Voluntary Shared Leave Program

Dated:  July 1, 2017

Category:  Benefits

Contact:  Benefits Director – ext. 0649

References

UNC Charlotte Policy Statement #101.14 Voluntary Shared Leave Program

OSHR Voluntary Shared Leave Program

OSHR Family Illness Leave

Family and Medical Leave

UNC Administrative Memorandum Number 342 dated February 22, 1994, Subject: Amendment of Board of Governors Policies on Leave for Certain Employees Exempt from the Human Resource Act (EHRA)

General

This program provides opportunity to donate leave (in accordance with OSHR Voluntary Shared Leave Program State policy) to employees approved to receive voluntary shared leave because of a medical condition of the employee, or a member of his/her immediate family, that will require the employee’s absence for a prolonged period of time, resulting in a possible loss of income due to lack of accumulated leave.

Recipient Eligibility

  • Covered Employees
    • Full-time or part-time (20 or more hours per week) permanent, probationary, trainee and time-limited employees are eligible for leave.  This includes employees Subject to the Human Resources Act (SHRA) and Exempt from the Human Resources Act (EHRA).
    • Temporary, intermittent, and part-time (less than 20 hours per week) are not eligible for leave.
  • To qualify as a recipient the employee must:
    • Have a prolonged medical condition (or that of a member of the employee’s immediate family)  that requires the employee’s absence for a prolonged period of time (20 or more consecutive workdays),
    • Apply for or be nominated to participate in the program,
    • Produce medical evidence to support the leave of absence, beyond available leave, and
    • Receive approval from the University Benefits Office and the employee’s supervisor to participate in the program.
  • Approval to grant donated leave shall be subject to the availability of funds.
    • Employees on workers compensation leave may be eligible to participate.  Reference OSHR Voluntary Shared Leave Program State policy for more detail.
    • Maternity Leave - An employee on maternity leave may be eligible to receive voluntary shared leave to cover the period of disability related to the pregnancy and/or birth as documented by a physician.  Note:  Voluntary shared leave cannot be used for parental care of a newborn child absent a documented prolonged health condition.

Non-Qualified Reasons

  • Employees receiving benefits from the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC), with the exception during and following the waiting period provided DIPNC benefits have not begun.
  • Short-term or sporadic conditions or illnesses, such as sporadic, short-term recurrences of chronic allergies or conditions; short-term absences due to contagious diseases; or short-term, recurring medical or therapeutic treatments.
  • Parental care of a newborn child absent a documented prolonged health condition.
  • Other reasons based on state and/or university policy.

Recipient Leave Usage

  • An employee must exhaust all accumulated vacation, sick leave, bonus leave and compensatory time in order to be eligible to use donated leave.  While using voluntary shared leave, the employee continues to earn leave; when accounting for leave, the earned vacation and sick leave must be used first.
  • Voluntary shared leave may be used concurrently with approved Family and Medical Leave or Family Illness Leave.
  • Approved voluntary shared leave received is credited to the recipient’s leave balances according to the type of leave donated, until the end of the medical condition.  It is to be used according to the sick leave policy.
  • Leave transferred (donated) under this program will be available for use on a current basis or may be retroactive for up to 30 calendar days to substitute for leave without pay or advance vacation or sick leave already granted to the leave recipient.

Donor Eligibility

  • Donors at the time of donation must:
    • Be an active employee (not separated),
    • Be in a position that earns leave,
    • Have sufficient leave balances as defined in policy, working at least half-time (20 or more hours per week) in permanent, probationary, or trainee status.
  • Reference OSHR Voluntary Shared Leave Program  State policy to obtain guidance regarding donations from employees on workers compensation.
  • Donations must be made to a specific employee.
  • Donors are informed in writing on the donation form of the State retirement credit consequences of donating sick leave. Donated sick leave shall not be used for retirement purposes.
  • Donations are processed in the order received.  Any excess donations received, above the projected amount needed, will be held and processed if it is determined that the employee needs to be out longer and will not have sufficient leave balances to cover the absence.
  • Family Member Donation
    • An employee of any agency, public school system, or community college may contribute vacation/sick/bonus leave to another immediate family member in any agency, public school or community college.  This includes family members on leave without pay.
  • Non Family Member Donation
    • A non-family member may donate the following leave to a non-family member:
      • Vacation/bonus leave to another employee in any State Agency (does not include public school or community college).
      • Vacation/bonus leave to a coworker’s immediate family who is an employee in a public school or a community college. The employee and coworker must be in the same agency. This includes non-family members on leave without pay.
      • Sick leave to members of state agencies as permitted in the following limits chart.

