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Washington State Paid Sick Leave FAQs

WAC 49.46 (started last year as Initiative 1433, January 1, 2018)


Washington State Paid Sick Leave Balance in MyCWU


Washington State’s Paid Sick Leave Law (Initiative 1433) went into effect 1/1/18. Information has been made available over the past year to ensure employees understand the law.

Beginning 1/3/19, some employees will notice additional information regarding paid sick leave on their Employee Dashboard. The university has been tracking this information, behind the scenes, since the law went into effect. In an effort to provide further transparency, this information is now being made available for you in MyCWU.

Because CWU provides more paid time off than required to most staff, the university has chosen to designate the required portion of your paid time off for use under the Washington State Sick Leave Law. 

As stated, Washington State paid sick leave is a portion of your regular accrual, not an addition.

Information about the Washington State Sick Leave Law is available at: Washington State Paid Sick Leave is administered by Washington State Labor and Industries.

You may also contact your HR Partner (963-1202,, or Payroll (963-2111, for information.


Washington State Paid Sick Leave FAQs

What has changed?
  • You as an employee can now see, within your total sick leave accrual, the subset prescribed by the WA State sick leave law WAC 49.46
What does this mean?
  •  In an effort to provide more transparency for the employee, the information that CWU has been tracking behind the scenes is now visible
Has my accrual changed?
Has my use of sick leave changed?
  •  No
Is there a new sick leave code that I have to use for my timesheet?
  • No
Is this the same as Washington State Paid Family & Medical Leave?
  • No - Washington State Paid Family & Medical Leave (RCW 50A.4) is administered by Washington State Employment Security, available in 2020, and is not related to Washington State Paid Sick Leave.
  • Exempt Employees accrue per CWU Policy 6-60-110
  • Faculty accrue per the CWU/UFC CBA
  • Civil Service accrue per WAC 357-31
  • Temporary/hourly employees; student employees; student employees (work-study); graduate assistants (office support) per CWU Procedure 3-40-042
When can student, temp/hourly and graduate assistant employees use sick leave?
  • All rehires are eligible to use leave once the entitlements are generated.
  • All new hires will fall under the 90th calendar day waiting period.

What can student, temp/hourly and graduate assistant employees use Sick Leave for?

  • Employees can use Sick Leave to care for themselves or their family members; when the employees’ workplace or their child’s school or place of care has been closed by a public official for any health-related reason; and/or for absences that qualify for leave under the state’s Domestic Violence Leave Act.

Does work-study pay for sick leave?

  • Payment of sick leave cannot be charged to work-study funds. The sick leave will be charged to the department budget associated with the appointment.

If an employee has more than one appointment/job, how is sick leave paid at time of use?

  • Sick leave is paid at the hourly rate the employee would have earned for the shift they were scheduled to work when they used paid sick leave. The cost of sick leave is paid by the employing department at the time the sick leave is used.  For employees with more than one appointment/job, the sick leave is charged to the employing department for the shift they were scheduled to work when the sick leave was used.

Can student, temp/hourly, or graduate assistant employees carryover sick leave?

  • Unused sick leave of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the following calendar year. Any accrued unused sick leave over 40 hours as of December 31 each year will be lost. For purposes of sick leave rules, a calendar year will always be January 1 – December 31.

Will a student, temp/hourly, or graduate assistant employee receive payment for any unused sick leave when they separate?

  • No, they will not receive payment for any unused sick leave.

If an employee separates, will the sick leave be reinstated if they return to CWU?

  • When an employee is rehired within 12 months of separation, all previously accrued unused sick leave will be reinstated and available for use.

Where can I find guides to enter my sick leave absences?

  • Guides are available on the Payroll Services web site on how to enter your sick leave.


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