4.040 - Sick Leave

Effective Date: 5/4/2016

4.040-POL

This policy applies to all employees using or recording sick leave.

1. Department Employees Keep Medical Information Confidential

Employee medical information is treated as confidential under City personnel rules, policies and applicable law.

Completed employee Medical Absence Reports (form 2.11) are confidential personnel records.

2. Employee Use of Sick Leave is Regulated by City Personnel Rules and Collective Bargaining Agreements

Employee sick leave includes paid and unpaid time taken for qualified reasons as defined by City Personnel Rules:

Personnel Rule 7.1, Family and Medical Leave

Personnel Rule 7.2, Pregnancy Disability Leave

Personnel Rule 7.3, Leave of Absence

Personnel Rule 7.4, Sabbatical Leave

Personnel Rule 7.7, Sick Leave and Sick Leave Transfer

3. Employees May Use Sick Leave for an Eligible Family Member

Eligible family member is defined by SMC 4.24.005.

Employees may establish the relationship of spouse or domestic partner by an Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership as required by SMC 4.30.020.

Employees will file a Statement of Termination of Marriage/Domestic Partnership with the Human Resources Section within 31 days of a divorce or termination.

Employees may file a subsequent Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership for domestic partnerships after 90 days has elapsed from the termination of the prior partnership.

4. The City of Seattle Follows the Sick and Safe Leave Law

Employees may access additional information from the City's Sick and Safe Website.

5. Employees Will Not Use Sick Leave Under Specific Conditions

Employees will not use sick leave when they are:

  • Suspended
  • On leave without pay
  • Laid off
  • On any other non-pay status
  • Injured or disabled while working for an employer other than the City of Seattle
  • On a regular furlough day, holiday or time outside their regular work schedule.

Exception: Employees may use sick leave if they become ill or injured while on a scheduled trip and provide the Payroll Unit with documentation from a doctor.

6. Employees Will Not Work Secondary Employment While Using Sick Leave

Exception: The Chief of Police may grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

7. Employees Contact a Sergeant/Supervisor When Taking Sick Leave

Employees will contact a sergeant/supervisor before the start of their regularly assigned shift on the first day of using sick leave.

8. Employee Sick Leave is Recorded on the Electronic Time Sheet and the Medical Absence Report (form 2.11)

Sergeants/supervisors will record their employees’ sick leave on the electronic time sheet and complete a Medical Absence Report (form 2.11). (The sergeant/supervisor maintains the responsibility to record their employee’s sick leave when the employee goes on extended sick leave.)

Employees returning to work after using sick leave will verify the information on the Medical Absence Report (form 2.11) and sign it. 

Sergeants/supervisors will sign the completed, FINAL Medical Absence Report (form 2.11) and submit it to Payroll.

9. Employees Will Use Earned Sick Leave for a Medical Absence

Sergeants/supervisors/employees will not substitute discretionary leave for requested sick leave if an employee has an insufficient sick leave balance.

  • Employees may be subject to disciplinary action for being absent from work without sufficient leave.

If the employee does not have sufficient sick time to cover their absence, sergeants/supervisors/employees will mark the timesheet “WS” for time not covered by the employee’s sick leave balance.

10. Employees on Sick Leave for Over Two Weeks Are Placed on a 5-2 Schedule

Sergeants/supervisors will notify the Employment Services Lieutenant and their chain of command if an employee is expected out on sick leave for over two weeks.  The sergeant/supervisor will place the employee on a 5-2 schedule.

See: 4.040-PRO-1 Employee Going on Extended Sick Leave & 4.040-PRO-2 Employee Returning from Extended Sick Leave

11. Employees Require Permission to Leave Their Place of Recovery

Employees on sick leave wishing to leave their place of recovery will contact the Employment Services Lieutenant for approval.

The employee will provide the Employment Services Lieutenant with certification from their health care provider stating the employee cannot work but their recovery from the illness/injury is not impeded by the employee leaving their place of recovery.

Exceptions: Medical appointments, sudden unexpected personal emergencies, attendance at religious services, and voting do not require prior approval.

12. Employees Complete a Washington State Insurer Activity Prescription Form (APF) When Required

Sworn LEOFF II employees and non-sworn employees will send the Employment Services Lieutenant a completed APF signed by their sergeant/supervisor and their health care professional when returning to work after taking over four consecutive days of sick leave, including Family and Medical Leave.

Sworn LEOFF I employees will send the Employment Services Lieutenant a completed APF signed by their sergeant/supervisor and their health care provider if they take over five consecutive days of sick leave.

The APF will certify the employee could not work due to illness and/or injury during the requested sick leave and that the employee is cleared to resume duty without restrictions on the date they return to work.

13. LEOFF II Sworn Employees and Non-Sworn Employees May Use Disability Benefits

See 4.060-Long Term Disability Benefits

14. A Bureau Chief May Refer an Employee for Psychological Fitness for Duty Evaluation

A Bureau Chief may contact the Human Resources Director to request an employee psychological fitness for duty evaluation.  The Bureau Chief will provide documentation of the behavior affecting an employee’s ability to perform their duty.

15. Sworn Employees Surrender Their Department Issued Firearm While Using Sick Leave for Mental-Health Illness

Sworn employees will surrender their Department-issued firearms to their immediate supervisor when using sick leave for a mental health illness.

The Employment Services Lieutenant will take possession of the firearm(s) from the immediate supervisor.

Sworn employees will not take police action while using sick leave for mental health illness.

16. The Employment Services Lieutenant Investigates Sick Leave Abuse

The Employment Services Lieutenant will report sick leave abuse cases to the Human Resources Director.  The Human Resources Director will notify the employee's Bureau Chief.

17. The Human Resources Director May Place an Employee on the Mandatory Reporting Program for Sick Leave Abuse

Employees using sick leave while on the mandatory reporting program will provide an Insurer Activity Prescription Form (APF) signed by a health care provider before returning to work.

4.040-PRO-1 Employee Going on Extended Sick Leave

Employee

1. Notifies Sergeant/Supervisor of sick leave exceeding two weeks.

Sergeant/Supervisor

2. Emails the Employment Services Lieutenant and their chain of command of employee sick leave exceeding two weeks.

Employment Services Lieutenant

3. Updates PEDS.

4. Creates EMT entry.

Sustainment

5. Updates Versonnel.

6. Closes EMT and PEDS Request.

Sergeant/Supervisor

7. Continues to record employee’s sick leave on the electronic timesheet throughout the extended leave.

4.040-PRO-2 Employee Returning from Extended Sick Leave

Employee

1. Obtains a Washington State Insurer Activity Prescription Form (APF) signed by a health care professional releasing them to duty without restrictions including the date released to full duty.

  • The APF must be signed by the employee and the sergeant/supervisor before the employee returns to their regular assignment.

2. Submits the signed APF to their regular sergeant/supervisor.

Sergeant/Supervisor

3. Emails or Faxes an image of the signed APF to the Employment Services Lieutenant.

4. Sends through interoffice mail the original signed hard copy APF to the Employment Services Lieutenant.

Employment Services Lieutenant

5. Updates PEDS.

6. Creates a transfer request in EMT.

Sustainment

7. Closes PEDS request.

8. Updates Versonnel.

9. Closes EMT request.