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Professional Staff Program
Discretionary Leave

Discretionary Leave is paid time off work that a department or division head may award to a professional staff employee to recognize noteworthy achievement and work effort that have significantly contributed to the unit's mission, goals and/or objectives. Up to six days of discretionary leave may be awarded per calendar year.

Authorization and Record Keeping

  1. The supervisor prepares a written request to the department/division head that explains:
    1. The nature and duration of the assignment for which discretionary leave is to be awarded; and,
    2. The number of days of discretionary leave that are recommended (maximum of six days per calendar year).
  2. The department/division head reviews the request and approves, denies, or modifies the discretionary leave award.
  3. If approved, a copy of the approval is retained in the employee's department file to support entries made in the UW Online Work Leave System (OWLS), or other authorized leave tracking system.

Discretionary Leave Use

  1. Discretionary leave may be taken in partial or full days of time off work.
  2. Discretionary leave must be used before vacation leave.
  3. Discretionary leave must be used by March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which it was awarded. Discretionary leave from the prior calendar year that is not used by the March 31 deadline will be lost and deducted from the employee's leave record. The March 31 deadline for discretionary leave use cannot be extended under any circumstances.
  4. Unused discretionary leave has no cash value and cannot be paid.
  5. Discretionary leave may only be used while the employee works in the unit that awarded it. Unused discretionary leave is lost when an employee moves to a different organizational unit, or when an employee leaves University employment.
  6. Discretionary leave may not be donated as shared leave.