CBA Article 17

ARTICLE 17 SICK LEAVE 

17.1 Sick Leave Accrual 

A full-time nurse will accrue eight (8) hours of sick leave after he or she has been in pay status for eighty (80) non-overtime hours in a calendar month. Part-time nurses will accrue sick leave in an amount proportionate to the number of hours the part-time nurse is in pay status in the month. 

17.2 Sick Leave Use 

Sick leave may be used for: 

A. A personal illness, injury or medical disability that prevents the nurse from performing his or her job, or personal medical or dental appointments. 

B. Care of family members as required by the Family Care Act, WAC 296-130

C. Exposure of the nurse to contagious disease when attendance at work would jeopardize the health of others. 

D. Preventative health care of relatives or household members, up to one (1) day for each occurrence. 

E. Illness of a child. 

F. Illness of relatives or household members, up to five (5) days for each occurrence or as extended by the Employer. 

G. A death of any relative that requires the nurse’s absence from work. Sick leave use for bereavement is limited to three (3) days or as extended by the agency for travel. In addition to relatives defined in Article 18.3, relatives are defined for this purpose as also including aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, first cousin, and corresponding relatives of the nurse’s spouse or significant other. 

17.3 Use of Compensatory Time, Exchange Time, or Vacation Leave for Sick Leave Purposes 

The Employer will allow a nurse to use compensatory time, exchange time or vacation leave for sick leave purposes. Except as provided in Article 16.6, a nurse may be denied the ability to use compensatory time, exchange time or vacation leave for sick leave purposes if the nurse has documented attendance problems. All compensatory time, exchange time or vacation leave requests for sick leave purposes will indicate that the compensatory time, exchange time or vacation leave is being requested in lieu of sick leave.

17.4 Restoration of Vacation Leave 

In the event a nurse is injured or becomes ill while on vacation leave, the nurse may submit a written request to use sick leave and have the equivalent amount of vacation leave restored. The supervisor may require a written medical certificate. 

17.5 Sick Leave Reporting and Verification 

A nurse must promptly notify his or her supervisor on the first day of sick leave and each day after, unless there is mutual agreement to do otherwise. If the nurse is in a position where a relief replacement is necessary, the nurse shall make every effort to notify his or her supervisor or designated contact at least two (2) hours prior to his or her scheduled time to report to work (excluding leave taken for emergencies in accordance with the Domestic Violence Leave law). Nurses will complete a leave request form for any sick leave taken immediately upon his or her return to work. A nurse returning to work after any sick leave absence may be required to provide written certification from his or her health care provider when there is cause to suspect sick leave abuse; to assist agencies in protecting the nurses from returning to work too soon following an illness or injury; or to protect fellow employees or clients from contagious illness. A medical certificate must be required if the reason for the personal illness, as cited in Section 17.2 of this Article, continued for more than ten (10) continuous work days. Failure to provide a written medical certificate, when required, may result in the absence being treated as unauthorized leave without pay, which may be cause for disciplinary action. 

17.6 Sick Leave Annual Cash Out 

Each January, nurses are eligible to receive cash on a one (1) hour for four (4) hours basis for ninety-six (96) hours or less of their accrued sick leave, if: 

A. Their sick leave balance at the end of the previous calendar year exceeds four hundred and eighty (480) hours; 

B. The converted sick leave hours do not reduce their previous calendar year sick leave balance below four hundred and eighty (480) hours; and 

C. They notify their payroll office by January 31 that they would like to convert their sick leave hours earned during the previous calendar year, minus any sick leave hours used during the previous year, to cash. 

All converted hours will be deducted from the nurse’s sick leave balance. 

17.7 Sick Leave Separation Cash Out 

At the time of retirement from state service or at death, an eligible nurse or the nurse’s estate will receive cash for his or her total sick leave balance on a one (1) hour for four (4) hours basis. For the purposes of this Section, retirement shall not include “vested out of service” nurses who leave funds on deposit with the retirement system. In accordance with state and federal law, agencies and nurses in bargaining units may agree to form Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations (tax-free medical spending accounts) funded by the retiree sick leave cash out described above. 

17.8 Reemployment 

Former state nurses who are reemployed within five (5) years of leaving state service shall be granted all unused sick leave credits they had at separation. 

© Paul Vilja 2017