HR Policy for Staff Leave Benefit

Via the Seattle University Human Resources Policy Manual
Policy 9.8

Community service leave

The Community Service Leave Policy is an effort to encourage and support staff to more fully embrace Seattle University's mission, vision and values through sustained partnerships in the community. The purpose of the leave is to allow employees to voluntarily participate, with pay, in community service activities that occur during regularly scheduled work hours. This policy is designed to provide employees an opportunity to deepen their connection to SU's mission, vision and values, to embody our Jesuit Catholic values through service and to engage with the community. Regular, post-service reflection opportunities are available for interested employees.

Definition and intent of community service leave

Community Service activities are defined as those carried out in alignment with Seattle University’s mission of educating the whole person, professional formation, and empowering leaders for a just and humane world; its vision of becoming the premier independent university of the Northwest in academic quality, Jesuit Catholic inspiration and service to society; and its values of Care, Academic Excellence, Diversity, Faith, Justice and Leadership. Community Service activities may include volunteering at schools, faith-based, or non-profit organizations.

LEAVE BENEFITS * = Policies and procedures that also apply to Faculty Page 33 Note: Seattle University is a Section 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization. It is prohibited from participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office, and has limits on the extent to which it can engage in lobbying activities. Therefore, employees may not use Community Service Leave to engage in political campaign-related activities or lobbying activities. Questions regarding prohibited political campaign intervention or lobbying should be directed to the Office of University Counsel.

Eligibity and leave criteria

Benefits eligible staff with an FTE of .75 or higher will receive three (3) working days every July 1 to engage in service to the community throughout the year. Those benefits eligible employees under .75 FTE receive 1.5 working days. These days do not accrue, do not count as hours worked for purposes of overtime, do not carry over into subsequent fiscal years, and are not paid out upon separation from the university. Employees who change FTE mid-year will not experience a change in Community Service Leave hours until the following July 1. Community Service Leave hours will not run into the negative; any accidental overage will be recorded as unpaid leave. Participation in certain University sponsored immersion programs will follow Community Service Leave request procedures, but time away from work does not count against an individual's Community Service Leave balance.

Requesting and using leave

Requests for Community Service Leave are made in writing using the Community Service Leave Request Form and approved by the employee’s supervisor. Requests for approval of leave should ordinarily be submitted at least thirty (30) days in advance of the proposed service, and must be scheduled so as not to create an undue hardship on the conduct of university business. Community Service Leave may be taken in full or partial day increments and may be used for one-time or regularly occurring community service opportunities. Supervisors should not consider hiring additional temporary staff to "fill in" for employees on a university-approved Community Service Leave. Community Service Leave hours are coded as "Community Service Leave" on timesheets for nonexempt employees or on leave reports for exempt employees.