Leave & Holidays


Washington State employees may be eligible for accrued annual leave, a personal holiday, sick leave and state paid holidays.

Annual Leave

Full time employees earn 12-22 days of paid vacation per year depending on length of employment. Part-time employees accrue leave based on the number of hours worked. Part-time employees should check with their HR consultant for accrual information.

Full-time employees accrue vacation leave at the following rates (WAC 357-31-165):

Years of Service Accrual per month
​During years 1 and 2 ​9 hours and 20 minutes
​During year 3 ​10 hours
During year 4 ​10 hours and 40 minutes
​During years 5 and 6 ​11 hours and 20 minutes
​During years 7, 8, and 9 ​​12 hours
​During years 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 ​​13 hours and 20 minutes
During years 15,16,17,18,19 ​14 hours and 40 minutes
During years 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 ​​16 hours
During the 25th year ​16 hours and 40 minutes

Bereavement Leave

An employee is entitled to three days of paid leave for the death of an employee’s family member or household member. An employee may request and be granted the use of accrued paid leave or leave without pay to extend the bereavement leave.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of FMLA paid or unpaid leave during a 12 month period. Taking FMLA leave will not affect employment status or basic medical health benefits. Please refer to the FMLA page for eligibility requirements, situations in which FMLA can be used, and the FMLA process.

Please refer to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) page for more information.

Leave Without Pay

Leave without pay may be granted for prolonged illness, maternity causes, educational pursuit, or other valid reason. Employees should contact their supervisor about situations in which an unpaid leave of absence would be granted.

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PF&MLA)

Most eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. If they give birth to a baby, they qualify for up to 16 weeks of paid leave. In some circumstances, they may qualify for up to 18 weeks.
Please refer to the Paid Family and Medical Leave page for more information.

Personal Holiday

Any employee who has been, or is scheduled to be continuously employed by the state of Washington for at least four months, is entitled to a personal holiday each calendar year. This day must be taken by the end of each calendar year or they forfeit the day.

Personal Leave Day

Union Represented employees are entitled to a personal leave day each fiscal year if the employee has been continuously employed for more than 4 months. The fiscal year is from July 1 through June 30 each year. This day must be taken by the end of the fiscal year or they forfeit the day.

Please refer to your applicable collective bargaining agreement for more information.

Shared Leave

The state leave sharing program enables state employees to come to the aid of another state employee who meets the criteria to be eligible to request shared leave donations. Please refer to the Shared Leave page for eligibility requirements and the process to request shared leave or donate shared leave.

Sick Leave

The accrual rate for sick leave is eight hours per month for full-time employees. This does not increase with years of service. Part-time employees accrue leave based on the number of hours worked. Paid sick leave may be used for situations including illness, injury, preventative health care, exposure to a contagious disease that might endanger others, disability due to pregnancy or childbirth, illness, injury or death of relatives.

State Holidays

State employees are entitled to ten paid holidays. Full-time employees who work at least 80 non-overtime hours during the month of a holiday or work the entire shift preceding a holiday are eligible to receive compensation for a holiday. Part-time employees will receive pay based on a pro-rated basis for the hours they work. See WAC 357-31-005 for eligibility criteria.

The following days are recognized as state paid holidays:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Juneteenth Nineteenth day in June
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Veterans’ Day November 11
Thanksgiving Fourth Thursday and Friday in November
Christmas Day December 25

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