Home / Staff & Faculty / Human Resources / Employee Glossary

Employee Glossary

Absences: Absences from work must be taken as paid or unpaid leave. Use of leave must be approved by the employee's supervisor. Leave benefits vary by employee type.

Administrative Leave: The president or designee may approve leave with pay for an employee for illness, hospitalization, or death of a member of the employee immediate family or for an emergency.

Alternate Work Schedule: See Work Schedule.

Annual Leave (Vacation Leave): All classified and administrative/exempt staff earn annual leave hours for each full month of their employment. Employees working less than a full time schedule accrue annual leave hours on a prorated basis.

Annual Leave Accrual Month: The calendar month when the annual leave accrual rate changes in accordance with the accrual schedule for the employee's appointment type. For administrators/exempt this will always be June. Classified staff  = the month in which acrrual of leave begins for their position.

Annual Leave Accrual Rate: The number of hours of annual leave credited to an employee per month of active service. Administrators/Exempt = 16 hours per month. Classified employees: Refer to the current Classified Bargaining Agreement.  If employed less than 100%, accruals are based on percentage working.

Attendance Incentive Program: For employees whose sick leave balance exceeds 480 hours, the Annual Attendance Incentive Program allows for monetary compensation for any accrued and unused sick leave accumulated during the previous calendar year in excess of 480 hours. Payment is made at the rate of 25%; all hours compensated are deducted from the sick leave balance.

Bereavement Leave: Bereavement is paid time off from work that is in addition to annual leave or sick leave as provided by collective bargaining agreement for classified staff and Department of Personnel rules for Faculty and Administrators/Exempt employees.

If your family or household member has passed away, you will need to consider the following items in order to request bereavement leave:

Up to five (5) days of paid bereavement leave will be granted for the death of any family member or household member that requires the employee's absence from work. Individuals considered to be family/household members are: mother, father, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, domestic partner's mother and father, husband, wife, domestic parent, grandparent, grandchild, son, daughter, stepchild, a child in the custody of and residing in the home of an employee.

View a spreadsheet of who is covered by bereavement leave. Sick leave may be used for individuals not covered by Bereavement leave. Vacation leave may be used for an individual not defined as eligible for bereavement or sick leave.

Civil Duty Leave: Paid leave granted to employees to serve on a jury or as trial witnesses, or to exercise other subpoenaed civil duties in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or employment program. Employees may retain any compensation paid for his/her jury duty or trial witness service and certifications of attendance are required to be submitted with time sheet or leave slip.

Compensatory Time: Leave time credited to eligible employees who request and receive supervisor approval to receive such time in lieu of cash payment for overtime or holiday work time.

Classified Staff: Monthly paid employees holding a .50 FTE or more appointment who occupy jobs that are covered by the civil service rules and/or labor contracts.

Cyclic Year Positions: A position scheduled to work less than 12 full months each year due to known, recurring periods of leave in the annual cycle. Such positions are most commonly created for 9, 10, or 11 month appointments.

Cyclic Yearly Leave: Scheduled periods of leave without pay each year due to known, recurring periods in the annual cycle when the position is not scheduled to work. For classified staff who have completed a probationary period cyclic year leave without pay does not constitute a break in service and is not deducted from the employees' length of service in granting periodic salary increments or in computing the employees' vacation leave accrual rate.

Disability Leave: Leave of absence granted to an employee who is precluded from performing his/her job duties because of a disability, including those related to pregnancy and child birth.

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Stalking-Related Leave: If you are a victim of, or have a family/household member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, you can take reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced schedule. Read the full article.

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Federal entitlement for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for eligible employees as a result of any of the following conditions:

Parental leave for the first year care of the employee's newborn or newly placed adopted or foster child;

Personal medical leave due to the employee's own serious health condition that requires the employee's absence from work.

Leave to enable the employee to care for the employee's family member who suffers from a serious medical condition that requires on-site care or supervision by the employee

FMLA and Family Care Act Information
Definition of a "Serious Health Condition"
FMLA and Military Leave
FMLA Request for Employee
FMLA Request for Family/Household Member
FMLA Request/Military

Family Member: The term "family member" means the employee' s spouse or same or opposite sex domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister or brother. Family Member also includes individuals in the following relationships with the employee's spouse or domestic partner: child, parent, or grandparent, and family members include those persons in a “step” relationship.

