Annual leave, sometimes referred to as vacation leave, is leave accrued by all monthly-paid classified staff, and may be used for such reasons as:
All monthly-paid contract classified staff earn annual leave hours for each month of service. The terms and conditions under which an employee accrues and may use annual leave are specified in the collective bargaining agreement for each bargaining unit. Links to the relevant section of each collective bargaining agreement, as well as some general information that is applicable across contracts, are listed below.
Employees are eligible to use annual leave after completing either their probationary period or six (6) continuous months of employment, whichever is specified in the contract.
The annual leave accrual rate depends on the employee's length of service and is determined by the terms of the collective bargaining agreement for the employee’s bargaining unit.
Leave accrues at the end of the month in which it is earned and is available for use by eligible employees the following month. Since leave hours do not accrue until the end of the month, they cannot be used until the following month.
|Years||Months||Hours per Month||Days/Hours Per Year|
|12th & above||133 & above||15.33||23/184|
|Years||Months||Hours per Month||Days/Hours Per Year|
|16th & above||181 & above||14.67||22/176|
Part-time contract classified employees accrue annual leave hours on a prorated basis based on their monthly FTE and length of service.
The annual leave accrual month is the annually recurring calendar month during which an employee's annual leave accrual rate changes in accordance with the accrual schedule for the employee's appointment type.
The initial annual leave accrual month is the month in which an employee first accrues annual leave, and is established as follows:
The annual leave accrual month may change if an employee has leave without pay for more than ten (10) days in a month, or separates from employment. The annual leave accrual month may also change if an employee is credited with prior state service.
Newly hired contract classified employees who start work on or before the 15th of the month will accrue full leave hours during the first calendar month of employment. Newly hired contract classified employees who start work on or after the 16th of the month do not accrue leave hours for that month; they begin accruing leave hours at the end of the second calendar month of employment.
Annual Leave Accrual when there are Mid-Month Changes in FTE or Appointment Type
Contract classified employees whose FTE changes during a calendar month will receive leave hours based upon the overall average percent of time worked in the month.
Contract classified employees who move during the month into a new appointment type with a different annual leave accrual rate will accrue leave hours for the month at an average rate. The average rate is based upon the percent of the month spent in each of the two appointment types.
Leave Accrual - Effect of Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP)
Contract classified employees do not accrue any leave hours during a calendar month in which they are on leave without pay status for more than ten (10) working days, including holidays.
Transferring Between Departments or Agencies
A contract classified employee's annual leave balance will transfer with the employee when moving from a staff position in one department to another department within the University. The annual leave balance will also transfer when the employee moves without a break in service to a staff position at another state agency or institution of higher education.
Leave Accrual Considerations for Cyclic Year Positions
Cyclic or instructional year appointments sometimes begin and end mid-month (e.g., September 16 through June 15). In some instances, employees would not accrue annual leave and sick leave in either the first or last month worked in the cyclic year due to being on leave without pay for more than ten (10) working days in both months. It is intended that employees in cyclic/instructional year appointments receive annual leave and sick leave accrual for the overall number of months worked. For example, a September 16 through June 15 schedule should receive nine (9) months of annual leave and sick leave accrual. In this example, the employee would receive credit in June but not September, provided that the employee is in pay status through the end of the regular appointment in June (i.e., through June 15).
Contract classified employees may carry a maximum annual leave balance of 240 hours from anniversary date to anniversary date. The 240 hour maximum is per employee and not per number of appointments.
There are two circumstances in which a contract classified employee's annual leave balance may exceed the 240 hour maximum:
Employees should be aware of their annual leave balances and make arrangements to use their leave before exceeding the 240 hour maximum.
Converting from Staff Positions to Faculty, Student, or Hourly Positions
Contract classified employees who move from a staff position to a faculty, student, or hourly position will be paid for their unused annual leave balance if they have completed either a probationary period or a minimum of six (6) months of continuous employment, whichever is specified in the employee’s contract.
Contract classified employees who separate from the University will be paid for their unused annual leave balance if they have completed either a probationary period or at least six (6) months of continuous employment, whichever is specified in the employee’s contract. Contract classified staff will be paid for all unused annual leave hours. Payment is based upon the regular salary at the time of separation. Employees who have not completed a probationary period or have completed less than six (6) months of employment are not eligible for annual leave compensation.
Leave Accrual During an Employee's Last Month of Work
Contract classified employees who separate from UW employment on or after the 16th of the month will accrue full leave hours for the month of separation. Contract classified employees who separate from UW employment prior to the 16th of the month do not accrue any leave hours for the month of separation.
Each contract classified employee's record of annual leave accrual and use is maintained using the Online Work Leave System (OWLS) or an authorized alternative system.
If you would like to use accrued annual leave hours, you will need to consider the following items in order to request and use annual leave:
To request approval for carrying more than 240 hours of annual leave past your anniversary date due to involuntary leave accrual, your supervisor should:
Employees should be aware of their annual leave balance and make arrangements to use annual leave before exceeding the 240 hour maximum. Employees in departments that use OWLS to maintain its employees' leave records should visit the "Vacation and Sick Leave" tab in Employee Self Service (ESS) to view their leave balances. Employees in departments that use another authorized alternative system should check with their department's timekeeper to determine their annual leave balance.
Upon separation from the University, eligible employees may be paid out for their unused annual leave balance. The Employee Separation Payment Authorization form, which will be generated when ending an employee's OWLS record, must be completed and submitted to the Payroll Office in order for annual leave to be paid out.
Prior state service credit can affect annual leave accrual rates and may allow for reinstatement of sick leave. To learn how to request Prior Service Credit, visit the Crediting of Previous Washington State Employment page.