SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of April 4, 2017
Title: An act relating to removing the requirement that an employee must work at least six months before taking vacation leave.
Brief Description: Addressing vacation leave.
Sponsors: House Committee on State Govt, Elections & IT (originally sponsored by Representatives Dolan, Doglio, Ormsby, Appleton, Bergquist and Pollet; by request of Office of Financial Management).
Brief History: Passed House: 3/01/17, 65-33.
Committee Activity: State Government: 3/29/17, 3/29/17 [DP-WM, w/oRec].
Ways & Means: 3/31/17.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT
Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Miloscia, Chair; Zeiger, Vice Chair; Hunt, Ranking Minority Member; Kuderer.
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senator Pearson.
Staff: Melissa Van Gorkom (786-7491)
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
Staff: Amanda Cecil (786-7460)
Background: The Legislature established a leave system for state employees in 1921. State employees receive at least one day of paid vacation leave per month after being in state employment for six months. Employees whose employment is terminated by their death, reduction in force, resignation, dismissal, or retirement who have accrued vacation leave may cash out their leave under their contract of employment. State employees may accrue no more than 30 working days of unused vacation leave unless an employee's request for vacation leave is deferred by reason of the convenience of the employer, in which case the accrued unused vacation leave shall be extended for each month the leave was deferred.
Summary of Bill: State employees may use leave at any time if they have an adequate leave balance.
Employees would be allowed to accrue:
no less than eight hours, instead of one day, of vacation leave with full pay for each month; and
no more than 240 hours, instead of 30 working days, of unused vacation leave.
Employees must work at least six continuous months to have the ability to cash out any accrued vacation leave.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect on July 1, 2017.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (State Government): PRO: The bill will make the state of Washington a more friendly employer by giving employees the ability to use the vacation time they have already earned. This issue came up during collective bargaining. These changes allow employees to deal with unforeseen circumstances during their first month of employment and make Washington State more marketable for recruitment and retention. The bill also clarifies days worked to hours so that there is uniformity across employees which will make it easier to manage the workforce.
Persons Testifying (State Government): PRO: Representative Laurie Dolan, Prime Sponsor; Scott Merriman, Office of Financial Management; Seamus Petrie, Washington Public Employees Association; Dennis Eagle, WA Federation of State Employees.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (State Government): No one.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Ways & Means): PRO: Allowing employees to take leave in the first six month of employment came up during labor negotiations. There is no notable fiscal impact because it does not change the amount of leave that is earned.
Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Seamus Petrie, Washington Public Employees Association; Scott Merriman, OFM; Dennis Eagle, WA Federation of State Employees.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): No one.