It may be necessary to request or take leave during the COVID-19 outbreak. Although leave policies are set broadly by the University of Washington, they are implemented locally within the School of Social Work.

Workday has standardized the way the UW classifies, approves and records leave. Proper notification and timing of leave are important to ensure that our business continues smoothly and that leave procedures are handled equitably within units.  Local oversight processes work in tandem with Workday.

This section contains information about the following:

  • Employee types
  • Leave categories
  • School policies and procedures regarding leave
  • School roles and responsibilities related to leave
  • Payroll contact information
  • UW websites for additional information

Employee types

The School of Social Work employs multiple types of employees, who generally fall into the following categories:

  • Academic:
    • Academic
  • Permanent/regular:
    • Professional: Overtime Exempt (most common), and Overtime Eligible
    • Classified: Overtime Eligible (most common), and Overtime Exempt
  • Fixed Term/temporary:
    • Working 50% or greater fulltime equivalent (FTE)
    • Working an hourly schedule: students and non-students
    • Academic Student Employees (ASEs)

Each category of employee has its own agreement/contract with the University of Washington, some of which are negotiated by a union.  The School of Social Work works with employees represented by two unions: SEIU 925 for Classified staff; and UAW 4121 for Academic Student Employees (ASEs) - student employees that hold TA/RA/SA positions.  Their respective contracts can be found here:

These agreements/contracts are governed by the employment laws of the State of Washington.  These agreements/contracts dictate which types of leave individual employees are entitled to, how the leave is accrued, under what circumstances it can be used, when it will be forfeited, and what happens to it at the end of employment.

Leave categories

Information about the specifics of leave by employee type can be found at these links on the Integrated Services Center (ISC) website:

  • Faculty leave:
    • Faculty leave includes sabbatical, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), vacation leave, and unpaid time off.
  • Professional and Classified staff leave:
    • Professional and Classified staff leave includes vacation, sick, holiday, bereavement, civil duty, faith or conscience, parental and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), overtime/compensatory, and unpaid time off.
  • Temporary and student hourly employees:
    • Thanks to a Washington State Law the went into effect in January, 2018, temporary and student hourly staff are now entitled to accrue and use paid sick leave. 
  • Family Emergency Leave Act (FMLA):
    • All employees have access to FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), a federal law meant to protect employees who experience longer term leave needs such as serious health condition of self or family; or new born recovery and bonding.  An employee must have served at least 1250 hours for 12 months to be eligible for FMLA.  FMLA protects an employee’s position for up to 13 weeks.  FMLA supersedes actual leave accruals as one can apply for FMLA and use leave accruals to continue income, or the employee can be on FMLA status without pay. 
  • Shared Leave:
    • Shared leave allows time-off accruing Washington state employees to donate their accrued time off to another state employee who is experiencing a severe, extraordinary, or life-threatening health crisis or other qualifying circumstance, and who has exhausted their own paid time off.
  • Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML):
    • New State law effective January 1, 2020 that provides additional income for employees that have both been employed at least 820 hours over a recent 4-5 calendar quarter period and have a qualifying leave event for family or medical including extended illness, extended care for family to pregnancy.  Please connect with for more information

School of Social Work policies and procedures related to leave

Non-Emergency Leave:

  • Whenever possible leave should be requested and approved at least 10 business days prior to absence.
  • Employee reviews personal leave record in Workday portal to verify they have sufficient leave accrued.
  • Employee contacts manager to request leave (verbal, e-mail) and/or enters request for approval via Workday. 
  • Manager reviews request for consideration including:
    • Timing of request – key dates/deadlines to consider for business continuity
    • Length of leave request – impacts on work flow
    • Correct leave request type based on activity for leave
    • Consults SSWHR if there are questions or issues with the request
  • Employee and manager discuss potential business continuity planning to ensure that the work efforts of the employee will be covered during their absence.
  • Employee is required to update their Outlook calendars to show leave.
  • Prior to start of leave, employee should create an “out of office” message for both email and voicemail (if applicable) including the following:
    • Date(s) of unavailability
    • Alternate contact in case of emergency
  • If the affected unit tracks employee time out of office with internal calendaring systems, the leave should also be noted there.

