HR-35 Shared Leave

To establish a policy for managing the Washington State Shared Leave Program.

This policy applies to all faculty, administrative/exempt staff and all staff in permanent classified positions.

Employee Any faculty, administrative/exempt staff or permanent classified staff employee who is entitled to accrue sick leave or vacation leave and for whom Green River College has maintained leave records.

Employee's relative: Limited to the employee's spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent or grandparent.

Household members: Limited to persons who reside in the same household and who have reciprocal duties to and provide financial support for one another. This term
shall also include foster children and legal wards, but does not include persons sharing the same house when the living style is primarily that of a dormitory or commune.

Donee: The employee receiving the donation of the leave.

Donor: The employee making the donation of the leave.

Service in the uniformed services: The performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service under competent authority and includes active
duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time national guard duty including state-ordered active duty, and a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any such duty.

Uniformed service: The armed forces, the army national guard, and the air national guard of any state, territory, commonwealth, possession, or district when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time national guard duty, or state active duty, the commissioned corps of the public health service, the coast guard, and any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or national emergency.

Pregnancy Disability: means a pregnancy-related medical condition or miscarriage.

Parental leave: means leave to bond and care for a newborn after birth or to bond and care for a child after placement for adoption or foster care, for a period of up to sixteen weeks after the birth or placement.

Severe or extraordinary condition: Serious or extreme and/or life threatening, meaning there is a strong possibility the illness, injury or condition poses a direct threat to the employee or the family member’s life.

State agency: Departments, offices, agencies, or institutions of state government, the legislature, and institutions of higher education, school districts, and educational service district of Washington State.

An employee may be eligible to receive shared leave if:

  • The employee suffers from, or has a relative or household member suffering from, an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that is serious, extreme and/or life threatening and Green River College can determine that the totality of the employee's absence from duty because of the condition is or is expected to be at least twenty-four (24) work hours;
  • The employee is sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy disability or for the purpose of parental leave to bond with the employee’s newborn, adoptive, or foster child;

  • The employee has been called to service in the uniformed services and/or the employee’s request otherwise meets the eligibility criteria specified in RCW 41.04.665;
  • A state of emergency has been declared anywhere within the United States by the federal or any state government, and the employee has needed skills to assist in responding to the emergency or its aftermath and volunteers his or her services to either a governmental agency or to a nonprofit organization engaged in humanitarian relief in the devastated area, and the governmental agency or nonprofit organization accepts the employee’s offer of volunteer services;
  • The employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking as defined in RCW 41.04.655 (refer to the GRC HR-37 Domestic Violence Leave policy).

Green River College will determine the amount of leave, if any, which an employee may receive; however, employees may not receive more than 522 days of shared leave during their working lifetime under this program. Green River may also consider other methods of accommodating the employee’s needs such as modified duty, modified hours, flextime, or special assignments in place of share leave.

Examples of situations that this policy is not intended to cover include: non-life threatening injuries and illness; minor uncomplicated surgeries; leave for chronic ongoing conditions with flare-ups; short-term conditions for which treatment and recovery are very brief; non-life threatening behavioral health conditions not requiring overnight inpatient care; to provide psychological comfort to family members residing in a hospital, hospice setting, or residential medical facility; bereavement leave.

When requesting shared leave because the employee or a relative or household member (as defined in this policy) suffers from an illness; injury; impairment; or physical or mental condition which is serious or extreme and/or life threatening, the employee must use all other leave balances such as personal holiday, accrued sick leave, accrued vacation leave and compensatory time prior to receiving shared leave.

Employees approved for shared leave for parental leave or because of sickness or disability due to pregnancy are not required to deplete all their annual leave or sick leave and can maintain forty (40) hours of annual leave and up to forty (40) hours of sick leave in reserve.

Employees called to military service must use all accrued vacation leave, personal holiday, compensatory time and any paid military leave allowed under RCW 38.40.060, prior to receiving shared leave.

Employees requesting shared leave for state of emergency service or due to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking must use all compensatory time, personal holiday and accrued vacation leave prior to receiving shared leave.

For work-related illness or injury, the employee must diligently pursue and be found to be ineligible for benefits under Chapter 51.32 RCW to qualify for shared leave for medical purposes.

