Employee Leave

Personal Leave

Benefit eligible employees working (30) or more hours per week accrues personal leave every month according to their length of service. Employees can only use this leave once it has been accrued. Employees may use this account for vacation, to attend to family matters or for any other personal business or for absence due to illness if you do not have enough hours of sick leave.  Refer to the Personal Leave policy for additional information.

Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is available for all employees  to care for the health of themselves and their family members in accordance with Washington State’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Initiative 1433. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. For more information refer to the Sick Leave policy.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Employees may be eligible for Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave for the purpose of caring for and bonding with a child younger than 18 following birth or placement; caring for yourself or a family member experiencing a serious health condition; or for certain military-related events. Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) is administered through the State of Washington. Employees can apply for benefits and submit weekly claims at https://paidleave.wa.gov/

  1. Eligibility: To receive PFML, the employee must have worked at least 820 hours (about 16 hours per week) over the last year.
  2. Paid Family/Medical Leave Time: Eligible employees are entitled to twelve (12) weeks leave time or up to sixteen (16) weeks if the employee has family and medical events within the same year. Paid leave can be used for a year after your leave starts. When paid leave is used, you have to take at least eight hours off in a row. That is one day for full-time employees but may be more than one day if you work part-time.
  3. Advance Notice: PFML must be requested in advance to provide the University with an opportunity to arrange coverage for the employee’s work-related responsibilities. Notice should be provided to Human Resources at least thirty (30) days in advance of the leave. Where advance notice is not possible, such as in the event of a medical emergency, notice should be given as soon as practicable.
  4. Conditions: Staff employees may use accrued personal leave as a supplemental benefit in conjunction with PFML to provide additional pay while an employee receives partial wage replacement through paid leave benefits. Longevity and benefits (such as personal leave, holiday pay, etc.), will not accrue during this leave, except for the University’s then-present contribution toward the health and long-term disability plans (if already enrolled). The employee must pay his/her percentage of the health premiums and any Cafeteria (125 / Flex) Plan contributions to the University before the beginning of each of the affected leave months. Upon the employee’s return to work, the University should return the employee to his or her previous, or an equivalent, position. If the employee does not return to work at the stipulated time, all the health premiums contributed by the University during the leave must be paid back to the University.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Employees may be entitled up to (12) weeks of job-protected unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for the purpose of caring for a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child; to care for employee’s seriously ill parent, spouse, or child; or for the employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to work. Employees must have worked for the University for more than 12 months. They also must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.

There are (3) types of FMLA Leave:

  • Continuous FMLA leave: An employee is absent for more than three consecutive business days and has been treated by a doctor.
  • Intermittent FMLA leave: An employee is taking time off in separate blocks due to a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA. Intermittent leave can be in hourly, daily, or weekly increments. Intermittent FMLA is often taken when an employee needs ongoing treatment for their condition.
  • Reduced schedule FMLA leave: An employee needs to reduce the amount of hours they work per day or per week, often to care for a family member or to reduce stress.

Employees returning from FMLA leave (as approved) under these statues and who have completed all required documentation will be reinstated to their same position or to an equivalent position with equal benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employees should submit an FMLA Request Form to HR (30) days in advance of leave. See FMLA Policy for more information.

Maternity Disability Leave

Per Washington State Family Leave Act (FLA) an employee may take an additional (6) weeks of leave after the birth of the baby beyond FMLA. Employees must give this request to Human Resources at least three months prior to the first day of the leave.


Northwest University offers bereavement leave to benefit-eligible staff members who have experienced the death of a close family member. This leave is separate from personal leave. The employee’s supervisor authorizes the use of bereavement leave and will submit the Bereavement Leave Request Form  form to HR.

Shared Leave Program

All eligible employees will be allowed to donate personal leave time from their unused balance to a leave fund to assist their co-workers who may have a family emergency or a personal crisis that requires them to have additional time off in excess of their available paid personal leave balance. Requests for donations of paid leave must be approved by the employee’s immediate Supervisor, Dean/Vice President and Human Resources.

Employees wishing to either donate leave Leave Donation Application  or request a leave donation Leave Donation Request  will submit completed form(s) to HR.

Jury Duty

Jury duty will be compensated at an employee’s regular rate of pay. Supervisors should approve paid time off for scheduled work hours and workdays missed due to a jury summons.

An employee summoned to jury duty should inform their supervisor of the jury summons as early as possible and attach the supporting court documents. Supervisors will forward all approved requests and supporting court documentation to HR for inclusion in the employee’s record.