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Professional Staff Program
Sick Leave

Sick Leave Accrual for Full and Part Time Professional Staff

Full-time professional staff accrue sick leave at the rate of one workday for each month of completed service. A record of sick leave accrual and use must be maintained for each professional staff employee. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that an employee may accrue.

Part-time employees accrue sick leave hours at an amount proportionate to their monthly FTE (e.g. 100% FTE = 8 hrs/mo., 75% FTE = 6 hrs/mo., 50% FTE = 4 hrs/mo.).

Sick leave accrues at the end of the month in which it is earned and is available for use the following month.

Sick Leave Accrual for Newly Hired Professional Staff

Newly hired UW employees who start work before the 16th of the month, accrue full leave during the first calendar month of employment. Newly hired employees who start work on or after the 16th of the month do not accrue leave for that month, but begin accruing leave at the end of the second calendar month of employment.

Mid-month Changes in FTE

Employees whose FTE changes during a calendar month receive leave hours based upon the overall % of time worked in the month.

Crediting of Previous Washington State Employment

Employees who have worked previously for the UW or another state agency in monthly-paid positions may be eligible to to have their previous sick leave balance reinstated.
More information on Crediting of Previous Washington State Employment

Leave Accrual - Effect of Leave of Absence Without Pay

An employee does not accrue any sick leave hours during any calendar month in which the employee is on leave without pay status for more than 10 working days, including holidays.

Special considerations for Cyclic Year Positions: Cyclic or instructional year appointments (recurring work year of fewer than 12 months per annual cycle) sometimes begin and end mid-month (e.g., September 16 through June 15). In some instances, individuals would not accrue vacation 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 10 working days in both months. It is intended that employees in cyclic/instructional year appointments receive vacation and sick leave accrual for the overall number of months worked. For example, a September 16 through June 15 schedule should receive 9 months of vacation 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).

Leave Accrual During an Employee's Last Month of Work

Employees who separate from UW employment on or after the 16th of the month accrue full leave for the month of separation. Employees who separate from UW employment prior to the 16th of the month do not accrue any leave for the month of separation.

Sick Leave Accrual Upon Faculty Conversion to Professional Staff

Faculty with at least eight years of University service who convert to professional staff receive a sick leave balance of 480 hours less any taken as sick leave during the faculty appointment's last academic year. If the faculty appointment was less than full time, the sick leave balance is prorated. Faculty having less than eight years of service receive a prorated balance as determined by the Human Resources Operations Office.

Sick Leave Use

Sick leave may be used for the following:

An employee may be required to provide certification by a health care provider verifying absence for health-related reasons.

Attendance Incentive Program

In January of each year professional staff employees with a sick leave balance that exceeds 480 hours are entitled to receive monetary compensation for the previous year's accrued and unused sick leave hours at the rate of 25 percent of the employee's salary. The unused sick leave hours converted to cash payment are deducted from the employee's sick leave balance. The remaining balance cannot be less than 480 hours. See "Annual Attendance Incentive Program" for procedural information.

Shared Leave Program

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. Questions regarding shared leave should be directed to the appropriate Human Resources Consultant.

An employee who receives shared leave may retain up to 32 hours of shared leave to use over a four month period, at eight hours per month, specifically for the purpose of retaining insurance benefits.

Sick Leave Conversion Upon Changing Employment


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

Transferring Between Departments or Agencies

An employee's sick leave balance will transfer with an employee moving from one staff position to another within the University, or when moving to a staff position at another State agency. Employees who move within the University of Washington from staff positions to faculty or student employment will not be paid for their sick leave balance.

Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation coverage is provided to all paid employees who are injured or become ill while acting within the course and scope of their University job duties. Coverage begins automatically on the first day of employment. See Administrative Policy Statement 14.1, Section 4, for detailed information.

  1. Family member means the employee's spouse or same or opposite sex domestic partner; child; parent; grandparent; grandchild; sister; or brother. Family member also includes individuals in the following relationships with the employee's spouse or domestic partner: child, parent, or grandparent. It also includes those persons in a "step" relationship.