Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Payment for Unused Sick Leave

BPPM 60.41

For more information contact:
   Human Resource Services
   Payroll Services

Annual Attendance Incentive

Each year eligible employees may request payment for 25 percent of the unused sick leave accrued during the year if the employee maintains a 480 accrued hour balance. (WAC 357-31-150 and RCW 41.04.340)

At retirement, an eligible employee or the employee’s beneficiaries may receive either benefits from the Voluntary Employee’s Benefit Association Medical Expense Plan (VEBA MEP) or payment for the accrued sick leave. (WAC 357-31-375, RCW 41.04.340) See Retirement Attendance Incentive and BPPM 55.49.

Employee Eligibility

The Office of Financial Management has approved classes of eligible employees who satisfy the following criteria, in accordance with SAAM 25.40.30 and RCW 41.04.340.

  • Teaching and research faculty are not eligible.
  • Student and non-student hourly employees are not eligible.
  • Employees must earn sick leave.
  • Accurate records of sick leave records must be maintained.
  • Sick leave subject to compensation is not accumulated at a rate in excess of one day per month.
Civil Service Employees

All civil service employees are eligible.

Collective Bargaining Unit Employees

Employees covered by a collective bargaining unit agreement are to refer to the appropriate agreement for eligibility information.

AP Employees

All administrative professional (AP) employees are eligible.


Research and teaching faculty are ineligible for the sick leave payment program.

Hourly and Student Employees

Hourly employees, student and non-student hourly, are ineligible for the sick leave payment program.

Sick Leave Balance

The employee or the employing department deducts the sick leave hours which are the basis of the claim from the employee’s sick leave balance.

480 Hour Minimum

Employee’s December 31st sick leave balance must exceed 60 days (480 hours).

The employee must maintain a 480 hour minimum sick leave balance. The claim cannot reduce the sick leave balance below 480 hours (see the table below).

Pay Rate for Eligible Hours

Employees receive one hour’s pay for each four hours of eligible sick leave. Payroll Services determines the hourly rate by dividing the employee’s January monthly salary by 174.

January Claim

WSU honors only those claims for payment for unused sick leave which meet the January Payroll Documents Calendar deadline. Claims are processed only in January.

Partial Claim

Employees may not claim less than the number of eligible hours, e.g., an employee who earned but did not use 24 hours during the previous year may not base his claim on 20 hours.


January Claim

The January Payroll Documents Calendar includes the deadline for submitting a claim for unused sick leave payment.

To view the January Payroll Documents Calendar, go to Payroll Services.

Select Departmental Payroll Users, then
Select Workday Payroll Documents Schedule.

Applicable Workday Process

Employees use the Workday Time and Absence business process to initiate claims for payment of unused sick leave.

See the Workday Annual Attendance Incentive Payout reference guide for completion and routing instructions regarding claims for payment of unused sick leave.


Payroll calculates the payment and includes it on the employee’s second January paycheck.

Retirement Attendance Incentive (VEBA MEP)

The employee does not personally choose between the VEBA MEP and sick leave payment. The decision to participate in the VEBA MEP is decided by a simple majority vote of each employee group and is binding each succeeding year until a request for a new vote is submitted. Contact HRS for information regarding participating employee groups.

Ten percent of employees eligible for sick leave payout, in any one of the eligible groups, may request a new vote for the ensuing year. Contact Human Resource Services to initiate the voting process.

Collective bargaining unit employees refer to the applicable bargaining unit agreement regarding payment of accrued sick leave.

Refer to BPPM 55.49 for additional information regarding sick leave payment.

Calculating Eligibility for Sick Leave Payment
Dec 31
Sick Leave Balance
Hours Earned
Minus Hours
Sick Leave
Balance After
(480 + 166)
+96 – 64 = 32 32/ 4 8 646 – 32 = 614 All 32 hours were above the 480 hour minimum.
446 +96 – 64 = 32 0 0 446 – 0 = 446 No payment indicated because Dec. 31 balance is less than 480 hours.
(480 + 16)
+96 – 64 = 32 16/ 4 4 496 – 16 = 480 Only 16 of the 32 hours exceed the 480 hour minimum.
(480 + 126)
+96 – 108 = -8 0 0 606 – 0 = 606 No payment because year’s use exceeds previous year’s accrual.
476 +96 – 0 = 96 0 0 476 – 0 = 476 No payment because Dec. 31 balance is less than 480 hours.

Revisions:  December 2020 (Rev. 559); Aug. 2008 (Rev. 326); Sept. 2007 (Rev. 304); July 2005 (Rev. 262); Mar. 1987 (Rev 66); Mar. 1983 (Rev 51); Nov. 1980 (Rev. 41); Dec. 1979 – new policy (Rev 37).