Detailed Description of Benefits Print Email

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An EAP offers free, confidential, professional assistance to help employees and their families resolve problems that affect their personal lives and job performance. The EAP provides:

  • Individual counseling
  • Family, parenting and marital counseling
  • Help identifying community resources
  • Referral for financial and legal problems
  • Critical incident stress debriefing
  • Alcohol/drug abuse assessment and referral
  • Work group interventions and consultations for supervisors

An EAP offers the following benefits:

  • Confidential service
  • Prepaid – this is a benefit that WCLS has purchased for all employees. Except in special circumstances, there is no out-of-pocket cost to you.
  • Covers family household – you and your family are able to call the EAP directly.
  • Staffed by experienced EAP professionals – all members of the clinical staff are certified social workers or licensed psychologists with years of clinical experience in a wide range of problems. EAP staff has received specialized training and experience in assisting people with the wide range of issues that can impact employers, employees and families.

Our EAP is provided by Health Promotion Northwest EAP. All you have to do is call to make an appointment or speak with one of their professionals. People can usually be seen within one to three business days and there is always a professional on call to deal with urgent situations.

Contact information:

Health Promotion Northwest EAP
Chestnut Professional Building
800 E. Chestnut, Ste. 1A
Bellingham , WA 98225
(360) 715-6565 or (800) 244-6142

<Back to Top>

Deferred Compensation Program

The Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) helps you save for retirement on a pre-tax basis via payroll deduction. This is a voluntary and optional benefit that is entirely funded by the employee. Part of your income is deferred, before taxes are calculated, and that money is invested in your DCP account in the investment funds that you select. Both the income that you save and the earnings on your investments grow tax-deferred until retirement or separation from service. You may elect to defer as little as $30 per month, up to $1,458 per month ($17,500 annual limit for 2013). Information is also available at:

<Back to Top>

Supplemental Benefits through Colonial Life

The Whatcom County Library System has teamed up with Colonial Life Company to offer a supplementary portfolio of benefit products than can be customized to meet your individual needs. Most plans are available to all employees.

  • You DO NOT need to have health insurance to apply for coverage
  • Coverages are available for you and your family, with most products
  • You will enjoy the convenience of premium payment through payroll deduction
  • You have the ability to take most coverages with you if you change jobs or retire.

The following insurance plans are available:

  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance


The Washington State Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) is designed to be an important source of retirement income that along with Social Security benefits (if eligible), personal savings and other investments will help pay your living expenses when you retire. You and your employer both contribute toward your future PERS retirement benefits. The Department of Retirement Systems currently offers three PERS Retirement Plans:

  • PERS Plan 1 is for employees who established membership before October 1, 1977 .
  • PERS Plan 2 is for employees who established membership on or after October 1, 1977 .
  • PERS Plan 3 is for employees who established membership on or after September 1, 2002 .

An "eligible" position is one that normally requires five or more calendar months of 70 hours or more of compensated employment in a 12-month period. You will have 90 days from the date of eligibility to enroll in either PERS Plan 2 or PERS Plan 3.

<Back to Top>


The Library observes and is closed on the following annual holidays:


New Year's Day - January 1

Martin Luther King Day - Third Monday in January

Washington's Birthday - Third Monday in February

Memorial Day - Last Monday in May

Independence Day - July 4

Labor Day - First Monday in September

Veteran's Day - November 11

Thanksgiving Day - Fourth Thursday in November

The Day after Thanksgiving - Fourth Friday in November

The Day Before Christmas - December 24 (When the day before Christmas falls on a Sunday, public outlets will be closed on Saturday, December 23 and Monday-Friday employees will take the holiday on December 22).

Christmas Day - December 25

In the event a designated holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be observed as a holiday except as noted above for December 24 and 25. In the event a designated holiday falls on a Saturday, the previous Friday shall be observed as the holiday for locations are not normally open on Saturday.

The Library grants time off with pay to full-time and part-time bargaining unit employees for these holidays and two employee selected personal days per year, in accordance with the guidelines established in the current bargaining agreement. Holiday pay is granted to management employees in accordance with Management Leave and Benefits policy.

When specifically requested by an employee, the Library may grant time off to that employee for the observance of a religious holiday, provided such time off is made up within the same work week.

Part-time, substitute, and temporary employees are not eligible for holiday pay.

<Back to Top>


The library provides benefited employees annual vacation time with pay. You earn paid vacation time based on length of your employment and your regularly scheduled work hours. As a new employee, you accrue vacation benefits from your date of hire and may use your vacation time upon completion of six months of continuous employment as a benefited Employee.

<Back to Top>

Sick Leave

Benefited employees accrue 8 hours per month of sick leave benefits (pro-rated for part-time employees working 20 or more hours per week).

<Back to Top>

Medical, dental and vision

We are pleased to offer to our employees a comprehensive insurance package. As a regular full-time or regular part-time benefited employee, you may enroll yourself and your eligible dependents in our medical, dental and vision plans offered by the library. The library pays the entire premium for employee coverage and a portion of dependent premiums. If you are paying for any insurance premium, you may pay your premiums with pre-tax dollars. Medical, prescription drug and vision insurance is provided through Group Health. Dental insurance is provided through Washington Dental Services.

<Back to Top>