Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]
Offices & Services

Human Resources

College Policies I Leave of Absence Without Pay

**THIS POLICY IS UNDER REVISION**

Eligibility

Regular full-time employees, with at least one year of service, are eligible to request a leave of absence without pay.

Request

An employee seeking a leave of absence without pay must submit a request in writing to the employee’s supervisor with a copy to the Director of Human Resources. The request must specify the reason for the leave and the duration of the leave.

Approval Process

A request for a leave of absence of five or fewer days may be approved or denied by the employee’s supervisor after consultation with the Director of Human Resources.

A request for a leave of absence of more than five days may be approved or denied by the Director of Human Resources after consultation with the employee’s supervisor and the Vice President for Finance and Management. The determination will be in writing and an approval letter will set forth the conditions associated with the leave of absence.

Terms of a Leave of Absence

Length

A leave of absence may not exceed one year.

Exhaustion of Leave Benefits

Prior to the beginning of any leave of absence without pay, the employee must use all available vacation and personal leave.

Employment Relationship

The employment relationship is continued during the leave of absence without pay. An approved leave will not be counted as a break in service.

Pay

Eligibility for a pay adjustment upon return to service will depend upon the duration of the leave and will be specified in the letter granting the leave of absence without pay.

Benefits

Benefit Accrual Rates

The period of the leave of absence without pay will not count as service time for the computation of benefits eligibility or benefit accrual rates.

Leave Earnings

An employee does not earn vacation leave, personal leave, or sick leave while on leave of absence without pay.

Retirement Contributions

Retirement contributions by the College will cease during the leave of absence without pay. The employee should contact the College’s Benefits Administrator if the employee is interested in continuing an individual contribution on an after-tax basis to his/her retirement account. In this case, the College will not match the employee’s contribution.

Health Insurance Benefits

During a leave of absence without pay, an employee is eligible to participate in the College’s group health plan. The employee is responsible for the full payment of the premium under COBRA. Employees with 10 years of continuous service are entitled to a temporary continuation of the health insurance benefit (the College will continue to pay the employer’s portion for 3 months). After the 3-month period, an employee may continue to participate in the plan, but he/she will then be responsible for the full payment of the premium under COBRA.

Life and Disability Insurance

Life and disability insurance coverage normally ends at the end of the month after the leave of absence begins unless an exception has been granted by the insurance carrier and the employee assumes responsibility for the premium payments.

Insurance Premium Payments

Payments for any month of coverage must be made to the College and received by the Benefits Administrator by the first of the month.

Other Benefits

All other benefits will cease during the leave of absence without pay.

Employment at the End of the Leave

Return to Work

At the end of the approved leave of absence without pay the employee is expected to return to work. Unless otherwise specified in the letter granting the leave of absence, the College will make every possible attempt to provide the employee a position with duties similar to, but not necessarily the same as, the position from which leave was taken. Return to a position is not guaranteed.

The employee’s pay will be determined based upon the standard salary range for the new position. The employee’s eligibility for benefits will be the same as was in effect at the beginning of the leave of absence, unless the College has changed materially one or more of the benefit programs for staff employees with similar status and length of service.

At least two weeks prior to the end of the approved leave of absence without pay, the employee must notify the employee’s supervisor that the employee expects to return to work on the approved date. The employee should also arrange with the Benefits Administrator to reinstate the desired benefits and be briefed on any changes in the benefit program.

Failure to Return to Work

If an employee does not return to work at the end of the approved leave of absence, the employment relationship is terminated and any outstanding payments must be reimbursed to the College.