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Leave for Faith and Conscience

Section: I. CADM-303-P
Approved By: Dr. Ivan Harrell, 2/14/20
Last Review: 2/14/20
Last Revision: 12/19
Prior Revisions: none
Initial Adoption: 6/25/19 Prior

Policy

The College provides reasonable accommodation for employees and students who request to be absent for reasons of faith and conscience. Student's grades shall not be affected due to an excused absence for reasons of faith and conscience that include an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Students must submit a written request for such absence to their professor(s) within the first two weeks of each quarter and may not incur additional fees as a result of that request.

Faculty shall include the approved language referring to this policy in their course syllabi. This policy and the associated procedure will be posted on the institutional website. Students who have concerns about approval or a grade impact related to a requested absence for reasons of faith and conscience may use the student grievance procedure for any concerns not directly related to their grades, or to the grade appeal process in cases impacting a final grade.

Students who will be absent from course activities due to reasons of faith and conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization may seek reasonable accommodations so that their grades are not impacted due to those activities. Such requests must be made within the first two weeks of the academic quarter and should follow the procedures listed in the Leave for Faith & Conscience policy. Students' grades may not be adversely impacted by absences authorized under this policy. Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day only and may not be divided further.

College employees are entitled to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for reasons of faith and conscience that include 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 requested 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 82-56020. Employee seniority and performance evaluations will not be impacted by absences authorized under this policy. Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day only and may not be divided further.

Purpose

This policy provides reasonable accommodations for employees and students for reasons of faith and conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organizations as provided by state law in RCW 1.16.050(3) and RCW 28B.10.039.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

All enrolled students and employees of Tacoma Community College.

References

RCW 1.16.050, RCW 28B.10 and RCW 28.18.

Definitions

Employees are persons employed by Tacoma Community College.

Students are persons enrolled at the college.

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

Calendar year is identified as January 1 to December 31.

Procedure

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 urider this policy must be in writing using the Absence Notification Form. The exception being students enrolled in online courses; these students would notify their professor via Canvas and Enrollment Services with the date of absence requested for reasons of faith and conscience via email at: enrollmentservices@tacomacc.edu.

Minor students (under the age of 18) must have a parent or guardian sign their Absence Notification Form prior to it being submitted.

It is the student's responsibility to notify their professor and request they contact Enrollment Services if the requested days of absence have been rescinded. This must occur during the quarter of the requested absence(s}, and the day/days requested will be forfeited if this does not occur.

It is the student's responsibility to notify each of their professors of their anticipated absence under this policy.

Employees must receive confirmed approval from their supervisor, using the college's electronic time-reporting system, at least ten (10) business days in advance of any requested absence for reasons of faith and conscience, unless the activity could not have been reasonably foreseeable within those ten days. In such instances, the employee will submit the request as soon as practical. The supervisor will update the electronic work time-reporting system to reflect the approved absence.