§2.26
Voluntary Leave Donation

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Rev. 3/12

  1. Purpose
  2. Applicability
  3. Definitions
    1. Catastrophic Illness or Injury
    2. Catastrophic Casualty Loss
    3. Catastrophic Bereavement Loss
    4. Exceptions
  4. Provisions of Leave
    1. Applicable Situations
    2. Receiving-Employee Conditions
    3. Donating-Employee Conditions
    4. Donations
    5. Minimum Donation
    6. Maximum Credit
    7. Misuse of Leave
  5. Tax Consequences
  6. Program Details

A. Purpose

This policy enables employees to donate vacation time on an hour-for-hour basis, regardless of differing pay scales, to another employee who:

Participation is entirely voluntary and applies only to the donation of vacation credit.  Once given, the vacation-credit donation is irrevocable. Donations are anonymous unless the donor chooses to self-identify. This policy is not subject to the complaint resolution procedure policy. See RPM §2.05(D) (Employee Complaint Resolution).

B. Applicability

This policy is applicable to the following employee classifications: Career, Term, Postdoctoral Fellow. 

This policy is not applicable to the following employee classifications: Faculty, Limited, Visiting Researcher, Rehired Retiree, Graduate Student Research Assistant, and Student Assistant.

C. Definitions

1. Catastrophic Illness or Injury. A serious life-threatening illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that:

  1. Is expected to incapacitate the employee or the employee’s family member; and

  2. Causes a loss of income due to the employee having exhausted all paid leave accruals; and

  3. Creates absence(s) that are not currently eligible to receive payment of temporary disability benefits from either workers' compensation or the employee-paid Supplemental Disability Insurance benefits (employees may receive payment from the employer-paid Short-Term Disability Insurance); and

  4. Is projected to cause a minimum of 30 days' absence in a calendar year, and involves:

    1. A period of illness or injury or treatment connected with inpatient care (e.g., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or

    2. A period of illness or injury requiring absence of more than seven calendar days from work, and that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a licensed health care provider; or

    3. A period of illness or injury (or treatment) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); or

    4. A period of illness or injury that is long-term due to a condition for which treatment may be ineffective (e.g., stroke, terminal disease); or

    5. An absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery from the treatments) either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a chronic condition, (e.g., cancer or kidney disease).

2. Catastrophic Casualty Loss. A serious financial loss is suffered by an employee due to a terrorist attack, fire, or other natural disaster, including severe damage or destruction of the employee’s primary residence, regardless if it has been declared a major disaster or emergency by the President of the United States. 

3. Catastrophic Bereavement Loss. The employee has exhausted his/her sick and vacation leave and has not exhausted his/her bereavement leave entitlement. See RPM §2.09(D)(6) (Use of Sick Leave for Death in Family).

4. Exceptions. Exceptions to policy are requests that are either greater than what is allowed under current policy or not expressly provided for under any policy.  Any request that is not expressly addressed by current policy must be treated as an exception.

D. Provisions of Leave

1. Applicable Situations

The receiving employee’s absence from work must be due to:

  1. The employee’s own catastrophic illness or injury; or

  2. The catastrophic illness or injury of the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild (or in-law or step-relative in one of these relationships); or

  3. The catastrophic illness or injury of any other person residing in the employee’s household for whom there is a personal obligation; or

  4. The employee’s need to manage their personal affairs due to a catastrophic casualty loss; or

  5. The employee’s need for bereavement leave due to a catastrophic bereavement loss.

The catastrophic illness or injury must be verified. In addition, verification of a family member or other eligible person will be required in accordance with University and Laboratory policy.

2. Receiving-Employee Conditions

The receiving employee must:

  1. Be in good standing. Employees in good standing are not currently on a performance improvement plan (PIP), counseling memo, corrective, or disciplinary action. See RPM §2.05(C) (Corrective Action and Dismissal). Exceptions may be approved by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

  2. Bbe in a position that accrues vacation leave; and

  3. Have exhausted all sick and vacation leave, even when doing so results in exceeding the 30-day limit imposed on the use of sick leave for family illness; and

  4. Not currently be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and disability benefits (when applicable); and

  5. Be on an approved leave of absence.

3. Donating-Employee Conditions

A donating employee must:

  1. Be in a position that accrues vacation leave; and

  2. Have sufficient vacation leave to cover the donation (leave may not be donated prior to its accrual).

4. Donation

The donating employee may donate any available amount of vacation credit but is encouraged not to deplete his/her own vacation accrual below 40 hours.

5. Minimum Donation

The minimum donation of vacation leave under this policy is 8 hours. Donations above this amount must be made in four-hour increments.

6. Maximum Credit

A receiving-employee will not be credited with vacation credits that exceed the number of hours needed to ensure continuance of the employee’s regular salary during the period of the approved catastrophic leave.

7. Misuse of Leave

Misrepresenting reasons for requesting time off, or misrepresenting reasons in applying for a leave of absence, may result in disciplinary action, including suspension without pay and/or termination from employment.

An employee on a leave of absence may not utilize leave on an intermittent basis for purposes of eligibility for holiday pay and employer-paid contributions towards benefits.

Individuals on approved leaves of absence for which a medical certification is required may jeopardize their right to leave and/or their continued employment by engaging in activities that are incompatible with the medical certification submitted in support of the leave.

E. Tax Consequences

The employee receiving the donation will be responsible for any applicable taxes on the earnings. An employee who donates leave to other employees may be subject to tax liability. Donating employees should check with their tax advisors prior to making any donations.

F. Program Details

For more information regarding the Laboratory's Voluntary Leave policy, see https://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/HumanResources/html/Employee-Actions/Leaves/catastrophic.html.

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