CoE Staff Attendance and Leave Policies

You are a valued member of our staff. Customers and co-workers count on you to be at work as scheduled. Fully staffed work shifts are essential to achieve and maintain smooth and efficient operations. Because of this, regular and punctual attendance is an ongoing expectation for all employees. You are expected to follow the Attendance and Leave Policies covered in this section. Failure to maintain an acceptable attendance record may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, and/or an unsatisfactory performance evaluation.

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  • All classified and professional staff are expected to have regular and punctual attendance. The definition of the actual arrival time that constitutes a tardy or late occurrence is at the discretion of the supervisor, with consideration given to the type of position (e.g. receptionist), client needs, and other relevant information.
  • The University campus business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the discretion of the supervisor, after consideration of current business needs and regulations regarding overtime, staff may be granted a temporary modified or flexible work schedule. All modified or flexible work schedules must be approved by the supervisor beforehand. (See Telework & Flexwork below.)
  • Failure to maintain an acceptable attendance record may result in an unsatisfactory performance evaluation and/or disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Accruing Leave

  • All permanent and some temporary non-academic employees, classified and professional, accrue annual leave and sick leave.
  • Leave benefits can vary for each employee type. Specific details are available on the UW Human Resources website.
  • Records of accrual and use are kept in OWLS (Online Work/Leave System)
    Auditors may take an interest in leave records because they involve financial assets; annual leave balances have cash value upon separation or retirement and sick leave balances have cash value upon retirement.

Authorized/scheduled Absence

  • As soon as employees are aware that they will need time off from their regular work schedule, including non-emergency medical or dental appointments, they should request the time off from their supervisor in accordance with departmental leave request procedures.
  • Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that work coverage is provided and that work loads are fairly distributed.
  • For these and other reasons, use of accrued leave must be requested in advance and approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor.
    • Email requests and approvals that document the dates of the leave, are the preferred method of documenting the advance written approval, which is an audit requirement.
    • As much notification as possible should be given when requesting annual or sick leave so that arrangements can be made for work coverage; CoE asks that 30 days notice is provided whenever possible, especially when the leave will be for a week or longer.

Extended Absence

  • In the case of an extended illness or hospitalization, staff members can arrange for extended leave with their supervisor.
  • If your extended leave is more than 3 days, the staff member needs to request FMLA by submitting a healthcare provider statement and application to HR Operations.
    • More information on FMLA eligibility is available on the UW Human Resources website.
    • FMLA covers leaves used for one’s own serious health condition; a family member’s serious health condition, parental leave, a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's family member is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the regular Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard.
  •  This must be discussed with the supervisor as soon as the need is known so that the necessary paperwork, which may include documentation from a health care provider, can be completed.

Unscheduled Absence

  • Sick leave is a benefit provided to employees to cover wages during absences related to illness.
  • Staff members who become ill and cannot come to work must contact their supervisor (in accordance with departmental policy) before their expected arrival time or as agreed upon with the supervisor.
    • Having someone else call for you is not acceptable, except in extreme situations. Report your absence to your supervisor or leave a message on voicemail if your supervisor is not available.
  • If it is determined that sick leave is used excessively or there is a pattern of absences falling on days before and after holidays, weekends, and vacation days, it may be cause for disciplinary action.
  • At the supervisor's discretion, a doctor’s note may be required, particularly if the absence extends to three consecutive days.

Unauthorized Absence

  • Examples include leaving early, excessive absenteeism through use of sick leave and leave without pay, not following proper procedures in arranging absences, and unexpected absence without timely and proper notification of the supervisor.
  • Supervisors should attempt to contact employees who fail to notify them of their absence. Unauthorized absences may result in disciplinary actions, and employees may be charged leave without pay.

Partial Absences and Making Up Time

  • Partial absences include but are not limited to –
    • Reporting to work after the beginning of your assigned work shift (tardy)
    • Returning late from rest or meal periods
    • Leaving early
    • Taking time off during work hours, including time for medical/dental appointments unless pre-approved.
  • Making up time is a privilege granted by supervisors on very infrequent occasions where good reason is provided.
  • Generally, make-up time must be completed within the same week.
  • Professional staff may work alternative or flexible schedules due to the expectation that they provide at least 40 hours/week of service in order to accomplish their jobs.

Breaks and Lunch

  • For classified staff, breaks (15 minutes for each four hours worked) must be taken, and lunches cannot be reduced to less than 30 minutes.
  • Breaks and lunches cannot be taken at the end or beginning of the day, with the exception of 30 minutes of the normal 60-minute lunch as prearranged with the supervisor.

Telework & Flexwork

  • At the discretion of your supervisor, you may be granted a temporary modified work schedule (telework or flexwork). This schedule may allow employees to rearrange their work schedule for time needed away from work. Consideration will be given to current business needs and various regulations regarding overtime. If authorized by your supervisor, employees working the regular or modified work schedules may be allowed to utilize this option.
  • All telework needs to be approved by the supervisor (and HR Administrator when appropriate) prior to it starting.
  • Request for a temporary modified work schedule may be denied If you show a pattern of tardiness or have other attendance issues or for other work-related reasons as determined by your manager.
  • The term "Flexwork" refers to work arrangements other than the traditional 5 consecutive 8 hour day workweek that can accommodate employee preference or a unit's unique job requirements.
  • Telework (telecommuting) allows an employee to use technology to work from home or an alternate worksite. The UW recognizes telework as an option that can meet a variety of interests, including:
    • Enhancing employee satisfaction and productivity
    • Reducing commute trips
    • Allowing employees to work during inclement weather or suspended operations
    • Accommodating departmental workspace constraints

Disciplinary/corrective Action

  • Examples of leave activities which may result in such actions include but are not limited to:
    • Failure to follow policy for reporting absences
    • Excessive tardiness
    • Taking longer and/or extra breaks than those scheduled
    • Taking longer lunches than scheduled
    • Unauthorized absence from assigned work area
    • A pattern of absences falling on days before and after holidays, weekends, vacation days
    • Use of sick leave for reason other than sickness of self, child or allowable reasons under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) or FCA (Family Care Act)
    • Excessive absenteeism through use of sick leave and leave w/o pay
    • Leaving early before the end of your assigned work shift
  • If employees begin to develop a record of excessive absenteeism, the supervisor may require him/her to follow additional reporting policies and procedures.

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