WSR 07-11-095

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL


[ Filed May 16, 2007, 10:19 a.m. , 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, 2007.

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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 14, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 14, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: May 15, 2007.

Eva N. Santos

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-570   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-575   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 addresses:

(1) Eligibility requirements for employees who wish to participate;

(2) Enrollment process including when open enrollment will occur;

(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 the pool;

(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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-580   What criteria does an employee have to meet to be eligible to participate in a sick leave pool?   An 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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-585   Is participation in a sick leave pool voluntary?   Participation in a sick leave pool must, at all times, be voluntary on the part of the employee.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-590   When is an employee who participates in a sick leave pool eligible to use sick leave from the pool?   A 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 compensatory time.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-595   Is a participant eligible to use sick leave from a pool if his/her illness or injury is work-related?   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-600   Is there a limit to the amount of sick leave a participating employee may withdraw from a sick leave pool?   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-605   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-610   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-615   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-620   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?   Alleged 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 wrongdoing.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-625   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?   An 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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-630   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 leave pool?   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.

[]


NEW SECTION
WAC 357-31-635   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 participants.

[]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-08-139, filed 4/6/05, effective 7/1/05)

WAC 357-31-400   How much shared leave may an employee receive?   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 shared leave.

[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, effective 2/15/07)

WAC 357-31-150   Can an employee be paid for accrued sick leave?   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 hours.

(b) Monetary compensation for converted hours is paid at the rate of twenty-five percent and is based on the employee's current salary.

(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 compensation.

[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