SA-91 College Holiday & Leave Policy

In This Section

Purpose 
The policy describes the availability of holidays for students and employees.

General
Per RCW 1.16.050 and RCW 28B.10.039, College employees and students are entitled to unpaid holidays or absences as described in this policy. Additionally, some employees may be entitled to paid state legal holidays if such holidays occur during the term of their employment and the employees are entitled to pay for such days under the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreements, policies, or contracts.

State Legal Holidays
Green River College recognizes the following legal holidays in accordance with RCW 1.16.050:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday of January)
  • President’s Day (third Monday of February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
  • Native American Heritage Day (Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Whenever a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be considered a nonworking or legal holiday. When a holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be considered a nonworking or legal holiday.

In addition to these state legal holidays, employees are also entitled to one paid personal holiday, as provided for in applicable collective bargaining agreements and College policies.

Employee Holidays for Reasons of Faith or Conscience Policy

College employees are entitled to two (2) unpaid holidays per calendar year for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.

The College must allow an employee to take their unpaid holidays on the specific days desired unless an employee's absence would impose an undue hardship on the College or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. Undue hardship shall have the meaning established by the Office of Financial Management under RCW 43.41.109. Employee seniority will not be impacted by absences authorized under this policy.

Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours and taken piecemeal.

Employee Procedures
Employees shall consult with their supervisors at least two (2) weeks in advance of any desired unpaid holiday unless the purpose of the unpaid holiday was not known until later. Employees shall request unpaid holidays in writing, using the same procedure as is used for requesting leave without pay.

Student Holidays for Reasons of Faith or Conscience Policy
College students are entitled to two (2) days of excused absences per academic year for reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.

Students' grades may not be adversely impacted by absences authorized under this policy. Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours and taken piecemeal.

Student Procedures

Students must coordinate an absence with one of the deans of Student Affairs at least two (2) weeks prior to the desired absence, unless the purpose of the absence was not known until later. If the desired absence is during the first two (2) weeks of a new academic quarter and at least two (2) weeks prior notice is not possible, the request for the absence must be made with as much advance notice as reasonably possible. All requests for authorized absences under this policy must be in writing and contain a concise explanation of how the requested holiday is related to a reason of faith or conscience, or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. 

All absences under this policy must be approved by one of the deans of Student Affairs in advance of the absence. The College will not authorize an absence for a student after the absence occurs absent compelling circumstances.

The specific dean of Student Affairs with whom the student coordinated such absence will provide the student with a document verifying the date of the approved absence and further instructions. In order to ensure that their absence does not negatively affect their grades, the student must comply with directions for notifying their instructors of their upcoming authorized absence. The student is solely responsible for ensuring the documentation authorizing the absence is provided to each of the instructors whose classes or assignments will be affected by the absence.

After an instructor is notified by the student of an upcoming absence, the instructor will determine what adjustments, if any, will need to be made to the student's scheduled classwork or assignments. The instructor shall inform the student of these adjustments within two (2) instructional days of receiving the student's notification.

If the student's desired absence date is on a day when a test was scheduled or an assignment was due, the instructor may require that the student take the test or submit the assignment before or after the regularly assigned date.

Regardless of an instructor’s class expectations or grading policies, absences authorized under this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grade.

If a student fails to notify any of their instructors of an authorized absence (as directed by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee), the instructor is not obligated to make any accommodations for the student's absence or treat the absence as authorized under this policy or the law.


Specific Authority

RCW 1.16.050
SSB Bill 5173 

Law Implemented


History of Policy or Procedure
Draft: July 28, 2014
Adopted: Revised:
Reviewed by:
Contact: Dr. Deborah Casey, Vice President of Student Affairs, ext. 3328 and Marshall Sampson, Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, ext. 3315
President’s Staff Sponsor: Dr. Deborah Casey, Vice President of Student Affairs, ext. 3328, and Marshall Sampson, Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, ext. 3315