Family and Medical Leave: parent, child*, spouse

Family Care Leave: parent, child*, spouse, grandparent, parent-in-law

Shared Leave: parent, child*, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, or household members

Sick Leave: Depending on the circumstances an employee may be eligible to use sick leave to care for a parent, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, brother, sister or household member.

*Child means a biological child, adoptive or foster child, or a child for whom an individual stood in loco parentis.

Fixed Duration Appointment: A specific type of limited duration appointment that may be authorized by collective bargaining agreement. Employees in a fixed duration appointment who meet eligibility requirements accrue leave but do not have layoff/seniority rights.

Full-Time Employment: Work consisting of 40 hours per week.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): The percentage of full-time employment.


100% = 1.0 FTE = 40 hours/week

75% = 0.75 FTE = 30 hours/week

50% = 0.5 FTE = 20 hours/week

Holiday: Faculty, Administrators/Exempt and Classified staff receive 10 paid holidays each calendar year.  Please see Employee Benefits for a complete list.

Household Members: Persons who reside in the same home as the employee and have reciprocal duties to and provide financial support for one another. Household members shall also include foster children and legal wards.

Interspersal (of leave): The use of 1 accrued paid leave day (8 hours) per month during approved disability or parental leave without pay for the purpose of maintaining the employee's health insurance coverage.

Job Class Title & Code: Each position is assigned a job class title. Each class title has a unique and corresponding job class code. Classified job class titles, codes, and their corresponding salary ranges are located here.

Leave of Absence Without Pay: Unpaid leave which may be allowed for time that an employee is absent for such reasons as disability, parental leave, child care emergencies, and education.

Leave Without Pay: Leave without pay may be granted for prolonged illness, maternity causes, educational pursuit, or other valid reasons. Though the employee retains his or her relative job status, no pay or other compensation is received during leave without pay. Leave without pay hours will also affect your seniority date. See negotiated agreements for specific rules.

Leave Without Pay Cyclic: Leave without pay will be granted to cyclic employees during their off season.

Maximum Annual Leave Balance: All employees may carry a maximum annual leave balance of 240-hours. Anything over 240 hours is "use or lose". Administrators use or lose date is June 30th. Classified staff is the same as their Annual Leave Accrual Month.

Military Leave With Pay: A maximum of 20 working days between October 1 and September 30 is allowed for military training leave with pay. The employee must be under military orders, a copy of which should be given to the department at the time of the leave request. This leave is in addition to vacation/sick leave and does not result in any reduction of accrued leave balances, benefits, performance ratings, privileges, or pay.

Military Leave Without Pay: Under federal and state law all UW employees are entitled to military leave of absence without pay for active service in the uniformed services of the United States or the State of Washington. The employee is also entitled to reinstatement to the former position with restoration of seniority and adjustment of salary for missed increments, if applicable.

Overtime: Additional compensation given in the form of either cash or compensatory time to overtime-eligible OC employees when the hours worked exceeds the threshold for overtime eligibility.

Parental Leave: Leave of absence granted to an employee for first year care of the employee's newborn or newly-placed adopted or foster child.  See current Collective Bargaining Agreement for more details.

Periodic Increment Date: The date upon which a classified employee is scheduled to move to a higher salary step within the range for his/her current job class.

Personal Holiday: An annual paid leave day selected by the employee to be used at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor, if the employee has been continuously employed by the college for more than four months. .

Personal Leave Day: A classified employee may choose two workdays as a personal leave day each fiscal year during the life of the current collective bargaining agreement, if the employee has been continuously employed by the college for more than four months.

Previous State Employment, Crediting for: Employees with previous qualifying state service may apply for and may receive credit toward their annual leave accrual rate based upon the combined total years of state employment. The crediting process is administered by Human Resources.

Probationary Period: For classified employees the initial period of employment established by the collective bargaining agreement consisting of the first 6 months. Classified staffs do not achieve "permanent" status until the probationary period is successfully completed.

Pro-Rating (of Leave Accrual Rates): Pro-rating is the averaging of different accrual rates that apply within a month, based upon the following circumstances:

  • A change of percent FTE during the month (both annual leave and sick leave).
  • A change in position to one covered by a different leave accrual rate (annual leave only).