HB 1566
As Reported by House Committee On:
Labor & Workplace Standards
Title: An act relating to vacation leave accrual for state employees.
Brief Description: Concerning vacation leave accrual for state employees.
Sponsors: Representatives Bateman, Doglio, Reeves, Leavitt, Peterson, Lekanoff, Reed and Pollet.
Brief History:
Committee Activity:
Labor & Workplace Standards: 2/8/23, 2/14/23 [DP].
Brief Summary of Bill
  •  Increases the cap on accrued vacation leave for state employees from 240 hours to 280 hours.
Majority Report: Do pass.Signed by 9 members:Representatives Berry, Chair; Fosse, Vice Chair; Robertson, Ranking Minority Member; Schmidt, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bronoske, Connors, Doglio, Ormsby and Ortiz-Self.
Staff: Kelly Leonard (786-7147).

State employees earn paid vacation leave for each month of employment, ranging from eight to 16.6 hours depending on the length of their employment, and may accrue 240 hours of total unused vacation leave.  If an employee's request to use his or her vacation leave is deferred by the employer, then any excess leave beyond the 240-hour cap is also deferred.  In addition, excess leave beyond the 240-hour cap may be accrued until an employee's anniversary date of employment.  The excess leave is extinguished if the employee does not use it by his or her anniversary date.  When an employee separates from state employment as a result of a reduction in force, resignation, dismissal, retirement, or death, the employee or his or her estate is entitled to be reimbursed for any accrued vacation leave.

Summary of Bill:

State employees may accrue 280 hours of total unused vacation leave.  Additional statutory changes are made to establish a 240-hour limit on reimbursements for employees separating from state employment, and otherwise retain requirements and restrictions on how reimbursements affect retirement benefits.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) Public employees perform critical work supporting services for citizens throughout the state.  As a result of labor shortages and the pandemic, many public employees have been overworked and unable to take their accrued vacation leave.  Many employees request this time off, but are denied because they are essential workers and agencies are unable to backfill for them.  The accrual cap means they are losing earned benefits.  This bill adds five extra days to the accrual cap while retaining the 240-hour limit on cash-outs.  This is a reasonable compromise.  It encourages employers and employees to use the vacation leave rather than bank it over the long term, and it is fiscally neutral because it does not change cash-outs. 


(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Jessica Bateman, prime sponsor; and Kati Durkin, Washington Federation of State Employees.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.