Donated Leave Policy Revisions November 2011
Southern Polytechnic State University
Policy and Procedure Manual
P&P No. 825
Original Date: November 6, 2008
Revised: November 2011
Approved: November 6, 2008
Donated Leave Program
Contents This P&P includes the following main sections:
Background & Purpose
Donation of Leave
Eligibility for Benefits
Application for Benefits
Background & Purpose
The purpose of the Donated Leave Program is to provide a means for university staff and faculty to donate and receive paid leave to alleviate hardships caused to an employee or the employee's immediate family (defined as mother, father, child, spouse, brother or sister) if an illness or injury forces an employee to exhaust all earned leave time. Authorization to establish a shared or donated leave program was approved by the USG system office in April of 2007. This P&P outlines SPSU's local policy regarding the availability and use of donated leave. The University's donated leave program will consist of a leave pool which allows for contributions to a bank of donated leave accruals as well as individual donations to specified recipients. Employees should not assume that because a donated leave program exists, a pool of unused leave will always be available or that a donor will always be available and that short-term and long-term disability insurance is, therefore, not necessary. On the contrary, employees are encouraged to purchase and use such insurance policies. There are no implied or actual guarantees that donated leave will be available when needed. When soliciting leave from other employees, potential leave recipients must be careful to refrain from any activity that may be interpreted as coercing other employees to donate leave.
This program applies to all staff and faculty of the University who earn or accrue annual and/or sick leave. Employee benefits are governed by federal and state rules which take precedence over SPSU policies or procedures.
The donation of leave and the use of donated leave have financial implications for the State of Georgia. Maximums and minimums established in this policy are created for the purpose of limiting the financial implications for the State.
Definitions Employee means any staff and faculty of the University who earns or accrues annual and/or sick leave as a benefit of his/her employment by the University.
Leave donor means an employee making a voluntary written request for transfer of annual and/or sick leave to the sick leave account of a specified recipient or the leave pool.
Leave recipient means a current employee for whom the Human Resources department has approved an application to receive leave. The recipient may use donated leave for any purpose 2
authorized under the Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 126.96.36.199 (Sick Leave With Pay) or SPSU P&P 822.0 (Sick Leave-Classified Employees). In addition to the qualification provisions set forth in the above referenced policies, an employee must also be absent (or anticipate being absent) from work at least five (5) consecutive days or, due to an intermittent treatment program, anticipates a cumulative absence of at least (5) days.
Leave pool means accumulated sick and/or annual leave donated by employees to be used in a general pool in accordance with this policy.
Designated Leave Donation is a donation of leave to a specific individual.
Donated Leave Certification and Appeals Committee is the committee consisting of one staff member from Human Resources, one staff member from Payroll, one faculty member, and two members of the Staff Council, established on an ad-hoc basis for the purpose of reviewing denied applications for the donated leave benefit. The Committee will also periodically review the established minimums and maximums with the purpose of balancing the needs of employees with the financial implications to the University.
Donation of Leave
An employee, at any time during the year, may submit a Leave Donation Form to Human Resources, requesting that a specified number of hours of leave be transferred from his/her annual or sick leave account to the sick leave account of a specified leave recipient or to the leave pool. Leave is transferred in 8-hour increments.
A leave donor must retain a combined total of 120 hours of leave in his/her own annual and sick leave accounts (pro-rated for part-time employees). Employees may not donate excess vacation leave over the year end 360 maximum to the Donated Leave Pool or to an Individual.
Because of the financial implications for the state, the maximum an employee can donate to the leave pool or to an individual in any given calendar year is 120 hours.
There are financial implications for the State of Georgia when an employee leaves state employment and donates their leave to the pool or to an individual before departing.
Leave donations will only be accepted from employees who are in a continuing and stable relationship with SPSU. Specifically, employees who are planning to terminate, or who have for any reason decided to terminate, or for any reason will be terminated from their employment with SPSU cannot donate to an individual or to the leave pool. If an employee donates to an individual or to the general pool and is separated permanently from SPSU within 60 days of the donation, the unused portion of the donation will automatically be deleted.
An employee can designate their donated leave to a specific individual or to the general pool. Once leave has been transferred to either a specific recipient or the pool, it may not be used by the donor for any other benefit purposes unless returned to the donor. Designated Leave Donation (to an individual):
The University will not transfer annual or sick leave to a leave donor's immediate or upper-level supervisor(s) through the individual donation option.
Leave Donation Forms for donation to an individual will be accepted until the total amount donated is equal to the amount requested. Subsequent Leave Donation Forms will be returned to prospective donors.
If the leave recipient does not use all the donated leave, unused leave will be placed into the general pool, or returned to the donor (depending on the wishes of the donor).
Transfers to the leave pool are irrevocable and will not be returned to the donor once donated.
Eligibility for Benefits
In order to be eligible to receive donated leave, the employee must:
- Have a bona fide need to be absent from work as defined by Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 188.8.131.52 (Sick Leave With Pay) or SPSU P&P 822.0 (Sick Leave-Classified Employees).
- Have exhausted or will soon exhaust all sick and annual leave
- Will require an absence of at least five (5) consecutive days or (5) cumulative intermittent leave days and
- During the resulting absence, will not receive any other monetary benefits based on employment at SPSU (i.e. workers' compensation lost wage benefits, long or short-term disability benefits, retirement, unemployment compensation etc.)
NOTE: If eligible, an employee may use Donated Leave during the elimination / waiting periods for other relief programs (such as long and/or short term disability, Worker’s Compensation and other similar programs). Donated Leave may not be used in lieu of or to delay benefits under any of the aforementioned provisions. Additionally, Donated Leave may not be used concurrently with any other disability or relief benefits.
Application for Benefits
An eligible employee may request donated leave by completing the Donated Leave Request and Affidavit Form, obtaining a completed Physician's Certification of Emergency or Life Threatening Medical Condition Form, and submitting these documents to Human Resources.
A potential leave recipient may request up to 160 hours of donated leave at one time, and may make up to two additional requests for donated leave within a calendar year, for a maximum of 480 hours per year. The requests may be consecutive. Donated Leave requests cannot be used for retroactive periods which precede the employee’s current need for leave. Employees should submit requests and all required supporting documentation as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for review and processing.
If the employee is not capable of making application on his or her own behalf, a personal representative, having documented power of attorney for the employee, may make written application on behalf of the employee.
Confidentiality Medical information will be protected in accordance with the provisions of applicable federal, state, and local laws and will not be released to any persons, agencies, or entities unless allowed under such laws.
Each request for leave will be reviewed by Human Resources and if donated leave exists or will exist and if the certification is determined to be bona fide, the request will be approved and processed within 5 business days of receipt by Human Resources.
If the request for donated leave is denied, an employee may choose to make an appeal in writing to the Donated Leave Certification Appeals Committee, which will review the decision and uphold or reverse as appropriate by majority vote. Likewise, if a request to make a leave donation leave is denied, an appeal may be made to the Committee.
Donated Leave Request and Affidavit Form
Physician's Certification Form
Leave Donation Form