The personal holiday is a paid leave day an employee can use at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor. Monthly-paid contract classified staff employees are entitled to one (1) paid personal holiday each calendar year in addition to regularly scheduled state holidays.
The terms and conditions under which an employee accrues and may use the personal holiday 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.
Contract classified employees are eligible to use the personal holiday after completing the initial four (4) months of employment. Thereafter, the personal holiday may be taken at any time in each calendar year.
If you wish to use your personal holiday and meet the eligibility requirements outlined above, you will need to follow your department’s procedures for requesting and taking time off from work.
Unpaid Personal Holidays for Faith, Conscience, or Religious Reasons
The Revised Code of Washington 1.16.050 (RCW 1.16.050) provides all University employees the option to take up to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience, or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.
To take unpaid time off under the statute, employees should consult with their supervisor or administrator and use their unit's procedure for making advance leave requests. The employee will need to inform their unit that the requested unpaid day(s) is for a reason of faith or conscience or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.
The employer can only deny an employee's requested day(s) off if the employer determines that the requested time off would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or the employee's presence is necessary to maintain public safety. Undue hardship is defined in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 82-56-020. Employees may be asked to provide verification for their unpaid leave request.
RCW 1.16.050 does not limit an employee's ability to request paid time off or additional unpaid time off for religious or faith-based reasons.
Employing units are encouraged to be as flexible as possible in considering employee requests for paid or unpaid leave for religious or faith reasons. However, the use of paid or unpaid leave beyond the two days provided by statute is covered by the applicable employment program, collective bargaining agreement, and departmental policy, and not by RCW 1.16.050.
To receive approval to take this type of unpaid time off, submit your request to your supervisor or manager as far in advance as possible, and identify the reason for the leave as religious or faith based. Your request may be denied if your department finds that your absence would cause undue hardship, or if your presence is necessary to maintain public safety.
If you do not wish to identify the reason you are requesting unpaid time off work, or if you wish to request paid time off work, follow your department's normal leave request process.