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Exempt Professional Leave


In accordance with RCW 28B.10.650 and with the approval of the board of trustees, paid leave of up to one year may be granted to full-time, exempt employees for the purpose of study, research, and creative activities that support and enhance the college mission and goals. Employees may apply for professional leave after completing at least six consecutive full-time years at Wenatchee Valley College. Employees are expected to have the experience and education required for the position they hold. A professional leave is not ordinarily granted for the purpose of acquiring qualifications for a position currently held.

The college will develop procedures for application for professional leave, including eligibility, timelines, limits, and other terms and conditions.

Exempt employees may request up to one year of unpaid leave for the same purposes listed above.

Adopted by the board of trustees: 9/12/01, 10/17/12
Renamed and approved by the board of trustees: 9/19/07
Revised and approved by the president’s cabinet: 7/10/12
Last reviewed: 9/6/19
Policy contact: Human Resources

Related policies and procedures
1570.410 Exempt Professional Leave Procedure



In conformity with appropriate Washington law, and subject to the availability of state-appropriated funds, the college will offer professional leave opportunities for exempt staff on a biennial basis.  Through the procedure of application, evaluation, and approval, full-time exempt personnel may be granted professional leave status for a designated period of time, not to exceed one year.

  1. Exempt personnel may be eligible for professional leave after having served as a full-time employee for six consecutive years.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, the employee returning from professional leave will be allowed to return to the assignment for which he/she is qualified by education and experience; the employee may accept a different exempt position.
  3. The minimum period an employee must serve after completion of professional leave is two years.
  4. Should the employee leave the college's employment before completing the provisions stipulated in this procedure, he/she will immediately repay on a pro rata basis the remuneration (salary) paid by the college while on professional leave status.
  5. An employee on professional leave will be considered an active college employee and will remain on medical and retirement benefits.
  6. For the entire period of the professional leave, compensation from the college will be no more than 90 percent of the employee’s contract salary.  Total dollars paid to a leave participant and the replacement shall not exceed 150 percent of the total amount of dollars that would have been spent if the participant had not been on leave.
  7. In the event the employee qualifies for and receives a grant or stipend from sources other than the college, the amount paid by the college and the total of the grant or stipend may not exceed a combined total of 100% of the employee's regular salary.  If the total exceeds the 100% figure, the college salary contribution will be reduced to meet the 100% maximum.
  8. Vacation and sick leave will not accrue during the period of time the employee is on professional leave.
  9. Professional leave may be requested by one or a combination of exempt staff for up to a maximum of 12 months each biennium.
  10. Approval of professional leave is contingent upon the college's ability to provide a qualified replacement for the employee submitting the request for leave.
  11. Professional leave specific procedures are as follows:
    1. A qualified applicant must submit to the president 120 days prior to the proposed date of leave a written plan detailing the goals, objectives, and activities of the proposed leave.
    2. The president will review with the board of trustees all qualified applications for professional leave.  Final approval rests with the board of trustees.
    3. The human resources office prepares a special professional leave contract which must be signed by the successful applicant prior to the start of the leave.

Moved from exempt leave procedure and revised
Move and revisions approved by the president’s cabinet: 7/10/12
Presented to the board of trustees: 9/12/12
Last reviewed: __/__/__
Procedure contact: Human Resources

Related policies and procedures
570.410 Exempt Professional Leave Policy