WSR 05-08-138

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL


[ Filed April 6, 2005, 9:41 a.m. , effective July 1, 2005 ]


Purpose: These rules address leave for jury duty service, leave when an employee has received a subpoena, and for other miscellaneous reasons. These rules also address leave without pay, military leave, and medical expense plans.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 41.06 RCW.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 05-01-248 on December 22, 2004.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 357-31-330(7), as a result of discussions with stakeholders it was determined that the reference to WAC 357-31-250 be removed.

WAC 357-31-355, it was determined through discussion with stakeholders that the sentence regarding military leave of absence be removed from this subsection.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 13, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: January 26, 2005.

Eva Santos

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-310   If an employee is required to report for jury duty service, must the employee be granted a leave of absence with pay?   The employer must grant a leave of absence with pay when an employee is required to report for jury duty service. Employers may require documentation or verification of jury service.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-315   May employees keep compensation received for serving as a member of a jury?   Employees are allowed to keep any compensation they receive for serving as a member of a jury in addition to their regular pay.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-320   If an employee has received a subpoena, must the employee be granted a leave of absence with pay?   The employer must grant a leave of absence with pay for the employee to respond to a subpoena when:

(1) The employee has been subpoenaed on the employer's behalf; or

(2) The subpoena is for a legal proceeding which is unrelated to the personal or financial matters of the employee.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-325   Must an employer grant leave with pay for other miscellaneous reasons such as to take a state examination?   (1) Leave with pay must be granted to an employee:

(a) To allow an employee to receive assessment from the employee advisory service; or

(b) When an employee is scheduled to take an examination or participate in an interview for a position with a state employer during scheduled work hours.

(i) Employers may limit the number of occurrences or the total amount of paid leave that will be granted to an employee to participate in an interview or take an examination during scheduled work hours.

(ii) Employers may deny an employee's request to participate in an interview or take an examination during scheduled work hours based upon operational necessity.

(2) An employer may grant leave with pay for an employee to perform civil duties including but not limited to fire fighting, search and rescue efforts or donating blood. In the department of natural resources, leave with pay equivalent to one regular workshift may be allowed for the purpose of rest and recuperation after ten (10) consecutive calendar days performing emergency work under an incident command system, defined in RCW 38.52.010.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-330   For what reasons may an employer authorize leave without pay?   Leave without pay may be allowed for any of the following reasons in accordance with the employer's leave policy:

(1) For any reason leave with pay may be granted, as long as the conditions for leave with pay are met;

(2) Educational leave;

(3) Leave for government service in the public interest;

(4) Military leave of absence as required by WAC 357-31-370;

(5) Parental leave as required by WAC 357-31-460;

(6) Family care emergencies as required by WAC 357-31-295;

(7) Bereavement or condolence;

(8) Absence due to inclement weather as provided in WAC 357-31-255;

(9) To accommodate annual work schedules of employees occupying cyclic year positions as specified in WAC 357-19-295;

(10) Serious health condition of an eligible employee's child, spouse, or parent as required by WAC 357-31-525;

(11) Leave taken voluntarily to reduce the effect of an employer's layoff;

(12) Leave that is authorized in advance by the appointing authority as part of a plan to reasonably accommodate a person of disability; or

(13) Employees receiving time loss compensation.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-335   How long can an employee remain on leave without pay?   The employer determines the length of time an employee may remain on leave without pay. The employer's leave policy must address any limitations on the length of time for which leave without pay will be approved.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-340   When an employee returns from authorized leave without pay, what position will he/she be returned to?   Employees returning from authorized leave without pay must be employed in the same position or a similar position in the same class and in the same geographical area, provided that such return to employment is not in conflict with rules relating to layoff.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-345   How does leave without pay affect a general government employee's anniversary date, unbroken service date and periodic increment date?   (1) For a general government employee, the anniversary date, unbroken service date, and periodic increment date is adjusted for any period of leave without pay which exceeds fifteen (15) consecutive calendar days except when the leave without pay is taken for:

(a) Military leave of absence without pay as provided in WAC 357-31-370;

(b) Compensable work-related injury or illness leave;

(c) Government service leave not to exceed two (2) years and one (1) month;

(d) Educational leave, contingent upon successful completion of the coursework; and/or

(e) Voluntarily reducing the effect of an employer's layoff.

