick leave on Tuesday and returns to work on Wednesday. The timekeeper should extend the probationary period or trial service period end date by 1 day.

Example 2:
An employee takes a day of LWOP on Friday and returns to work on Monday. The timekeeper should extend the probationary period or trial service period end date by 3 days (Fri, Sat, Sun).

Example 3:
An employee uses shared leave on Friday before a Monday holiday and returns to work on Tuesday. The timekeeper should extend the probationary period or trial service period end date by 4 days (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon).

Chicken Soup for the Timekeeper

The Event: Wednesday 4:57 p.m. The phone rings. A frantic timekeeper says that he had forgotten to delete a shared leave balance when he ended the employee’s record and staying at work to fix the error would surely cause him to miss his bus. We told him that most errors can be fixed and to call us in the morning.

Thursday 7:58 a.m. The phone rings. The timekeeper made his bus and goes on to tell us that the employee hadn’t used any shared leave for months and believed that it had to be removed. We confirmed that the employee's record had been incorrectly ended with a balance of shared leave.

The Resolution: When this happens, HR reviews the health care provider information received from the employee to determine if the employee is eligible to maintain the shared leave hours to use at a future date. In some cases, as in this example, the shared leave balance must be returned to the donor(s), a process completed by HR.

The Takeaway: Don’t end a record with a shared leave balance. If an employee has shared leave hours that have not been used for 30 consecutive days, please contact AskOWLS before you end the record and include the name and EID of the employee.


The Myth: Employees appointed to a Fixed Duration Appointment (FDA) can use annual leave within the first six months of employment.

Busted! While it is true that employees appointed to a FDA do not serve a “probationary period,” they must complete six months of service before becoming eligible to use or be paid for annual leave. Because OWLS does not calculate this six month period for FDAs, we recommend using the “probationary period” field in OWLS to enter the six month service period as a workaround.

Like a probationary period, any paid or unpaid leave used requires that the timekeeper extend the end date of this period. Please review the OWLS User Guide for detailed instructions.

Human Resources Administration, Box 354554, Seattle, WA 98105
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