Several types of leave are available to eligible King County employees. Consult with your supervisor or your agency Human Resources representative to confirm what types of leaves apply to you and what forms and documentation may be necessary to process your request for leave.
For detailed information, go to the Employee Leave Guide. If you are a represented employee, see your specific union contract for additional benefits information.
Many benefits are available to you and your eligible family members while you are on a leave of absence. For a summary of your options and the necessary paperwork, see Continuing Your County Benefits.
For information about King County holidays, vacation time, and sick leave, please contact your department Human Resources representative.
COVID-19 leave scenarios
The COVID-19 Leave Scenarios chart provides example scenarios for employees to use leaves available during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including new expanded family and medical leave types available for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a number of leave-related benefits available to King County employees. The two federal laws available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired at the end of 2020 and are no longer available. King County Executive Constantine recognized that employees may still require assistance during this pandemic and has worked with our coalition union partners to extend the King County COVID-19-related leave options (see the Memorandum of Agreement).
Paid Administrative Leave – COVID: This program ended on the last day of the last pay period in June (June 25, 2021, for those paid bi-weekly and June 30, 2021, for those paid semi-monthly).
Emergency Donated Leave – COVID: Provides up to a maximum of 80 hours of emergency donated leave for COVID-related reasons per calendar year. For more information about this program, go to Emergency Leave Donation Program. The Emergency Donated Leave program continues until the COVID-19 state of emergency has been officially declared over by Governor Inslee and Executive Constantine.
To learn more about available leaves for COVID-19-related issues and their eligibility criteria go to Accessing leave during COVID-19.
Employees eligible for comprehensive leave benefits may use up to five days of bereavement leave per qualifying death of an immediate family member (40 hours maximum; prorated for part-time employees). Employees who are not eligible for paid leaves may be granted leave without pay, or may be allowed to use compensatory time, if available, for bereavement leave. Any additional paid leave may be approved by mutual agreement between King County and the employee.
Immediate family member is defined as:
- Employee's spouse or domestic partner
- The parent, grandparent, child, son or daughter-in-law, grandchild, or sibling of the employee, employee's spouse, or the employee's domestic partner
- The employee's legal guardian, ward, or any person over whom the employee has legal custody
If you are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, you can take Domestic Violence Leave to receive medical treatment, attend legal proceedings, or address safety concerns. You can also take leave to provide assistance to a family member who is a victim of domestic violence.
You may use leave with pay (sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time or other accrued leave) or without pay. For details, see Domestic Violence Leave of Absence Procedures.
Use the following forms to donate a portion of your accrued vacation or sick leave to another employee: Leave Donation Form
Employees who who have been affected by COVID-19 can request donated leave. Employees interested in supporting colleagues affected by COVID-19 can donate accrued sick and vacation leave. For more information, go to Emergency Leave Donation Program.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Washington Family Leave Act (WFLA), eligible employees may take leave for a serious health condition; to care for a child after birth, adoption, or placement for foster care; or to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. Leave is limited to 12 weeks in a rolling 12-month period.
Under WFLA, eligible employees may also take leave to care for a domestic partner registered with the State of Washington that meets the definition under State law.
Under King County Family Medical Leave (KCFML), eligible employees may take leave for the same reasons under FMLA as well as to care for a domestic partner with a serious health condition or for a spouse or domestic partner’s child or parent with a serious health condition. Leave is limited to 18 weeks in a rolling 12-month period. For additional information, see Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act or view the poster in your break room.
Washington Family Care Act (WFCA): Employees in Washington State are entitled to use their choice of sick leave or other paid time off to care for a child with a health condition that requires treatment or supervision, or to care for a spouse, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent who has a serious health condition or an emergency, and to care for children 18 years and older with disabilities. Grandparents-in-law, grandchildren, and siblings are not included.
For a summary of the key points of each leave family and medical leave law, see the Leave Comparative Chart.
Communicate your need for family and medical leave with your supervisor and agency human resources professional as soon as possible. You will be required to submit a Protected Leave Request Form to your agency human resources professional, along with other required documentation. Follow your department’s request for time off procedure and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system. HR staff: Use the Protected Leave Response Form to respond.
The following forms are used to obtain a certification by a health care provider to support your request for family and medical leave:
- Medical Certification for Employee
- Medical Certification for Family Member
- Medical Certification for Veteran
- Medical Certification for Servicemember
- Certification for Military Qualifying Exigency
If you are eligible for leave and ordered to serve on a jury, you receive your regular King County pay. You must decline any jury duty pay—except for mileage—from the court system if you are receiving King County pay.
Communicate your jury duty information and provide a copy of your jury duty summons to your supervisor. Follow your department’s request for time off procedure and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system.
