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Chapter 2 Section 27 Unpaid Holidays for Reasons of Faith or Conscience

Year Adopted: 2015
Revised: 2015


Pursuant to RCW 1.16.050, Employees are entitled to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.

Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided. The employee may select the days on which he or she desires to take the two unpaid holidays after consultation with his or her supervisor. If an employee prefers to take the two unpaid holidays on specific days, then the employee will be allowed to take the unpaid holidays on the days he or she has selected unless the absence would unduly disrupt operations, impose an undue hardship requiring significant difficulty or expense to the employer, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. For purposes of this policy, undue hardship is defined by the Office of Financial Management in WAC 82-56-020.

An employee requesting leave under this policy must provide 14 days’ advance written notice to the employee’s immediate supervisor, unless the religious activity could not have been reasonably foreseeable 14 days in advance of the activity. In such instances, the employee will submit the request as soon as practical. Requests to use the unpaid holiday shall not be deemed approved unless the request has been authorized in writing by the employee’s supervisor. The employee’s supervisor shall evaluate requests by considering the employee’s desires, scheduled work, anticipated peak workloads, response to unexpected emergencies, and the availability, if any, of a qualified substitute.

The two unpaid holidays allowed by this section must be taken during the calendar year, if at all; they do not carry over from one year to the next.

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