PERMANENT RULESDEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL
Filed May 16, 2007,
, effective July 1, 2007
Effective Date of Rule:
July 1, 2007.
Purpose: These rules are required due to the passage of
SB 6059. This bill created the ability for agencies to allow
their employees to participate in sick leave pools.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 357-31-400 and 357-31-150.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 41.06 RCW.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-08-031
on March 27,
Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: In WAC 357-31-620 removed the word "other" from the
second sentence of that rule.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute:
Federal Rules or Standards:
or Recently Enacted State Statutes:
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity:
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative:
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures:
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making:
Pilot Rule Making:
or Other Alternative Rule Making:
Date Adopted: May 15, 2007.
Eva N. Santos
What is the purpose of a sick leave pool?
The purpose of a sick leave pool is to allow general
government state employees, within an agency, to pool sick
leave to be used by participating employees who have a
personal illness, accident, or injury. Sick leave contributed
to a sick leave pool will be deducted from the contributing
employee's sick leave balance.
Must an agency have a written policy
regarding sick leave pools?
Prior to creating a sick leave
pool, an agency that decides to participate in the sick leave
pool program must appoint an administrator for each sick leave
pool and develop a written policy which at a minimum
(1) Eligibility requirements for employees who wish to
(2) Enrollment process including when open enrollment
(3) Amount of sick leave an employee must initially
contribute to become a participant;
(4) Amount of sick leave a participating employee must
contribute when a pool becomes depleted;
(5) When a pool will be considered to be "depleted";
(6) What happens when a participating employee does not
have enough leave to contribute to the pool;
(7) The process and criteria that will be used when a
sick leave pool participant needs to withdraw sick leave from
(8) What happens when there is not enough leave in a pool
to cover pool participants' requests to withdraw leave;
(9) The manner in which alleged abuse of the sick leave
pool will be investigated and what actions will be taken if it
has been determined that abuse has occurred;
(10) The manner in which employees can request an
internal review of a finding of wrongdoing under subsection
(9) of this section;
(11) Transferring of sick leave credits when a pool
participant moves from one pool to another pool; and
(12) What happens to leave credits that are in a pool if
the pool is disbanded.
What criteria does an employee have to
meet to be eligible to participate in a sick leave pool?
employee is eligible to participate in a sick leave pool after
one continuous year of state employment and after accruing at
least forty-eight hours of unused sick leave.
Is participation in a sick leave pool
Participation in a sick leave pool must, at all
times, be voluntary on the part of the employee.
When is an employee who participates in a
sick leave pool eligible to use sick leave from the pool?
participating employee is eligible to use sick leave from a
pool only when the employee has a personal illness, accident,
or injury and the employee has exhausted all of his/her
personal holiday and all of his/her sick, vacation, and
Is a participant eligible to use sick
leave from a pool if his/her illness or injury is
If the illness or injury is work-related and
the participant has diligently pursued and been found to be
ineligible for benefits under chapter 51.32 RCW the
participant may be eligible to use leave from a pool if he/she
has exhausted all of his/her personal holiday and all of
his/her sick, vacation, and compensatory time.
Is there a limit to the amount of sick
leave a participating employee may withdraw from a sick leave
A participating employee may not withdraw more than two
hundred sixty-one (261) days from a sick leave pool for the
entire duration of state employment. The two hundred
sixty-one (261) days includes any days an employee has
received under the Washington Shared Leave Program. One day
equals eight hours of leave.
What rate of pay is the participant who
withdraws sick leave from the pool paid?
A participant who
withdraws sick leave from a sick leave pool will be paid
his/her regular rate of pay.
How does a part-time participating
employee withdraw sick leave credits from a sick leave pool?
A part-time participating employee withdraws sick leave
credits from a sick leave pool on a pro-rata basis.
When a participating employee uses leave
from a sick leave pool will he/she be required to recontribute
such sick leave to the pool?
When a participating employee
uses leave from a sick leave pool he/she will not be required
to recontribute such leave to the pool unless the agency has
determined that abuse of the pool has occurred.
When an agency has determined that abuse
of a sick leave pool has occurred will the employee have to
repay the sick leave credits drawn from the pool?
abuse of the use of a sick leave pool will be investigated,
and, on a finding of wrongdoing, the employee must repay all
of the sick leave credits drawn from the sick leave pool. The
employee may be subject to disciplinary action as determined
by the agency head. The only time an employee will have to
repay sick leave credits is when there is a finding of
When an employee cancels his/her
membership in a sick leave pool, can the employee withdraw the
days of sick leave he/she had contributed to the pool?
employee who cancels his/her membership in a sick leave pool
is not eligible to withdraw the hours of sick leave he/she had
contributed to the pool.
Can a participant who moves from one
general government position to a different general government
position transfer from one sick leave pool to another sick
A participant who moves between general
government positions within his/her agency or with a different
agency may transfer from one pool to another if the
eligibility criteria of the pools are comparable and the
administrators of the pools have agreed on a formula for
transfer of credits.
What records must an employer maintain
pertaining to sick leave pools?
Each agency shall maintain
accurate and reliable records showing the amount of sick leave
which has been accumulated and available to sick leave pool
participants and the amount of leave that has been used by
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-08-139, filed 4/6/05,
How much shared leave may an employee
The employer determines the amount of leave, if any,
which an employee may receive under these rules. However, an
employee must not receive more than two hundred sixty-one
(261) days of shared leave during total state employement and
a nonpermanent employee who is eligible to use accrued leave
or personal holiday may not use shared leave beyond the
expected end date of the appointment. Leave used under the
sick leave pool program, as described in WAC 357-31-570, is
included in the two hundred sixty-one (261) day limit.
Employers are encouraged to consider other methods of
accommodating the employee's needs such as modified duty,
modified hours, flex-time, or special assignments in place of
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW. 05-08-139, §
357-31-400, filed 4/6/05, effective 7/1/05.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-03-051, filed 1/12/07,
Can an employee be paid for accrued sick
In accordance with the attendance incentive program
established by RCW 41.04.340, employees are eligible to be
paid for accrued sick leave as follows:
(1) In January of each year, an employee whose sick leave
balance at the end of the previous year exceeds four hundred
eighty hours may elect to convert the sick leave hours earned
in the previous calendar year, minus those hours used during
the year, to monetary compensation.
(a) No sick leave hours may be converted which would
reduce the calendar year-end balance below four hundred eighty
(b) Monetary compensation for converted hours is paid at
the rate of twenty-five percent and is based on the employee's
(c) All converted hours are deducted from the employee's
sick leave balance.
(d) Hours which are accrued, donated, and returned from
the shared leave program in the same calendar year may be
included in the converted hours for monetary compensation.
(e) For the purpose of this section, hours which are
contributed to a sick leave pool per WAC 357-31-570 are
considered hours used.
(2) Employees who separate from state service because of
retirement or death must be compensated for their total unused
sick leave accumulation at the rate of twenty-five percent or
the employer may deposit equivalent funds in a medical expense
plan as provided in WAC 357-31-375. Compensation must be
based on the employee's salary at the time of separation. For
the purpose of this subsection, retirement does not include
"vested out-of-service" employees who leave funds on deposit
with the department of retirement systems (DRS).
(3) No contributions are to be made to the department of
retirement systems (DRS) for payments under subsection (1) or
(2) of this section, nor are such payments reported to DRS as
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW. 07-03-051, §
357-31-150, filed 1/12/07, effective 2/15/07; 05-08-136, §
357-31-150, filed 4/6/05, effective 7/1/05.]
© Washington State Code Reviser's Office