Female employees may be eligible for leave for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Pregnancy-related Conditions during the time she is sick or temporarily disabled. This leave may be in addition to family and medical leaves.
Communicate your need for pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related leave with your supervisor as soon as possible and use the Protected Leave Request Form and the Employee Medical Certification Form. Follow your department’s request for time off procedure and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system.
If you are eligible for leave, you may take a leave of absence without pay for up to 30 calendar days, if you obtain written authorization from your supervisor. For a leave of absence of up to one year, additional authorization may be required (see request form for details). Please refer to King County Code 3.12.250, Personnel Guidelines 14.11, and applicable collective bargaining agreements for more detailed information.
Communicate your need for leave with your supervisor as soon as possible and use the Leave of Absence Without Pay Request Form. Follow your department’s request for time off procedure and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system.
King County employees (both male and female) can receive up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth, adoption, or foster-to-adopt placement of a child. The leave will run concurrent with federal, state, and county family or medical leave to the fullest extent possible.
Communicate your need for paid parental leave with your supervisor as soon as possible. Use the Protected Leave Request Form and submit required documentation. If adopting a foster child, use the Foster-to Adopt Form as well. Follow your department’s request for time off procedure and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system.
For more information, see the Paid Parental Leave FAQ.
Eligible employees may use up to three days of sick leave each year to perform volunteer services at any local school, including your child’s school, or at any nonprofit organization participating in the King County Employee Giving Program.
Prior to the leave, request the time off by submitting the Sick Leave for Volunteer Service Form form to your supervisor. The name of the organization and the volunteer service you are performing must be included. Follow your department’s procedure for requesting time off, and enter the appropriate leave of absence payroll codes into the payroll system.
See additional information below:
- Sick Leave for Volunteer Service FAQ
- Sick Leave for Volunteer Service Guidelines
- Sick Leave for Volunteer Service Form (printable) (fillable)
- Sick Leave for Volunteer Service Administration Procedure
King County provides the following benefits for employees taking a leave of absence for military deployment or training/drills:
- Up to 21-days of paid military leave per military fiscal year (Oct. 1 -- Sept. 30)
- Differential pay while on active duty
- Medical, dental, vision, and basic life insurance for a military leave beyond 30-calendar days
- Vacation and sick leave accruals while on military leave
To receive these benefits, submit a Uniformed Services Leave Form, a copy of your military orders, and your training/drill schedules prior to beginning your leave. To use your own accrued leave (except sick leave) or take leave without pay, you do not need to submit your orders or training/drill schedule unless the military leave period exceeds 30-calendar days.
For additional information, refer to the Uniformed Services Leave FAQ and the Guide to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
The state of Washington began offering Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) to eligible employees on Jan. 1, 2020. PFML is a statewide insurance program administered by the Employment Security Department. PFML is funded by mandatory employer contributions and employee payroll deductions.
To be eligible for PFML, you must have worked at least 820 hours (approximately 16 hours per week) for a Washington employer during the previous year.
Under PFML, eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave to:
- Welcome a child into your family (through birth, adoption, or foster placement)
- Recover from a serious illness or injury
- Care for a seriously ill or injured family member
- Prepare for a family member’s pre- and post- military deployment, or manage childcare issues related to a family member’s military deployment
If you face multiple events in a year, you may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, and up to 18 weeks if you experience a serious health condition during pregnancy that results in incapacity.
PFML benefit is calculated and paid by the Employment Security Department (state of Washington). The weekly benefit amount is a percentage of your average weekly wage, with a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1,000 per week.
All represented and non-represented employees are eligible for PFML if they meet the criteria. For details, go to Union Participation.
To learn more about the basics of this program, see Frequently Asked Questions. For more complete and current information about PFML and to apply, go to Paid Family and Medical Leave or contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 833-717-2273.
- Bereavement Leave Procedure
- Domestic Violence Leave of Absence Procedures
- Emergency Leave Donation Procedure
- FMLA Leave Verification Requirements
- FMLA / WFLA Determination Procedure
- FMLA / WFLA / KCFML Designation Guidelines
- FMLA / WFLA / KCFML Procedure
- Health Care Provider Communication Guidelines
- Jury Duty Procedure
- Non-Medical Leave of Absence Without Pay Procedure
- Paid Parental Leave Calculator
- Paid Parental Leave Information
- Paid Parental Leave Procedure
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and Pregnancy Related Conditions (PCPRC) Procedure
- Protected Leave Dashboard Procedure
- Protected Leave Request Form
- Protected Leave Response Form
- School Volunteer Leave Procedure
- Uniformed Services Leave of Absence Procedure
- Washington Family Care Act (WFCA) Procedure
- Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) Procedure