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4.010 - Employee Time Off

Effective Date: 07/01/17


This policy applies to all sworn and non-sworn employees.

1. Employee Time Off is Regulated

Department employees will earn and use time off as prescribed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), state law, city ordinance, city personnel rules, collective bargaining agreement and any other lawful agreement.

United States Department of Labor

Collective Bargaining Agreements

City Personnel Site

City Personnel Definitions Page

City Personnel Rules

2. Employees Schedule Time Off With Their Sergeant/Supervisor

Employees will request sergeant/supervisor approval for scheduled and unscheduled time off.

Employees will submit a Leave Request application to request over four consecutive calendar days off.

- Request for over four consecutive calendar days off require the approval of a Section Captain or Non-Sworn Equivalent

Employees will contact their sergeant/supervisor before their scheduled work shift to request an unscheduled absence from duty.

If the request for time off is not approved, the employee will report for work as scheduled.

For SPOG members, all requests for vacation time of 10 days or greater submitted by January 31 of each year will be made in the order of departmental seniority and returned either approved or denied by February 14.  All vacation requests made after January 31 of each year will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. Sergeants/Supervisors Will Approve Timesheets by Noon on the Wednesday Following the End of Each Pay Period

4. Authorized Employees Record Time Using the Electronic Timesheet

Authorized employees may access the electronic timesheet through the City Employee Self-Service link.

Employees may also access:

Department’s Timesheet Entry Guide

Electronic Timesheet from a Non-City Computer

5. Employees Will Not Request Time Off That Exceeds Their Anticipated Leave Balance at the Time the Leave is to be Taken

Exception: Employees may use unearned holiday leave if the scheduled holiday leave will be earned by the end of the year.

Exception: Employees on a 4-2 or 24 hour work schedule may use unearned furlough leave up to 36 hours if the furlough leave will be earned by the end of the year.

6. Sergeants/Supervisors Will Verify That an Employee's Leave Balances Sufficiently Cover Requested Time Off

7. Employees Use All of Their Furloughs and Holidays by the End of the Year

Employees will use all their furloughs by the end of the last reporting pay period of the year, which is the pay period that is reflected on the last payday in December. Employees may contact the Payroll Supervisor for assistance with determining the appropriate pay period.

Employees will use all their holidays by December 31st.

Employees may email a request for an extension through their chain of command to their Bureau Chief. The Bureau Chief will notify the employee of their decision and send the request and their decision to the Payroll Unit.

The Payroll Unit will adjust employee negative holiday or furlough balances at the end of the year using paid leave (vacation, holiday, comp time) and/or pay adjustments.

Employees will lose paid holidays or furloughs if not used by the listed deadlines.

8. Sergeants/Supervisors May Request Timekeeping Corrections for Their Subordinates

Sergeants/Supervisors may email the Payroll supervisor to request correction of a submitted timesheet.

- Employees have 45 days from the day in question to submit a request.

Exception: Employees on extended absence may request a correction until 45 days after their return to work.

Exception: Beyond 45 days, the employee’s sergeant/supervisor may email a request to their Bureau Chief through their chain of command explaining the need for the exception.

9. Employees Absent Without Leave (AWOL) Are Not Paid for the Time of the Absence

The sergeant/supervisor of an AWOL employee will send a memo outlining the circumstances of the absence to the Human Resources director. The sergeant/supervisor will send a copy of their memo to their Bureau Chief through their chain of command.

10. Employees May Earn Compensatory Overtime (Comp Time) for Use as Time Off from Work

Employee comp time balance limits are specified by their collective bargaining agreement or City Personnel Rules.

Employees may contact the Payroll supervisor to request pay for accumulated comp time.

11. Sergeants/Supervisors May Give Sworn Subordinates Release Time (RT)

Sergeants/supervisors may approve release time for sworn employees due to an unforeseen medical emergency involving an immediate family member. See 4.010-PRO-1 Sworn Employee Release Time

12. Employees May Work Furlough Days (Circle Furloughs) With Approval

Employees may work their furloughs with sergeant/supervisor approval if the employee does not exceed FLSA allowances.

- Employees will contact their supervisor to verify their FLSA status.

- Supervisors may contact the Payroll Unit for further clarification.

Exception: Employees working a 9-80 schedule will not work scheduled furlough days unless on approved overtime.

Employees will take a normal work day off during the same FLSA period they worked their furlough.

Employees may refer to the Timekeeping help sheet or contact the Payroll Supervisor in Human Resources for additional information.

13. A Captain’s Approval is Required for Employees to Work Special Duty

Employees will complete the Special Duty Day Authorization (form 15.8) to request special duty days.

Employees may request special duty days when performing Department business outside of their regular duty including: attending a job-related business meeting, working on an extradition, or testifying in an outside jurisdiction.

14. Police Officers and Sergeants Performing Union Business May Take Guild Days With Approval

SPOG members requesting guild days will complete the Guild Day Authorization and Voucher (form 2.23.1).

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild president will review and approve/disapprove requests for guild days.

15. The Department May Restrict Time Off Under Applicable Bargaining Agreements

Seattle Police Operations Center (SPOC) personnel will determine staffing needs for events that require police services beyond normal assignment.

These restricted-day-off events include but are not limited to: Fourth of July, Torchlight Parade, Seafair/Hydros and New Year’s Eve.

SPOC will announce personnel assignments for these events in a Special Order.

16. Some Detective Positions are Exempt From Working Restricted-Day-Off Events

These units are exempt:

- Homicide/Assault detectives designated as "next up" and "standby"

- Force Investigation Team (FIT) detectives designated as "standby" by the FIT commander.

- Arson/Bomb Squad detectives

- Traffic Collision Investigation Section detectives designated as “standby”

- Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) unit detectives designated as “standby”

- Undercover officers who do not have secondary work permits

Bureau Chiefs will submit a list of exempt employees under their command to SPOC by January 31st of every year.

Section Captains will notify SPOC of changes to this list as they occur.

17. Employees Request a Personal Exemption from a Restricted Day-Off-Event in the Leave Request Application

Employees will request a personal exemption from a restricted-day-off event with supporting documentation by January 31st.

- Note: Employees requesting a personal exemption for an emergent situation will submit the request when practical.

18. Deputy Chief Level Command Reviews Requests for Personal Exemptions of a Restricted-Day-Off Event

A personal exemption from a restricted-day-off event requires approval at the Deputy Chief level of command. When SPOG members submit requests for exemption by January 31st, the Deputy Chief level of command will approve or reject these requests by February 14th.

Employees with a personal exemption request of a serious or significant nature are given priority.

19. Employees with an Exemption Will Not Work Off-Duty the Day of the Event

4.010-PRO-1 Sworn Employees Release Time

Sworn Employee

1. Informs their sergeant/supervisor of a personal emergency that requires immediate release from work.


2. Assesses the need for release time and approves or denies the employee’s request.

Note: The sergeant/supervisor may inform the employee that their situation qualifies them for release time without the employee making a request.

3. Completes the Release Time Authorization (form 2.27).

Note: Employees are charged sick time if the Leave Request is not received by Payroll in time for payroll processing, or if the request does not meet the requirements for release time.

Note: A Bureau Commander may authorize additional release time.

4. Forwards the completed Release Time Authorization (form 2.27) to Payroll and a copy of the form through the chain of command to the Bureau Chief, also a copy to the Family Medical Leave Coordinator if the request is for over three consecutive days.

Family Medical Leave Coordinator

5. Informs the employee of the Family Medical Leave option.



Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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