Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program

Home / Campus / ( Published on 2014-10-08 )

I. Policy

The Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program permits temporary salary and benefits continuation for eligible employees who have exhausted all paid leave when an employee experiences a catastrophic illness or injury, an employee is needed to care for a family or household member who experiences a catastrophic illness or injury, or when an employee experiences a catastrophic event. The leave sharing program is campus-wide, including the Medical Center, across all fund sources. Nothing in this program is intended to change current policy and practice regarding vacation or sick leave.

 II. Definitions

A. Catastrophic Illness or Injury

A catastrophic illness or injury is defined as a serious debilitating illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that is present for a minimum of seven calendar days, and that 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 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
  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, etc.); or
  5. An absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery there from) either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a chronic condition, i.e., cancer or kidney disease.

B. Catastrophic Event

A catastrophic event is defined as follows:

  1. The death of a family or household member; or
  2. A catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to a terrorist attack, fire, or natural disaster.

C. Family or Household Member

The employee’s spouse, domestic partner with whom the employee has executed a domestic partnership agreement, children (including children of the employee’s domestic partner), parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren; step-relative, in-laws, and relatives by adoption are included in the same basis as the above listed blood relatives; and other persons residing in the employee’s household for whom there is a personal obligation.

D. Non-Faculty Academic Personnel

This definition does not include the following faculty series: Ladder ranks, In-Residence faculty, Professor of Clinical “X”, Clinical Professor, and Adjunct Professor.

III. Eligibility

Regular status career employees and non-faculty academic personnel who accrue vacation leave may donate accrued vacation hours to eligible recipients. An eligible recipient is an employee who: 

  • has achieved career status and completed a probationary period (regular status), if one was required;
  • has provided appropriate verification of a catastrophic illness or injury or catastrophic event to his/her Department Head or designee (e.g., medical certification of an employee’s illness);
  • has been granted a leave of absence in relation to a catastrophic illness, injury or event;
  • has exhausted all UCSF paid leave accruals and is not receiving disability or Workers’ Compensation payments; and
  • requests and receives donated leave due to catastrophic illness, injury or event prior to the termination of the leave.

IV. Limitations

Only accrued vacation credits may be donated (donations cannot be made in advance of accrual). The minimum donation an employee may make is eight (8) hours and the maximum is forty (40) hours for a continuous leave period due to a catastrophic illness, injury or event. The total amount of time an employee may remain off work on donated leave is six (6) continuous or non-continuous months within a twelve (12) month period. 

V. Transfer of Leave

For the purpose of simplicity and auditable recordkeeping, accrued vacation credits shall be transferred hour for hour, regardless of differing pay scales. 

The maximum donation credited to a recipient’s leave account shall be the amount necessary to ensure continuation of the employee’s regular salary during the employee’s period of approved catastrophic leave.  Donations will be voluntary, confidential, and irrevocable.

An employee needing leave will complete a Leave Donation Request Form and submit it to the Department Head for a signature of support. 

Upon determination that an employee is eligible to receive leave donations, the Department or HR Service Center may communicate the need to other staff in a manner agreeable to the employee, e.g., word-of-mouth or email. Employees wanting to make donations will submit an Authorization for Donation form to the HR Generalist for a signature of support. 

Adjusted vacation balances will be recorded in the University’s time and attendance system for both the donor and recipient’s Department. 

VI. Procedural Best Practice (Steps) 

  1. Employee identifies need for donated leave and completes the Leave Donation Request Form. 
    1. Form may be requested from department’s staff HR Generalist.
  2. The department works with the Service Center to review and affirm eligibility.  If the individual represented, consult with LER to confirm eligibility.
  3. If employee is eligible, Department approves/denies request.
  4. HR Generalist or department manager (according to department manager’s preference) communicates need to staff (not faculty) employees of the department.
    1. Need is communicated via email. 
    2. If employee has indicated that s/he wishes to remain anonymous on the Leave Donation Request Form, the email requesting leave donations must maintain employee confidentiality.
  5. Employees willing to donate vacation leave contact HR Generalist. Limitation: Donations may range 8 to 40 hours.
  6. Service Center ensures that donator has sufficient leave available for donation.
  7. Service Center completes the HBS Employee Update form reflecting the donated hours and submits the form to the HBS processing center to transfer vacation allotment from donator to employee.