4. Leave

401 Vacation Benefits

The WRLC recognizes the importance of balancing work responsibilities with family and other interests. Employees are granted paid vacation leave, which accrues at various rates depending on length of service. Generally, except in the event of an emergency, employees should schedule vacation leave in advance with their supervisor. Employees are expected to request use of vacation leave in writing at least ten days in advance whenever possible. Managers are expected to approve requests for vacation provided that it does not interfere with the critical and essential work of the department. Vacation leave can be used in minimum increments of one hour and can only be used after it is earned.

Vacation leave is paid at the employee's base pay rate at the time it is taken. Employees taking advantage of flexible scheduling must use the equivalent of hours worked or fraction thereof when charging days of vacation leave. Use of a full day’s leave time must correspond to the employee’s approved schedule (not including lunch). That is, a full day of annual leave would equal 7 hours for an employee working a 5-day week and 8.75 hours for a 4-day week.

Regular full-time employees are entitled to 105 hours of vacation leave (15 days) per year, accrued monthly at the rate of 8.75 hours, beginning on the date of hire. After 2 years of service as a full-time employee, you are entitled to 140 hours of vacation leave (20 days) each year, accrued monthly at the rate of 11.67 hours.

Regular part-time employees are entitled to 0.05 hours for each hour worked, beginning on the date of hire. No leave would be accrued while the part-time employee is using vacation leave.

Unused hours will remain in the employee’s vacation leave account until they are used, up to a maximum balance of 245 hours. If the employee’s balance reaches the maximum allowed (245 hours), leave accrual will cease until the employee uses paid leave hours and the accrual drops below the limit.

Upon termination of employment, the departing staff member will be paid his or her accrued unused paid leave up to 245 hours. Request for leave after giving notice will be granted at the discretion of the supervisor.

402 Holidays

The WRLC celebrates the following paid holidays for full and part-time employees:

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
  •  Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November)
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve (December 24)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31)

A recognized holiday that falls on a Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday, a holiday that falls on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

Pay for holidays will be calculated based on each employee’s normally scheduled pay rate and hours worked. Nonexempt employees who are required by their supervisor to work on a recognized holiday will be paid double their normally scheduled pay rate for the hours worked.

Employees taking advantage of alternative work arrangements will receive seven hours per holiday and will be expected to make up the additional hours taken during the same week or take vacation time to cover the remaining time off. For example, an employee on a 4-day week (8.75 hours per day) would make up 1.75 hours that week.

403 Personal Hours

The WRLC provides full-time employees 14 personal hours per fiscal year upon completion of the probationary period. Personal hours must be taken within each fiscal year, and cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year. The employee will not receive compensation for any unused personal hours. Personal hours do not require the advance approval of the employee’s supervisor; however, the employee should notify his/her immediate supervisor before the scheduled start of the workday, if possible.

404 Medical Leave

The WRLC provides paid medical leave to all eligible employees for periods of temporary absence due to medical conditions, illnesses or injuries. Eligible employees may use medical leave for an absence due to illness or injury of the employee, spouse, parents, and/or children. Medical leave may also be used for doctor’s appointments of the employee, spouse, parents, and/or children if the employee's presence is required.

Medical leave begins to accrue at the time of hire. Unused medical leave will not be paid to employees while they are employed or upon termination. Regular full-time employees will accrue medical leave at the rate of 7 hours per month up to a maximum accumulation of 630 hours (90 days). Regular part-time employees will accrue medical leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 20 hours worked with the maximum accumulation pro-rated on the same basis. When an employee receives medical/family leave of absence (FMLA or MUFMLA), or short-term or long-term disability, he/she does not continue to earn additional sick leave during the period of such leave.

Paid medical leave can be used in minimum increments of one hour. Employees taking advantage of flexible scheduling must use the equivalent of their regularly scheduled work day when charging medical leave.  For example, for the 4-day week schedule, employees must charge 8.75 hours per day.

Employees who are unable to report to work due to medical condition, illness or injury should notify their immediate supervisor before the scheduled start of their workday, if possible. If an employee is absent for three consecutive days or more due to illness or injury, a physician's statement may be required to verify the disability and its beginning and expected ending dates and may be required as a condition to receiving medical leave benefits. Before returning to work from a medical leave absence of 10 calendar days or more, an employee may also be required to provide a physician's verification that he or she may safely return to work.

