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Librarian Leave
Sick Leave


Sick leave is accrued by all monthly-paid librarians, and may be used for such reasons as:

All monthly-paid librarians earn sick leave hours for each full month of their service. Employees become eligible to use accrued sick leave following the first calendar month in which sick leave hours are accrued.

Sick Leave Accrual

Full-time librarians accrue eight (8) hours (one day) of sick leave per month.

Part-time employees accrue sick leave hours on a prorated basis, based on their monthly FTE (e.g. 100% FTE = 8 hrs/mo., 75% FTE = 6 hrs/mo., 50% FTE = 4 hrs/mo.).

The sick leave accrual rate does not change due to length of service. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that an employee may accrue.

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.

Each librarian's record of sick leave accrual and use is maintained using the Online Work Leave System (OWLS), or an authorized alternative system.

Sick Leave Accrual for Newly Hired Librarians

Newly hired librarians 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 librarians who start on or after the 16th of the month will not accrue any sick leave hours for that month; they begin accruing leave hours at the end of the second month of employment.

Sick Leave Accrual for Librarians Who Change Status

Sick Leave Accrual when there are Mid-Month Changes in FTE or Appointment Type
Librarians whose FTE changes during a calendar month will receive leave hours based upon the overall average percent of time worked in the month.

Because the sick leave accrual rate is the same for all employees, there is no change for employees who move during the month into a different appointment type with a different annual leave accrual rate.

Leave Accrual - Effect of Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP)
Librarians do not accrue any sick leave during any 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 librarian's sick leave balance will transfer with the employee when moving from one staff position in one department to another department within the University. The sick leave balance may also transfer when the employee moves without a break in service to a staff position at another state agency, institution of higher education, or educational service district depending on the specific terms of the new appointment.

Sick Leave Accrual and Payment for Separating Librarians

Separating Librarians
Librarians who separate from the University for any reason other than retirement or death (e.g. resignation, layoff, etc.) are not paid for sick leave hours.

Librarians who retire have 25% of the cash value of their full sick leave balance placed into a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) account. Employees who die while in service have 25% of the cash value of their full sick leave balance paid to their estate.

Leave Accrual During a Librarian's Last Month of Work
Librarians who separate from UW employment on or after the 16th of the month accrue full leave hours for the month of separation. Librarians who separate from UW employment prior to the 16th of the month do not accrue any leave for the month of separation.

Attendance Incentive Program

In January of each year, an employee whose prior year-end sick leave balance exceeds 480 hours may apply to receive cash compensation for sick leave hours earned in the prior calendar year, minus the amount of sick leave used or donated as shared leave in that year. No sick leave hours may be converted which would reduce the calendar year balance below 480 hours. Payment is at the rate of 25% of the cash value of the total hours converted to compensation and shall be based upon the employee's salary as of January 1. This option is available in January only of each year. See the Attendance Incentive web page for more information.


Requesting Use of Sick Leave

If you would like to use accrued sick leave hours, you will need to consider the following items in order to request and use sick leave:

  1. Determine your sick leave balance. If your department uses OWLS to maintain its employees’ leave records, visit the “Vacation and Sick Leave” tab in Employee Self-Service (ESS). If your department uses another authorized alternative system, check with your department’s timekeeper.
  2. Follow your department’s normal leave request procedures to obtain written approval from your supervisor in advance of the effective date(s) for use of sick leave. If you are unable to obtain approval in advance of the effective date(s), be sure to obtain written approval as soon as you return to work.


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 sick leave compensation to be processed when an employee separates due to retirement or death.

Employees who have worked previously for the UW or for another state agency in monthly-paid positions may be eligible to reinstate the previous balance of sick leave. To learn more about how to request the crediting of Previous Washington State Employment, visit the Prior Service Credit page.

To find out more about the Annual Attendance Incentive Program, sometimes referred to as the Sick Leave Buy-back program, visit the Annual Attendance Incentive Program page. If a portion of the employee's sick leave is cashed out, all converted hours must be deducted from the employee's sick leave balance on the Work/Leave Record.

Under certain circumstances, sick leave can be used for Eldercare purposes. To learn more about Eldercare, please visit the Caring for a Loved One page.

The Shared Leave Program permits state employees who accrue leave to aid other state employees who suffer from, or who have a relative or household member who suffers from an extraordinary or severe illness or injury. An employee may apply to receive or donate accumulated annual leave, sick leave, and/or personal holiday under the University's Shared Leave Program.

Librarian Leave Topics