(2) When an employee is on leave without pay for more than fifteen (15) consecutive calendar days and the absence is not due to one of the reasons listed above, the employee's anniversary date, unbroken service date and periodic increment date must be moved forward in an amount equal to the number of calendar days on leave without pay.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-350   How does leave without pay affect a general government employee's seniority date?   WAC 357-46-055 describes how leave without pay affects a general government employee's seniority date.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-355   How does leave without pay affect the duration of an employee's probationary period or trial service period?   If an employee uses leave without pay for an entire workshift while serving a probationary period or trial service period, the probationary period or trial service period is extended by one work day for each workshift of leave without pay.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-360   Must employees who have been ordered to active duty or active training duty be granted paid military leave?   (1) Employees must be granted military leave with pay not to exceed fifteen (15) working days during each year, beginning October 1st and ending the following September 30th, in order to report for active duty or to take part in active training duty in the Washington National Guard or the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps reserves of the United States or any organized reserve or armed forces of the United States.

(2) Military leave with pay is in addition to any vacation and sick leave to which an employee is entitled and does not reduce benefits, performance ratings, privileges, or pay.

(3) During paid military leave, the employee must receive the normal base salary.

(4) Employees required to appear during working hours for a physical examination to determine physical fitness for military service must receive full pay for the time required to complete the examination.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-370   In addition to paid military leave, must an employee be granted a military leave of absence without pay?   (1) Employees must be granted a military leave of absence without pay for service in the uniformed services of the United States or the state, and to reinstatement as provided in chapter 73.16 RCW.

(2) No adjustments are made to the seniority date, anniversary date, unbroken service date, vacation leave accrual rate, or periodic increment date while an employee is on paid military leave or a military leave of absence without pay or any combination thereof.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-375   What provisions exist for employees to participate in medical expense plans?   (1) Employers may provide a medical expense plan to eligible employees that provides for reimbursement of medical expenses. Instead of cash out of sick leave at retirement as provided in WAC 357-31-150(2), employers may deposit equivalent funds in a medical expense plan for eligible employees. The medical expense plan must meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

(2) Medical expense plans must be implemented only after consultation with affected groups of employees.

(3) As a condition of participation, the medical expense plan must require that each covered eligible employee sign an agreement with the employer. The agreement must include the following provisions.

(a) A provision to hold the employer harmless should the United States government find that the employer or the employee is indebted to the United States as a result of:

(i) The employee not paying income taxes due on the equivalent funds placed into the plan, or

(ii) The employer not withholding or deducting a tax, assessment, or other payment on funds placed into the plan as required by federal law.

(b) A provision to require each covered eligible employee to forfeit remuneration for accrued sick leave at retirement if the employee is covered by a medical expense plan and the employee refuses to sign the required agreement.

(4) Each medical expense plan offered by an agency must apply to all eligible employees in any one of the following groups:

(a) Employees in a state agency or higher education institution;

(b) Employees in a major organizational subdivision of a state agency or higher education institution;

(c) Employees at a major operating location of a state agency or higher education institution;

(d) Classified employees in a bargaining unit established by the Public Employees Relations Commission;

(e) Another group of employees defined by the employer that is not designed to provide an individual-employee choice regarding participation in a medical expense plan.

(5) The following definitions are used for the medical expense plan:

(a) "Eligible employees" means all employees in a designated group in (4) of this section.

(b) "Covered eligible employee" means an eligible employee who is in a group for which the employer has established a medical expense plan.

(6) An established medical expense plan must be applicable to all retirements of covered eligible employees within a calendar year. The medical expense plan may be discontinued in any future year, but once discontinued it may not be reinstated for the same group of eligible employees within the same calendar year as it was discontinued.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office