Employees on extended medical leave must apply to the Director of Finance and Administration for any other available compensation and benefits, such as workers' compensation, short-term or long term disability. Medical leave benefits may also be used to supplement any payments that an employee is eligible to receive from state disability insurance, workers' compensation or WRLC-provided disability insurance programs. The combination of any such disability payments and medical leave benefits cannot exceed the employee's normal base pay earnings.

Paid medical leave will be approved only up to the amount of medical leave hours the employee has accrued. Approved absence in excess of available leave will be treated as leave without pay.

405 Family and Medical Leave

Though the WRLC does not meet the minimum employee threshold outlined in the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (at least 50 employees employed by the employer within 75 miles), the WRLC chooses to provide family and medical leave to eligible employees according to the FMLA. To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:

  • have worked for the WRLC for a total of 12 months and
  • have worked at least 1250 hours over the previous 12 months.

All family and medical leave (federal, state, or local) is unpaid, although an employee may substitute paid leave, may apply for short- and/or long-term disability benefits, or may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits for some or all of Family and Medical Leave. An employee’s use of any paid leave or disability benefits is counted against an entitlement for the applicable 12 or 24 month period.

Employees foreseeing the need to use family and medical leave should give their immediate supervisor and Director written notice at least 30 days prior to the start date of the requested leave. In the event that the need for family and medical leave is not foreseeable, the employee must notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible. Satisfactory medical certification must be provided to the WRLC as requested in a timely manner.

During an approved family and medical leave, the employee’s health insurance and other insurance benefits may be maintained. The employee must contact the Director of Finance and Administration to make arrangements to continue benefits and pay appropriate premiums while on leave.

Federal law provides eligible employees entitlement up to a total of 12 workweeks of combined family and medical leave during any 12-month period when leave is taken for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child of an employee, and care for the child. (Entitlement expires 12 months after birth.)
  • The placement of a child with an employee for adoption or foster care. (Entitlement expires 12 months after placement.)
  • To care for the spouse, child, or parent of an employee if the family member has a serious health condition.
  • The employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position.

406 Medical Leave Bank

The purpose of the Medical Leave Bank is to establish an equitable way of allowing employees to share their accumulated medical leave with others in need of additional medical leave because they have exhausted all of their own vacation, medical and personal leave due to an extended serious, catastrophic, or unforeseen illness, injury or impairment. All employees who accrue medical leave are eligible to become a member and donate to and withdraw from the Medical Leave Bank. Membership in and contributions to the Medical Leave Bank are voluntary and confidential.

Contributions to the Medical Leave Bank may be made by two (2) methods:

  • Annual recurring contribution. An annual recurring contribution of seven (7), fourteen (14) or twenty-one (21) hours. The contribution will be deducted from the donor's medical leave balance at the beginning of each fiscal year, provided that the contribution will not cause the donor's balance to drop below fifty (50) hours.
  • Any time, any amount contribution. Employees may contribute unlimited hours at any time during each fiscal year, provided that the contribution will not cause the donor's balance to drop below fifty (50) hours.

Employees will make their contributions by completing a Medical Leave Bank Donation Form available from the Director of Finance and Administration.

Any employee that has made contributions to the Medical Leave Bank during the current fiscal year may request a withdrawal.

  • To receive additional medical leave benefits from the Medical Leave Bank, you must have contributed a minimum of at least seven (7) hours to the bank during the current fiscal year, and exhausted all of your own vacation, medical and personal leave due to an extended serious, catastrophic, or unforeseen illness, injury or impairment.
  • All applications for withdrawal of additional medical leave from the Medical Leave Bank should be submitted two (2) weeks before the hours are needed, or as soon as possible after the need arises.
  • The application shall include a written statement from a licensed practitioner that provides sufficient information to allow an appropriate evaluation of the severity of the condition for which time is requested.
  • Withdrawals from the Medical Leave Bank may be used to fully cover and/or supplement time off related to a serious, catastrophic illness from the beginning of the leave until the end of the short term disability period. The amount of time approved for award cannot exceed 330 hours per illness, injury, or condition. At no time can the employee’s gross pay during a leave exceed their regular base gross pay.
  • Participation in the Medical Leave Bank does not constitute a guarantee that requests for withdrawal of additional medical leave can be met.  
  • A participating employee receiving medical leave days from the bank will not accrue additional leave for those days.
  • Staff who no longer wish to participate in the Medical Leave Bank may do so at any time by providing written notification to the Director of Finance & Administration. Any hours contributed to the Medical Leave Bank will remain in the bank; hours contributed cannot be reclaimed by the contributor.
  • At the end of each fiscal year, all remaining Medical Leave Bank hours are carried forward to the next year.