Employees receiving time loss compensation or other types of disability payments are not eligible for shared leave.

Employee requesting shared leave must not have had any unauthorized leave without pay use in the 12 months prior to any shared leave request.

An employee may not donate any type of leave that they would lose due to termination, whether by voluntary resignation, retirement, and layoff or as a result of disciplinary action, once written notice of termination is given to the college

If the eligible employee has depleted or will shortly deplete his/her annual and sick leave reserves, the employee may submit a request for shared leave to the Office of Human Resources (HR). The employee will be required to certify that their illness or injury, or their family/household member’s illness or injury, meets the standard of serious or extreme and/or life threatening by submitting the medical certification form included in the Shared Leave Request packet before a decision regarding the shared leave request can be made.

For those called to military duty, Green River College will require a copy of the military orders verifying the employee’s required absence.

For those requesting shared leave due to being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking as defined in RCW 41.04.655, Green River College will require the appropriate documentation such as a police report, court order, documentation from an attorney or victims’ advocate, or the employee’s written statement (refer to the GRC HR-37 Domestic Violence Leave policy).

For employees requesting shared leave for state of emergency service, the employee must have the necessary skills for the humanitarian relief organized and provide documentation of acceptance by the governmental or nonprofit organization engaged in that effort.

Notification of Need for Shared Leave
Green River College will notify the employee of the outcome of the shared leave request within ten (10) business days after the request form and all supporting documentation is received in completed form by the Office of Human Resources. The college will publicize the need via campus email using a Shared Leave Control number. The requestor’s name will remain confidential and will not be publicized without explicit permission of the employee requesting the leave. The reason for the shared leave (event or crisis) will not be published under any circumstances. Eligible
employees wishing to share leave must submit a Shared Leave Donation form to the Payroll Office. 

Sick Leave Donation
Staff who accrue sick leave may donate sick leave to any employee approved for shared leave. The donated leave is deducted from the donor’s compensable sick leave balance. An employee may not donate an amount of leave that would drop their accumulated compensable sick leave balance below twenty-two (22) days. An employee may not donate sick leave that they would lose due to termination, once written notice of termination has been given to Green River.

Vacation Leave Donation
Staff who accrue annual leave may donate annual leave to any employee approved for shared leave. The donated leave is deducted from the donor's compensable annual leave balance. The employee donating leave may not donate an amount of hours that would drop their annual leave balance below ten (10) days (80 hours), nor may employees donate excess annual leave they would not be able to take due to an approaching anniversary date.

Personal Holiday
Staff who accrue personal holiday may donate their leave to any employee approved for shared leave. For purposes of shared leave an employee may donate all or part of a personal holiday. The donated leave is deducted from the donor's personal holiday leave balance.

Personal Leave Day
Personal leave days may not be donated.

Shared Leave Between Agencies/Institutions
With the approval of the appropriate administrators of both state agencies/institutions, shared leave may be transferred from employees of one state agency/institution to an employee of another state agency/institution.

Computation of Share Leave
Computation of shared leave shall be performed in accordance with OFM 25.40.10. It shall be the donor’s dollar value of the leave that transfers and purchases shared leave for the donee at the donee’s salary rate.

Administration of Leave
The shared leave procedure will be administered in accordance with Office of Fiscal Management regulations. In an effort to improve the administrative workload process of the shared leave program, the procedure for processing shared leave shall be a “first in, first use” basis, i.e., each donation form will be considered a “batch” and will be processed and used up in full based on the leave needs of the employee requesting the leave per payroll period. Once th
at leave is exhausted, that batch will be closed and leave from a second donor will be processed.

Specific Authority 
WAC 357-31-380-455
RCW 41.04.650—670
OFM Shared Leave Notice 25.40.10
Faculty Negotiated Agreeement
Classified Collective Bargaining Agreement

Law Implemented

History of Policy or Procedure

Draft: September 4, 2008
Adopted: June 17, 2009
Revised: September 22, 2010; March 1, 2013; December 11, 2015; July 1, 2018
Reviewed by: President’s Staff
Contact: Sheryl Gordon, Benefits Manager, ext. 2604
President’s Staff Sponsor: Marshall Sampson, Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs, ext. 3315