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Financial Aid Department

Student Employment Center

Minimum Wage Act Information for Student Employees

New Sick Leave Eligibility for WWU Student Employees

In November 2016, Washington state voters passed Initiative 1433, which increased the minimum wage and mandated sick leave for employees. Beginning January 1, 2018, Western student employees, unless otherwise exempted, will begin accruing sick leave at the rate of 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked. Each year on December 31st, your balance of sick leave up to a maximum of 40 hours will roll over into the following year. See our web page at for additional details regarding student employee sick leave accrual and usage and sick leave exemptions.

You will be able to view your sick leave balance in the Employee tab on your Web4U portal. Your balance will update every pay period based on the number of hours you worked and on the number of sick leave hours you used. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has provided specific guidance on when sick leave can be used and for what purpose.

Authorized uses of sick leave include:

  • Preventative Medical Care for employee or employee's family member
  • Mental/physical illness, injury or health condition for employee or employee's family member
  • Treatment of a mental/physical illness, injury or health condition for employee or employee's family member
  • Employee's place of business is closed by order of a public official for any health related reason
  • Employee's child's school or place of care closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason
  • Absence that qualifies for leave under Washington's Domestic Violence Leave Act

This sick leave is a benefit mandated by the voters of Washington State and it is your right to use the accrued hours for the reasons given above. You are protected from retaliation or discipline that might arise from using your sick leave benefit. However, your employer has the right to request that you provide reasonable notification of your absence. In addition, attendance issues that arise outside of your use of sick leave may still be subject to discipline. We encourage you to talk with your supervisor about this new sick leave benefit to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I submit sick leave on my timesheet?
A: Human Resources will provide a timesheet manual in the future that includes information on how to report sick leave.

Q: I have two on campus jobs. How do I know which time sheet I must use to report my sick leave usage?
A: Report your sick leave hours used on the time sheet associated with scheduled hours missed. If you missed hours in multiple jobs, report sick leave hours according to each job absence.

Q: Who is considered a part of my family for sick leave usage purposes?
A: The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has identified a family member as a spouse or registered domestic partner, child, parent, stepparent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.

Q: Are all on-campus student employees eligible for sick leave?
A: Nearly all student employees will be eligible for the new sick leave benefit. Certain salaried student employees are exempt from the sick leave provision per RCW 49.46.010. These student employees receive their salary regardless of time missed due to illness. This group of salaried, exempted employees includes Graduate Teaching Assistants, salaried Associated Student employees, Resident Advisors, and some Journalism publication staff.