Human Resources

Family Care Emergency

(Non-Represented Employees Only)

WAC References:    


Family Care Emergency:  A circumstance causing an employee's inability to report for or continue scheduled work because of a serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action related to the employee’s responsibility to provide care for the employee’s spouse, household member, or the employee’s/spouse’s child, parent, or grandparent such as unexpected absence of the regular care provider, unexpected closure of a child's school, unexpected need to pick up a child at school earlier than normal, or unexpected closure of an assisted living facility.

Child. A biological, adopted, or foster child, or a stepchild.

Parent. A biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child. A person who had day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support the employee when he or she was a child is considered to have stood in loco parentis.

Household members. Persons who reside in the same home who have reciprocal duties to and do provide financial support for one another. The term does not include persons sharing the same house when the living style is primarily that of a dormitory or commune.

Use of leave

After an employee has used all accrued compensatory time, the employee may choose to use the following types of leave for Family Emergency Care:

  • Accrued vacation leave - up to three work days per calendar year
  • Accrued sick leave - up to three work days per calendar year
  • Leave without pay - up to three work days per calendar year
  • Personal holiday – one work day per calendar year

Use of any of the above leave is dependent upon an employee’s eligibility to use that leave (i.e. the employee has the leave available for use).


No advance approval is required for an employee to take time off for a family care emergency; however, the employee must notify the employer at the beginning of the absence.


An employee may be required to provide verification of the need to take leave and that the situation was such that advance notice was not possible.