EWU Policy 406-01: Exempt Employment (Draft)

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EWU Policy 406-01, Exempt Employment (Draft)

Proposed changes:

  • Modifies the provisions regarding use of accrued vacation leave for exempt employees and the cash out of such leave upon an employee’s departure. Encourages supervisors to work with employees to ensure they use their accumulated vacation leave each year.
  • Allows exempt employees to cash out up to 480 hours of accrued vacation leave upon their departure from EWU regardless of how much leave has been used during that fiscal year.
  • Allows exempt employees who revert back to faculty status to cash out up to 480 hours of vacation leave upon their reversion as faculty do not accrue vacation leave.
  • Beginning July 1, 2026, exempt employees may accrue vacation in excess of 480 hours throughout the fiscal year, but unused leave in excess of 480 hours will be lost as of July 1st each year.

2 thoughts on “EWU Policy 406-01: Exempt Employment (Draft)”

  1. I have some feedback on the suggested changes to the EWU 406-01: Exempt Employment policy. Is it possible to add a bullet to section 4-3 on what happens to sick leave when an exempt employee leaves the university and then returns within one calendar year?

    Per WAC 296-128-690, “If an employee is rehired by the same employer, whether at the same or a different business location of the employer, within 12 months after the date the employee separates from employment, the employer must reinstate the employee’s previously accrued, unused paid sick leave. An employer need not reinstate any hours of paid sick leave previously provided to the employee through financial or other reimbursement at the time of separation, as long as the value of the paid sick leave was established and paid at a rate that was at least equal to the employee’s normal hourly compensation.”

    RCW 49.46.210 has similar language: “When there is a separation from employment and the employee is rehired within twelve months of separation by the same employer, whether at the same or a different business location of the employer, previously accrued unused paid sick leave shall be reinstated and the previous period of employment shall be counted for purposes of determining the employee’s eligibility to use paid sick leave under subsection (1)(d) of this section.”

    When I left the university in March of 2023 and returned in July of 2023, I was surprised to find that EWU policy was silent on this matter. In my experience, when employees leave and then return to the institution within one calendar year, sick leave is not reinstated unless specifically requested.

    Thank you for your consideration!

  2. There are some good changes here, but one of the changes highlights an inequity: “faculty do not accrue vacation leave”. Exempt employees who don’t take vacation days _earn more money_ as a result of this. Faculty who work unpaid through the summer earn _nothing_ as a result of that.

    Exempt employees are thus incentivized to not take official vacation days, and instead maybe “work” from home except somehow not get anything done. Many are hard, honest workers who wouldn’t do this, but some do actually do this, and there’s nothing stopping it. Whereas faculty who work nights, weekends, holidays, and summers get nothing.

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