PER 4.19 - Catastrophic Shared Leave Policy

I. Policy

    It is the policy of the University of Louisville to promote a sense of collegiality and community among UofL staff by permitting administrators and staff employees to voluntarily contribute vacation or sick leave to fellow staff employees who would otherwise suffer a loss of regular income due to a personal or family catastrophic illness.

    Employees are eligible to apply for up to 12 weeks of Catastrophic Shared Leave, after 12 months of continuous service, equivalent to Family Medical Leave eligibility.

    University employees and administrators (even though administrators are not eligible to apply for leave awards) may donate their accrued sick or annual leave to the Catastrophic Shared Leave Pool. Employees and administrators who voluntary donate leave will not receive payment of any kind for their donation.

II. Procedures

    1. Donating Leave
      1. Employees may donate up to 24 days of sick leave per year for pool donation or donations to unrelated employees.  Employees may donate an unrestricted amount of sick leave on a direct transfer to an immediate family member (for whom the donating employee would otherwise be eligible to use sick leave to provide personal care).
      2. Employees may donate an unrestricted amount of vacation leave. Vacation donations have no donation limit per year for pool donations or donations to unrelated employees or immediate family member.
      3. Employees may transfer leave directly from one employee to another (with the recipient employee’s permission), subject to the following safeguards:
        1. Only Human Resources will publish the need for Catastrophic Shared Leave on behalf of an employee.
        2. Employees will not be permitted to solicit leave on their own behalf.
        3. Supervisors and managers will not be permitted to solicit leave from subordinate employees.
      4. Employees may make donations directly to the pool for use by any approved Catastrophic Leave recipient.
      5. Employees donating leave must maintain a minimum sick or annual leave balance, equivalent to two weeks of the employee’s regular work schedule.  [Employees may contribute vacation or sick leave, as soon as they are eligible to use their own vacation or sick leave, subject to maintaining minimum sick leave balances in existing leave policy.]
      6. Employees may make donations at any time. Employee may make donations by recording VLS for donating sick leave and/or VLV for donating annual leave.  Monthly employees will complete a Record of Chargeable Absences form.  Bi-weekly employees will complete a Bi-Weekly Time Report form.  Either form must be submitted to their unit timekeeper who will forward to the payroll office for processing.  Upon completion of payroll processing, the employee’s leave balance(s) will be debited and the Catastrophic Shared Leave Pool will be credited with the donation.
    2. Employee Eligibility
      1. Employees must have completed 12 months of continuous service, equivalent to Family Medical Leave eligibility.
      2. Have or be recovering from a personal “serious health condition,” equivalent to Family Medical leave, subject to the following limitations:
        1. Serious health condition must prevent employee from work performance and also permit managers to assign alternative work within employee's ability.
        2. Exclude illness of seven calendar days or less.
        3. Excludes conditions not medically necessary.
        4. May not be used to augment parental leave.
        5. May use on an intermittent basis, equivalent to FML, but may use only once per serious medical health condition.
      3. Have an immediate family member recovering from a “serious health condition”, as defined above.
      4. Have exhausted all other paid leave or provide proof that all leave will be exhausted during term of condition.
    3. Requesting Shared Leave
      1. Employees are responsible for completion of the appropriate Catastrophic Shared Leave application for submission to Human Resources.
      2. Personal representatives (including supervisors) are permitted to request leave on an employee’s behalf, if the employee is incapacitated.
      3. Catastrophic Shared Leave award limit is 12 weeks, equivalent to the duration of Family Medical Leave (FML).
      4. Catastrophic Shared Leave may be used to augment workers’ compensation leave and disability leave (to the same extents an employee would be eligible to use sick leave).
    4. The Catastrophic Shared Leave Approval Process
      1. Human Resources will process and either approve or disapprove requests consistent with the Catastrophic Shared Leave Policy and guidelines enumerated above.
      2. In approving requests Human Resources is authorized to approve up to the maximum amounts of available leave, up to 12 weeks of the employees regular work schedule. If the Catastrophic Shared Leave Pool is insufficient to meet the needs of approved recipients, the amounts available for distribution shall be made on a pro-rated basis.
      3. Employees may appeal a negative decision.
      4. The Policy Committee of the Staff Senate shall serve as the Catastrophic Shared Leave Committee for the purpose of periodically evaluating the program.
      5. Appeal recommendation or recommended program enhancements shall be conveyed to the VPHR, whose decision shall be final.
    5. Catastrophic Shared Leave Usage
    6. Once Catastrophic Shared Leave is granted, employees should record their use of Catastrophic Shared Leave by using the code "VLU" (Catastrophic Shared Leave Usage) on the appropriate timekeeping form and provide the completed form to unit timekeepers who will submit to the payroll office for data entry.

      Catastrophic Shared Leave is for the purpose listed on the application for Shared Leave. Unused portions of the Shared Leave will revert to the Catastrophic Shared Leave Pool when the employee ceases to meet eligibility criteria.

III. Definitions

For definitions on Immediate Family Member or Serious Health Condition, please refer to the Family and Medical Leave Policy PER 4.17.