Administration of the Medical Leave Bank and approval of awards are the responsibility of the Director of Finance and Administration and the Executive Director.

407 Court and Jury Duty Leave

WRLC grants paid administrative leave to full and part-time employees when they are summoned to serve jury duty or appear in court as a government-compelled witness. Employees should promptly notify their supervisors after receiving a summons for jury duty or court appearance and provide a copy of the notification.

Leave for jury duty is granted only for days the employee is regularly scheduled to work. Employees are expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits.

Employees who are summoned to appear in court for other reasons may use paid leave or unpaid leave.

408 Time Off to Vote

The WRLC will grant up to 2 hours of paid time off on election days for employees who are unable to vote before or after work hours (due to an extended work schedule or travel time between their work locations and voting sites.) Employees should inform their supervisors to arrange for the time off to vote.

409 Bereavement Leave

The WRLC grants paid bereavement leave to eligible full and part-time employees when a death occurs in an employee’s immediate family. The WRLC defines "immediate family" as the employee's spouse, parent, child, grandparents or grandchildren, sibling, or child's spouse; the employee's spouse's parent, child, or sibling.  Special consideration will also be given to any other person whose association with the employee was similar to any of the above relationships. The WRLC also allows eligible employees to use paid vacation leave or unpaid leave to attend observances or conduct personal business related to the death of friends or other family members who are not immediate family.

To use bereavement leave, the employee must promptly notify his or her supervisor in order to arrange for adequate job coverage during the leave period. Employees will be granted up to three business days of bereavement leave to make arrangements necessitated by the death of an immediate family member, or to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.

410 Unpaid Leave of Absence

Employees who have been employed by the WRLC for at least 12 months are eligible to request an unpaid leave of absence. Unpaid leaves are granted at the discretion of the employee’s supervisor or Director and must be approved by the Executive Director. Generally, leaves of absence for personal reasons may be granted for seven to 60 calendar days. Employees taking leaves of absence must contact the Director of Finance and Administration to make arrangements to continue benefits while on leave. Requests for unpaid leave that qualifies under the Family and Medical Leave Act will be governed by the terms of that policy.

411 Military Leave

Regular full and part-time WRLC employees whose military obligations interrupt or interfere with their employment have certain job protection provided by the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. The Act protects members of National Guard units, reservists, inductees and enlistees into the Armed Forces who volunteer for or are ordered to active duty for the Federal government.

Employees called to active duty must notify their immediate supervisor and the Director of Finance and Administration in writing of their departure and provide a copy of official military orders when they become available.

Active duty will be treated as leave of absence without pay. Such leave may not exceed five years in duration. During the approved unpaid leave of absence, an employee called to active duty may continue to have health insurance, long-term disability insurance and life insurance if he or she pays the full cost of the benefit. While the employee is on an unpaid leave, the WRLC will not contribute to the premiums. If an employee called to active duty wishes to continue his or her health insurance, life insurance or long-term disability insurance, the employee must make payment arrangements with Director of Finance and Administration at the start of his or her leave of absence. Employees returning from active military duty are entitled to the then available benefits upon re-employment.

Upon re-employment following a call up to active duty, employees who were participants in the WRLC’s retirement plan at the time they were called for active duty, will be considered as not having a break in service for purposes of the retirement plan. In addition, upon re-employment, the WRLC will make any plan contributions that it would have made if the employee had not been on a leave of absence for active military service. However, the WRLC will contribute no interest or earnings to the employee's retirement account. Plan participants returning to employment are also provided an opportunity under federal law to make certain retroactive voluntary contributions that they could have made had they not been on military leave, and the WRLC will match such contributions consistent with the retirement plan.

Regular employees called to active duty who are released from active duty with an honorable discharge are entitled to be restored to their former positions or to positions of like seniority, status and pay on the same terms and conditions as if their employment had not been interrupted.

Employees called to active duty who, upon release, have a service-related disability, making them no longer qualified, with reasonable accommodations, to perform the duties of the position and for whom job restructuring is not feasible, who, nevertheless, are qualified with reasonable accommodations for an alternative position, will be offered the alternative position. If an employee called to active duty requests reemployment in an alternative position, he or she must be employed in a position that provides seniority, status and pay, as similar as possible to the former position.

Employees ordered to active duty for more than ninety (90) days must apply for re-employment within ninety (90) days of their release from active duty. Employees ordered to active duty for ninety (90) days or less must apply for reemployment within thirty-one (31) days of their release from active duty.