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Chapter 7 - Leaves and Time Off

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Chapter 7-Leaves of Absence and Time Off.

7.1      Leaves.

The City has eleven types of leave:


                     Sick leave

                     Leave without pay.

                     Jury and Witness leave.

                     Military leave.

                     Administrative leave.

                     Bereavement leave.

                     Holiday leave.

                     Faith or Conscience Leave.

                     Family Medical Leave.

                     Domestic Violence Leave


7.2      Vacation.

             1.  Each regular full-time employee is entitled to vacation leave:

Years of                                            Vacation Hours

Employment Completed                  Earned


0-4    years                                       8 hours/month

5-9    years                                       10 hours/month

10-14 years                                       12.67 hours/month

15-19 years                                       14 hours/month

20-24 years                                      16.33 hours/month

25+   years                                       17.33 hours/month

2.  New employees accrue vacation during the first six months of their employment with the City. However, new employees must satisfactorily complete six months of employment with the City before they may use vacation leave. Regular part-time employees will receive vacation leave pro-rata according to the hours worked. Temporary employees are not eligible for vacation leave benefits. Employees do not accrue vacation leave benefits during a leave without pay.

3.  Employees must take vacation leave in hourly increments. The City requires employees to use a minimum of one hour in each leave taken.

4.  Each department schedules its employees’ vacation leaves without undue disruption of department operations. An employee shall submit leave requests to his/her department head at least two weeks before he/she intends to take a vacation leave he/she expects to last over one day.

5.  240 hours is the maximum number of vacation leave hours an employee may carry over from December 31 of one year to January of the next year. Hours not used or not carried over shall be lost.

7.3     Sick leave.

1.  All regular full-time employees accrue sick leave benefits at the rate of eight hours for each completed full month of service for the City. Regular part-time employees may accrue sick leave benefits pro-rata according to hours worked.

2.  Temporary employees do not earn sick leave benefits. Employees do not accrue sick leave benefits during a leave without pay or during any leave, other than vacation, lasting longer than ten consecutive days.

3.  An employee must use sick leave in 15-minute increments.

4.  An employee is authorized to use paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  • An absence resulting from an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care;
  • To allow the employee to provide care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care for a family member who needs preventive medical care; and hen the employee's place of business has been closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason, or when an employee's child's school or place of care has been closed for such a reason. 

5.  The City may require a doctor’s certificate when an employee is absent for a period over three days. The City may also request the opinion of a second doctor, at the City’s expense, to determine whether the employee suffers from a chronic physical or mental condition which impairs his/her ability to perform the essential functions of the job. The City may terminate employees habitually absent due to illness if the City cannot reasonably accommodate their disability and/or when the employee’s absenteeism prevents the orderly and efficient provisions of service to the citizens of the City.

6.  Employees who use all their accumulated sick leave and require more time off work due to illness or injury may, with the Mayor’s prior approval, take leave without pay. The City also has a Shared Sick Leave Policy, reference EWMC 2.36.090.

7.  960 hours is the maximum number of sick leave hours an employee may carry over from December 31 of one year to January of the next year. Hours not used or not carried over shall be lost.

8.  If an employee is discharged the employee shall lose, with no benefit being paid, all accumulated sick leave. Such sick leave will be reinstated if the employee is rehired by the City within12 months of being terminated.

7.4      Leave without pay.

  1. The Mayor may grant leaves of absence without pay for absences from work not covered by any other type of leave or other leave balances are exhausted. Examples of situations for which leave without pay may be granted include time off for personal reasons, pursuing an education, or fulfilling military obligations over fifteen days per year.
  2. Only regular full-time and regular part-time employees who have worked for the City for over six months are eligible for leave without pay. The following requirements apply:
  • The Mayor may grant leave without pay to an employee for a period of up to ninety days. Further extensions are at the discretion of the Mayor.
  • An employee must exhaust all accrued vacation before taking any leave without pay.
  • An employee's benefits are suspended during the period of unpaid leave until the employee returns to work. Vacation, sick leave and/or any other benefits do not accrue while an employee is on leave without pay.
  • In certain circumstances, self-payment of benefits may apply. See Section 6.3 on Insurance Benefits.
  • If an employee fails to promptly report for work at the end of the unpaid leave, the City will presume that the employee resigned.

7.5        Jury and witness leave.

  1. The City will grant time off with pay to employees required to serve on a jury or as a witness in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding if they are neither the plaintiff nor defendant in the judicial action. This benefit shall be besides any other leave offered by the City. Employees, receiving notification to report to serve jury duty, or when subpoenaed, shall notify their department head or his/her designee immediately.
  2. An employee who is impaneled for jury service or who is subpoenaed to testify at a trial shall receive his/her regular rate of pay, not to exceed eight hours per day for each day served.
  3. If the court excuses an employee from jury duty, the employee shall immediately notify his/her department head or his/her designee. At its discretion, the City may require the employee to report to work.

