Voluntary Shared Leave Program
From Appalachian State University Policy Manual
1.1 There are times that because of serious and prolonged illness (employee or family member), employees exhaust all available leave and need to be placed on leave with out pay. Employees forced to go on leave without pay are put in the position of being without an income at the most critical point his their work life. Fellow employees may voluntarily donate their vacation leave to provide assistance to another employee.
Policy and Procedure Statements
4.1.1 This policy is administered in accordance with the policy as outlined in the State Personnel Manual, Section 5.
- Employee shall submit the form Voluntary Shared Leave Release Form located in the Human Resource office or can be found on the human resource website.
- This form can only be submitted after employee's leave has or is expected to expire. This includes any sick or vacation/vacation bonus time.
- After the supervisor has signed off on the request then the form will be processed by human resources who will forward it to the appropriate Vice Chancellor/Chancellor for final approval before posting.
- After receiving the signed copy from the Vice Chancellor/Chancellor, human resources will post the name of the individual to the campus community. The Privacy Act makes medical information confidential. When disclosing information on an approved recipient, only a statement that the recipient has a prolonged medical condition (or the family member) needs to be made.
- If an employee request that his/her name not be released to the ASU campus community but has an immediate family member in another State agency that is willing to donate time, then human resources may waive posting the name of the employee campus wide and only send a notice to the State agency of the immediate family member. This will include details for sending the donated time to ASU.
- Names will not be released of employees that have donated time to the approved recipient.
- Once time is donated to the recipient, then human resources will complete a leave adjustment form and send it to the payroll office for proper processing. This will be completed in a timely manner to ensure that the employee can stay in active pay for status for as long as possible.
- The recipient of shared leave must inform Human Resource Services upon his/her return to work. A physician's note releasing the employee to return to work shall be given to the employee's supervisor. A copy of the physician's note will be provided to Human Resource Services.
- At the expiration of the medical condition, any unused leave in the recipient's donated leave account shall be treated as follows:
- The vacation and sick leave account balance shall not exceed a combined total of 40 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees).
- Any additional unused donated leave will be returned to the donors on a pro-rata basis and credited to the leave account from which it was donated. Fractions of one hour shall be returned to an individual donor.
- Human Resources will do the leave adjustments to turn into payroll for the pro-rated credit amounts.
- All normal benefit deductions such as medical insurance premiums, retirement, and miscellaneous benefit deductions will continue to come out of the employee's check while receiving shared leave
- An employee on worker's compensation who is drawing temporary total disability compensation may be eligible to participate in this program. Use of donated leave under the worker's compensation program may be used with the supplemental leave schedule published by the Office of State Personnel
- An employee who is receiving benefits from the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina is not eligible to participate in this program. However, an employee may participate in the shared leave program for the purpose of covering the required sixty-day waiting period under the Disability Income Plan.
- Participation in this program is limited to 1,040 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees), either continuously or, if for the same condition on a recurring basis. However, management may grant an employee continuation in the program, month by month for a maximum of 2,080 hours, if management would have otherwise granted leave-without pay.
- Subject to the maximum of 1,040 hours, the number of hours of leave an employee can receive is equal to the projected recovery or treatment period, less the employee's combined vacation, bonus vacation, and sick leave balance as of the beginning of the recovery period. The employee must exhaust all available sick leave, vacation leave and bonus vacation leave before using donated leave.
- Leave donated to a recipient's leave account is exempt from the maximum accumulation carry-over restrictions at calendar year end.
- If a recipient separates from state government, participation in the program ends. Donated leave shall be returned to donors on a pro-rata basis. Those leave adjustments will be performed by Human Resources and sent to payroll.
- Non-family employees may donate a minimum of four hours vacation time up to a maximum amount that may not be more than the amount of the donor's annual accrual rate. However, the amount donated is not to reduce the donor's vacation leave balance below one-half of the annual vacation leave accrual rate. A non-family employee may not donate other time than vacation time such as sick leave. Employee's may donate time by filling out a form in the Human Resource office or by sending an email. Phone calls will not be an accepted means of donating time. No donations will be accepted after the posted acceptance deadline date.
- A family member who is a State employee may contribute vacation or sick leave to another immediate family member who is also a state employee in any state agency that participates in the shared leave program. Arrangements will be made through the Human Resource Office in coordinating sending or receiving shared leave from other state agencies.
- An employee's immediate family member that is donating sick leave to an eligible state employee may donate up to 1,040 hours but may not reduce his/her sick leave account below 40 hours.
- Any amount of vacation bonus leave may be donated without regard to limitations.
- Only Human Resource Services may solicit the donation of vacation or sick leave on behalf of an employee approved for participation in this program. Unless an employee requests otherwise, (See #5 above) this solicitation of leave may be made through a notice by electronic mail, Human Resource Services Bulletin Board, and the Appalachian Scene. If the employee requests other methods of solicitation, for example, by going through the Human Resource Department of another state agency, then that request will be granted. The solicitation period will be for two weeks from the date of the request.
- Employees may not personally solicit the donation of leave on their own behalf or on behalf of another employee. An employee may solicit family members on the employee's behalf.
- An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee with respect to this program. Such action shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.
- Employees whose participation in the shared leave program are not approved may appeal the decision through the University Grievance Procedure, with the provision that the resulting decision of the Chancellor is final and may not be appealed to the Office of State Personnel.
- The University may require verification from the employee's attending physician (or the employee's family member's attending physician) as to the continuing nature of the medical condition in order to remain eligible for participation in the shared leave program.
- An employee may begin using voluntary shared leave after all available sick, vacation, and vacation bonus leave has been exhausted. It may be retroactive for up to 60 calendar days to substitute for leave-without-pay or advanced vacation or sick leave already granted to the leave recipient. While using voluntary shared leave, an employee continues to earn leave.
- Recipients will be notified by Human Resources of vacation and sick leave donations. Leave time should be recorded on the recipient's monthly time sheet as sick leave and will be added to the employee's sick leave account.
- If a recipient separates due to resignation, death, or retirement from State government, participation in the program ends. Unused leave shall be returned to the donor(s) on a pro-rata basis and credited to the same account from which it originally came.