Donated Leave Program
The purpose of the Donated Leave Program is to provide a means for University employees to donate paid sick leave to a leave pool to be used by fellow University employees who are eligible for and require leave while experiencing a life-threatening or emergency medical condition as defined, and which has caused, or is likely to cause, the employee to take leave without pay.
This program applies to all employees of the University who earn or accrue annual and/or sick leave.
Employee means any employee of the University who earns or accrues annual or sick leave as a benefit of his/her employment by the University, including part-time employees, whose leave transfer amounts will be pro-rated based on their percent time worked at Georgia State University during either the past twelve months or their entire time in service at Georgia State University, whichever term of service is shorter.
Leave donor means an employee making a voluntary written request for irrevocable transfer of sick leave to the leave pool. Once leave has been transferred to the leave pool, it may not be used by the donor for any other benefit purposes.
Leave recipient means a current employee who has completed the employment provisional period and for whom the University Donated Leave Certification Committee has approved an application to receive leave from the leave pool. The recipient may use donated leave for any purpose authorized under the Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 802.0802 and the Georgia State University Classified Employee Handbook (1997) and which meets the definition of life- threatening or emergency medical condition as described below.
Life-threatening or emergency medical condition means a health condition involving a serious, extreme, or life-threatening illness, injury, impairment, or condition that is likely to require an employee’s absence from duty for a period of time longer than the amount of sick and annual leave available to the employee, and the health condition is such that it is not medically appropriate for the employee to delay the absence in order to accrue additional sick or annual leave prior to the absence. Some examples of such conditions include: advanced or rapidly growing cancers, acute life-threatening illnesses, chronic life-threatening conditions in need of immediate care, life-threatening infections, severe injuries arising from automobile or other serious accidents and severe or life-threatening conditions involving failure of bodily organs or systems (e.g., heart attack). The absence may be continuous, as in hospitalization following surgery or an accident, or intermittent, as in periodic absences for chemotherapy or other procedures.
Leave pool means accumulated sick leave donated by employees to be used in accordance with this policy. A minimum donation of 8 hours’ leave per calendar year is required to become a member of the leave pool.
Should the donated leave pool reserve drop to less than 120 hours, the pool will be considered depleted. All donors will, in this situation only, and upon notification of the depleted status of the pool, be automatically charged 8 hours per donor, unless the donor wishes to withdraw from the program. Leave requests will be honored in the order in which they were placed when the pool is replenished. The automatic charge to replenish the pool may occur only one time per calendar year. Should the pool be depleted a second time in a given calendar year, no further requests for donated leave will be accepted.
Donated Leave Committee means the committee consisting of one staff member from Human Resources, one faculty member of the University Senate, and one staff member from a work unit other than Human Resources.
Donation of Leave
Employees will be given the opportunity to donate a specified number of hours of sick leave (in 8 hour increments) from their sick leave accounts to the donated leave pool during the annual open enrollment period for other benefits by completing a Donor Transfer Certification form. The donated leave will be transferred to the donated leave pool at the same time other benefit elections are effective (normally January). An employee who donates leave must retain a combined total of 40 hours of leave in his/her own annual and sick leave accounts (pro-rated for part-time employees). Employees who do not accrue annual leave must retain 40 hours of sick leave.
Once an employee has transferred a minimum of 8 hours’ leave into the leave pool, i.e. has become a “member” of the pool, a minimum of 8 hours’ leave will be automatically transferred during each subsequent yearly benefits open enrollment period. An employee may opt out of the pool prior to the yearly automatic transfer by informing Human Resources in writing not to transfer leave into the pool. If an employee opts out of the leave pool, the employee will no longer be eligible to apply for donated leave for that year. The employee may re-enroll in a subsequent year at open enrollment for benefits and once again become eligible to apply for donated leave.
Eligibility for Benefits
In order to be eligible to receive donated leave, the employee must:
- be a member of the leave pool
- have completed the initial provisional period of employment
- provide certification from a licensed physician of a life-threatening or emergency medical condition
- have exhausted all sick and annual leave (or provide credible medical evidence that he or she will have exhausted all sick and annual leave before the medical condition is resolved).
Application for Benefits
An eligible employee may request donated leave by completing the Donated Leave Request Form, obtaining a completed Physician’s Certification Form and submitting these documents to the Donated Leave Certification Committee in care of 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 total of 480 hours per year. The requests may be consecutive.
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.
Any medical information provided to the Donated Leave Certification Committee will remain confidential and will not be shared except with employees in Human Resources on a need-to-know basis.
Each request will be reviewed by the Donated Leave Certification Committee. The AVP, Human Resources, or his or her designee, will appoint these committee members for a renewable term of one year. The committee member from Human Resources or his or her designee will carry out the administrative functions of the committee.
If any member of the Donated Leave Certification Committee is from the potential leave recipient’s department, that committee member will be replaced by an alternate, designated by the AVP Human Resources.
If any committee member(s) is unavailable to perform the functions of the committee due to illness, vacation, or other reason, or is unable provide a timely decision for any given applicant, the AVP Human Resources, or his or her designee(s), will serve as substitute ad hoc member(s) of the committee.
The committee’s decision to approve or disapprove a request for donated leave will be by simple majority vote and may be the result of communication by email, telephone, or other means in lieu of meeting together in one location.
If the request is approved, the Donated Leave Committee will notify the Donated Leave Coordinator (a designated employee within the Human Resources Benefits Department). The Donated Leave Coordinator will notify the applicant (or the personal representative who applied on behalf of the employee) within 5 working days after the date the completed request for donated leave is received by the committee (or the date that the University makes changes to these policies or procedures, if that date is later) that:
- the request has been approved; and
- the employee may begin drawing leave from the pool, and
- if the employee has entered the status of leave without pay, the approved donated leave may be substituted retroactively to cover the period of leave without pay.
- the request has been denied; and
- the reason for the denial.
Requests which have been denied may be appealed in writing to the AVP, Finance and Administration.