7.6      Military leave.

  1. The City shall grant military leave of absence to any employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves of the United States and ordered to active military duty for training. The military leave of absence shall be with pay for a period not to exceed fifteen working days during each calendar year. Any working days taken beyond fifteen working days shall be charged as vacation leave. During the time he/she is on such leave, the employee shall receive his/her regular pay, plus his/her military pay, if any is granted.
  2. Regardless of his/her status, any employee who voluntarily, or upon demand, leaves a position, other than temporary, to enter upon active duty in the armed forces of the United States, or the Washington National Guard, shall be placed on military leave without pay and shall be entitled to be restored to his/her former position, or one of like seniority, status and pay; provided, he/she applies for reemployment within ninety days of his/her termination or separation.

7.7              Administrative leave.

1.   On a case-by-case basis, the City may place an employee on administrative leave with pay for an indefinite period, as approved by the Mayor to be in the best interest of the City, during the pendency of an investigation or other administrative proceeding.

7.8      Bereavement leave.

If a death of an employee’s family member occurs, the City will grant an employee three days of bereavement leave. If the death of a family member requires an employee to travel out-of-state, the City will grant an employee two, additional days of bereavement leave.

7.9      Holidays.

1.  The City recognizes the following holidays:

New Year’s Day                     January 1

Memorial Day                        Last Monday in May

Independence Day                July 4

Labor Day                              1st Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day                  4th Thursday in November

Day after Thanksgiving        Day after Thanksgiving

Christmas Day                       December 25

4 Floating Holidays

2.  A new employee is not eligible for floating holidays until the successful completion of one year of continuous service.

3.  The City will observe any holiday falling on Saturday on the preceding Friday, and it will observe any holiday falling on Sunday on the following Monday.

4.  The City will pay non-exempt regular full-time employees for the holiday plus their overtime rate of pay for any time worked on an observed holiday. Such time must be pre-authorized by the supervisor.

5.  The City will pay temporary or part-time regular employees at their regular straight time rate for hours worked on a holiday on a prorated basis.

6.  When an employee is off due to sick leave or any other type of leave on a holiday, no time for such leave will be charged to the employee.

7.  The City shall allow each employee, upon notice and approval of his/her department head, to designate and take four floating holidays per calendar year. Floating holidays cannot be carried over to the next year and must be taken in consecutive 8-hour increments. If an employee does not work on Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day or Veterans Day, each day will be counted as floating holiday. This includes an exempt employee that might work over 4o hours in a workweek, not including the holiday.

8.  If an employee is on a 10-hour shift, two of those hours shall be in the form of accrued leave other than sick leave.

7.10     Faith or conscience leave.

An employee may take two days of unpaid leave per calendar year for a reason of faith; for a reason of conscience; or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.

To take an unpaid leave, an employee must submit a written request for leave at least 30 days in advance to his or her supervisor. The City will allow an employee to take

the unpaid leave on the day requested, unless an employee’s absence would unduly disrupt operations, impose an undue hardship, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. The City adopts the Office of Financial Management’s definition of “undue hardship.”

7.11 Leave for Pregnancy Disability and Family Medical Leave.

The City will grant family and disability leave in accordance with State and Federal laws.

  1. The City requires an employee to use paid leave (sick, vacation, comp, and on-call) during an FMLA-designated leave. To request pregnancy-disability leave or family-medical leave, an employee should contact the HR Generalist to start the process.
  2. An employee’s 12-month FMLA period will be the date the employee’s first FMLA leave absence began in each 12-month period. If this is the first FMLA leave request, the 12-month period will begin on the first date of this FMLA leave. If an employee’s request for leave is more than 12 months after a previous FMLA leave, the first date of the current FMLA leave will be the beginning of the new 12-month period.

7.12 Domestic violence leave.

  1. “Intermittent leave” is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason. “Reduced leave schedule” means a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or hours per workday, of an employee.
  2. If he or she is a victim of domestic violence, an employee may take reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced leave schedule, with or without pay, to: (1) Seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or employee's family members including, but not limited to, preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; (2) Seek treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or to attend to health care treatment for a victim who is the employee's family member; (3) Obtain, or assist a family member in obtaining, services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other social services program for relief from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; (4) Obtain, or assist a family member in obtaining, mental health counseling related to an incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in which the employee or the employee's family member was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or (5) Participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee's family members from future domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  3. To request domestic violence leave, an employee should contact the HR Generalist to start the process.