Emergency or unexpected medical situation:

  • Employee or close family member/friend contacts manager or SSWHR to relay that there is an emergency or unexpected medical situation for which leave is required.
  • If possible, employee reviews personal leave records in Workday to verify that they have enough leave – vacation/sick/personal for time off.  If employee is unable to do this, the manager or SSWHR Time and Absence Initiate can review leave to verify balances, and work with employee to enter paid time off, or unpaid time off when sufficient leave has not yet been accrued.
  • If extended leave is required, SSWHR contacts central ISC for appropriate guidance.
  • Manager works with SSWHR to ensure that work duties of employee are covered for business continuity.
  • If possible, employee updates email and voice mail, and their Outlook calendars.
  • Employee contacts manager or SSWHR when changes in emergency leave status are known.
  • If emergency or sick leave exceeds 3 days, manager and/or SSWHR may require documentation from an appropriate medical official stating that a medical event necessitates absence.  The statement does not need to detail the specific nature of the medical condition.
  • For longer medical absences, the FMLA process should be initiated by entering a request for FMLA into Workday and/or submitting the appropriate forms, completed by employee and a medical professional, to the ISC.  SSWHR will be notified once FMLA is approved, and is always available to assist with the process in advance.  When possible employee should notify their manager and SSWHR prior to applying for FMLA.  SSWHR can assist with the process, but is not responsible for final determination.

Shared leave

There are many complexities involved with shared leave so it is important you have all the facts before initiating and/or requesting shared leave. This program allows time off accruing employees to donate their time off to another state employee who is experiencing a severe, extraordinary, or life-threatening health crisis. This can include parental leave, pregnancy disability, or other qualifying circumstance. Donated time off is intended to help employees manage absences financially after they have exhausted their own paid time off. For more information on receiving and donating shared leave, please see the University website on the shared leave program:

School of Social Work roles and responsibilities related to leave

Employees are expected to:

  • understand the policies related to the leave for which they qualify and the unit within which they work;
  • if required by their position, report hours worked and/or time off into Workday as far in advance as possible, and no later than by the end of each pay period;
  • communicate with their manager about their leave requirements, and any unexpected or emergency circumstances as timely as possible;
  • follow School of Social Work and their unit’s notification of policies including posting in shared calendars and email out-of-office auto response;
  • monitor regularly that salary and leave accrual rates are appropriate for their position and length of service

Managers/Supervisors are expected to:

  • understand the policies and procedures related to leave for the employees they oversee;
  • work with other managers within their unit to ensure that leave policies are consistent and fair, and are communicated to the staff in their unit, including policies, for use of overtime, comp time, flex time and;
  • provide these policies in writing to the employees and to SSWHR;
  • honor employee requests and need for time off while balancing the work requirements of their unit;
  • timely approve or return for correction time worked and absence requested in Workday;
  • notify and work together with SSWHR on extended leave and other leave-related special circumstances;
  • work together with employees and SSWHR to correct any omissions or errors required in Workday;
  • understand and fulfill their roles and responsibilities related to special leave requests including for sabbatical, FMLA, and shared leave and work with SSWHR on these

School of Social Work HR (SSWHR) is responsible to:

  • oversee, monitor, and communicate University of Washington, Washington state, and School of Social Work leave-related contractual agreements and policies;
  • regularly and timely communicate any policy changes and leave-impacting deadlines;
  • monitor Workday entries to ensure that time worked and leave taken are correctly entered and approved;
  • work with employees and managers to make leave corrections, and involve the ISC when necessary;
  • work with employees and managers to understand and timely fulfill their roles and responsibilities related to special leave requests including for sabbatical, other extended leave including FMLA, and shared leave requests

The UW Integrated Service Center (ISC) is responsible to:

  • oversee, monitor, and communicate University of Washington and Washington state leave-related contractual agreements and policies;
  • provide notifications and reports to enable the SSWHR, managers, and employees with tools to fulfill their responsibilities related to entering and monitoring time and leave;
  • process FMLA requests, and ensuring confidential medical information is protected;
  • work with SSWHR and managers when appropriate to navigate special and long-term absences and requests;
  • process payroll including time and leave-related additions (overtime, comp time etc.) and deductions (leave taken, vacation hours over 240 for overtime eligible employees, etc.) are made as entered into Workday;
  • correct Workday entries that the department is unable to;
  • work directly with employees for questions and issues related to insurance, retirement and other benefits and payroll deductions

SSWHR/Payroll contacts