Limits

Reference the chart below for donation limits for family and non-family members.

 

Minimum

                                         Maximum

Leave Type

Family or Non-family

Family

 

Nonfamily

 

Sick: 

 

4 hours

Any amount not to exceed the total combined limit, as long as 40 hours of sick leave is remaining after donation

 

No more than 40 hours per year to any one non-family member, as long as the donor has at least 40 hours of sick leave remaining after donation

Special Notes: 

  • 160 hours per year is the recipient cap from multiple non-family donors
  • Donated sick leave shall not be used for retirement purposes

 

Vacation:               

 

4 hours

Any amount that does not exceed the donor’s annual vacation accrual rate, and reduce the donor’s vacation leave balance below one-half of their vacation leave accrual rate (i.e., an employee who accrues 11 hours a month can donate up to 132 hours as long as their vacation leave balance is 66 hours or more after the donation)

Bonus:

4 hours

Any amount not to exceed total combined limit

Combined Total

Total (combined sick/vacation/bonus) leave cannot exceed:

  • 1,040 (pro-rated for part-time employees) either continuously or, if for the same condition, on a recurring basis
  • The supervisor may request special consideration through the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for additional hours on a month-to-month exception (up to maximum of 2,080), if employee would otherwise be granted leave without pay (LWOP) 


Requests for Donations for Approved Recipients

  • The University posts announcements to accept donations for two weeks.
  • Special requests can be directed to the Benefits Office to repost one additional two-week period per leave case occurrence.
  • If medical evidence is available to support the need for leave beyond the employee's accumulated balance, donations may be solicited before accumulated leave is exhausted.
  • Departments may initiate communications to make co-workers aware of an employees need for shared leave.  However, the medical condition of the employee, if known, should be excluded from such communications and co-workers must be informed that donations are voluntary and confidential.  An employee must not be required or coerced into donating leave nor can they be given any compensation for donating leave.

Application/Donation Procedures

Employees desiring to participate in the program as recipients of shared vacation/sick/bonus leave may indicate their confidentiality preference of the medical condition in the release agreement of the Extended Leave of Absence Guide or the shared leave application.

  • Employee Nomination
    • Employees may nominate a fellow employee for participation in the program by notifying the Benefits Director of the employee's need.
  • Donation

Authority

  • Authority is delegated to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources to approve or deny voluntary shared leave requests or nominations.
  • The Benefits Office is delegated to review and process voluntary shared leave requests.

Confidentiality

Leave donations shall be kept confidential.  Only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of leave.  Employees desiring to participate in the program as recipients of shared vacation/sick/bonus leave may indicate their confidentiality preference of the medical condition in the release agreement of the Extended Leave of Absence Guide or the Voluntary Shared Leave Application.

Intimidation or coercion

Intimidation or coercion regarding employee rights for donating, receiving or using voluntary shared leave are prohibited, and shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.

Unused Voluntary Shared Leave

  • The recipient’s sick leave account balance shall not exceed a total of 40 hours (prorated for part-time employees), including eligible leave earned in the month the employee returns to work.  Eligible voluntary shared leave will be moved to the recipient’s sick leave in the University leave system at the end of the medical condition.
  • Any excess voluntary shared leave, beyond the amount permitted for the recipient, shall be returned to donor(s) working or in leave without pay status on a prorated basis and credited to the leave account from which it was donated.
  • Reference OSHR Voluntary Shared Leave Program State policy for specifics regarding recipients with unused voluntary shared leave that separate from employment or transfer.

Note:  Forms referenced above are available online and may be requested hard copy from the Benefits Office.

 

PIM Number: 
29
PIM Category: