Shared Sick Leave Program

The Shared Sick Leave Program provides a means for University employees to donate paid sick leave to a shared leave pool to be used by fellow University employees who while on an approved leave of absence experience a serious health condition or whose immediate family member experiences a serious health condition (as defined by FMLA) that requires the employee’s absence from work for a period of time longer than the amount of sick and annual leave available to the employee.

Shared Sick Leave Program Information and Forms

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Participation

All employees of the University who earn or accrue annual and/or sick leave are eligible to participate. Participation in the Shared Sick Leave Program is voluntary. A minimum donation of 8 hours is required to become a member of the Shared Leave pool.

  • Employees receiving compensation from shared sick leave will continue to accrue annual and sick leave during their absence as long as they are paid at least one half of their monthly salary. Accrued annual and sick leave will be applied before Shared Leave.
  • A shared leave recipient cannot receive shared sick leave along with other short term or long term income protection benefits (such as STD, LTD, Workers Compensation, SSI, etc.)
  • Participation eligibility shall cease upon employment termination (including retirement). Separating employees may not donate any additional unused sick leave hours to the pool at the time of separation

 Definitions

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.

Immediate Family Member means

  • Spouse:
    • The employee’s legal husband or wife.
  • Parent:
    • A biological parent of the employee.
    • An individual who stands or stood “in loco parentis” to an employee by providing primary day-to-day care and financial support when the employee was a child.
    • Coverage does not include parents-in-law.
  • Child:
    • The employee’s biological son or daughter under the age of 18.
    • A legally adopted son or daughter under the age of 18.
    • A foster child, stepchild or ward under the age of 18, legally placed with the employee.
    • Any such child over the age of 18 if the child is incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability.
      • “Incapable of self-care” means requiring active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more basic or instrumental “activities of daily living,” such as grooming & hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, taking public transportation, etc.
      • A “mental or physical disability” is one that substantially limits one or more major life functions as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Leave Donor means an employee making a voluntary, written request for irrevocable transfer of sick leave to the Shared 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 provisional employment period and who has been approved to receive leave from the leave pool. The recipient may use Shared Leave for any qualifying purpose which meets the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) definition of a serious health condition. Shared Leave may be used for the employee or the care of an employee’s immediate family member, which requires an employee’s absence from duty for a period of time longer than the amount of sick and annual leave available to the employee.

Physician means a health care professional licensed by his/her respective state.

Serious Medical Condition means a condition as defined by the Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under The Family and Medical Leave Act.

Shared Leave pool means accumulated sick leave donated by employees for use in accordance with this program.

Donation of Leave

  • A minimum donation of 8 sick leave hours (pro-rated for part time employees is required to become a leave pool member. Once an employee has transferred a minimum of 8 hours’ leave into the leave pool, and has become a “member” of the pool, they may voluntarily donate up to a maximum of 80 hours during the annual Open Enrollment period by completing a Shared Sick Leave – Member Donation Form. The donated leave will be transferred to the donated leave pool during the month of January in the upcoming year.

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. Requests for Shared Leave will be honored in the order in which they are received 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. An employee may opt out of the pool prior to the automatic charge to replenish the pool by returning a completed Shared Sick Leave Program – Membership Termination Form. If an employee opts out of the leave pool, the employee will no longer be eligible to apply for Shared 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 Shared Leave the following year.

Eligibility for Benefits

In order to receive Shared Leave, the employee must:

be a member of the leave program, and

  • have completed the initial provisional period of employment, and
  • provide certification of a serious health condition from a licensed physician, and
  • 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 Shared Leave by submitting a completed Request for Shared Leave Form along with the applicable Certification of Health Care Provider Form to the Benefits Department.

A potential leave recipient may request up to 160 hours of shared leave at one time (pro-rated for part time employees), and may make up to two additional requests for shared leave within a calendar year, up to a maximum of three requests for a 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.

Confidentiality

Any medical information provided in conjunction with a shared leave request will remain confidential and will only be shared on a strict need to know basis related solely to the Shared Sick Leave Programs’ administration. Additionally, potential leave recipients, their representative and departmental constituents may not reveal any health information or medical condition as part of their application for shared leave as such communications may violate HIPAA, GINA and other privacy guidelines.

Approval Process

Each request will be reviewed by the program administrator in the Benefits Department. The leave recipient will be notified within 10 working days after the completed request is received that:

  • the request has been approved; and
  • the date the employee may begin drawing leave from the pool, and
  • if the employee has entered the status of leave without pay, the approved shared leave may be substituted retroactively to cover the period of leave without pay.

or

  • the request has been denied; and
  • the reason for the denial.

Appeal

Requests which have been denied may be appealed in writing to the AVP, Finance and Administration.

Website Address for This Policy

http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/shared_sick_leave_program