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Tacoma Community College » About TCC » Policies » Leave for Faith & Conscience

Leave for Faith & Conscience

PURPOSE:  

Per RCW 1.16.050 and Substitute Senate Bill 5173, to describe the availability of holidays for reasons of faith, conscience, or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organizations.

TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY:  

All employees and enrolled students of Tacoma Community College.

REFERENCES:

Substitute Senate Bill 5173 as it relates to respecting holidays of faith and conscience act; amending RCW 1.16.050 and 28A.225.010; adding a new section to chapter 43.41 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 28B.10 RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 28.18 RCW.

DEFINITIONS:

Employees are persons officially employed at Tacoma Community College (represented exempt and classified employees must consult negotiated agreements for additional information).

Students are persons enrolled at the college.

Minor or underage studentsare persons enrolled at the college under the age of 18, and require parental permission.

Calendar year is identified as January 1 to December 31.

POLICY:

College employeesare entitled to up to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. The College must allow an employee to take their unpaid holidays on the specific days desired unless an employee’s absence would unduly disrupt operations, impose an undue hardship on the College, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety. Undue hardship shall have the meaning established in WAC 82-56-020. Employee seniority will not be impacted by absences authorized under this policy. Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours and taken piecemeal.

Students are entitled to up to two days of excused absences per calendar year for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Students’ grades may not be adversely impacted by absences under this policy. Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e., the day may not be divided into hours and taken piecemeal.

Per RCW 1.16.050 and Substitute Senate Bill 5173 absences occurring under this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grade.

PROCEDURES

Purpose

The following outlines and establishes implementation procedures associated with the requesting of holidays for reasons of faith and conscience.

Employees must receive approval from their supervisor, by way of the college’s electronic time system, at least 10 business days in advance of any desired unpaid holiday, unless the activity could not have been reasonably foreseeable within the 10 business days in advance.  In such instances, the employee will submit the request as soon as practical.  The supervisor will update the electronic time system to reflect the approved absence.

Students must submit a completed Student Faith and Conscience Absence Notification Form to the Enrollment Services Office, Tacoma Campus/Building 7, or to the Administrative Office at the Gig Harbor Campus.  All requests for authorized absences under this policy must be in writing using the Absence Notification Form.  The exception being students enrolled in online courses; these students would notify their instructor via Canvas and Enrollment Services with the date of absence for faith and conscience via email at enrollmentservices@tacomacc.edu.  Underage students must have a parent or guardian sign the Absence Notification Form prior to it being submitted.

It is the student’s responsibility to have their instructor contact Enrollment Services if the day/days have been rescinded. This must occur during the quarter of notified absence; the day/days will be forfeited if this does not occur.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify each of their instructors.

The policy allows for two days of leave and absence for Faith and Conscience per calendar year for staff and students.  These days cannot be prorated. One day is equal to one full day. A “day” cannot be used to cover different classes over multiple days.

Per RCW 1.16.050 and Substitute Senate Bill 5173 absences occurring under this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grade.

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