Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Programs

Overview

Any employee on leave may have a catastrophic situation that results in needing additional paid time off. Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing programs address this need, allowing eligible employees to donate accrued and unused leave hours to help others.

Catastrophic leave options

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. Eligible UCSF campus and Health employees, including eligible faculty members and non-faculty academics, may participate in the leave sharing program. Nothing in this program is intended to change current policy and practice regarding vacation leave, sick leave, or paid time off (PTO).

Definitions

  1. 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 involves:
    • 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
    • A period of illness or injury requiring absence of more than seven calendar days from work, and that also involves continuing planned medical treatment by (or under the supervision of) a licensed health care provider; or
    • A period of illness or injury (or planned medical treatment) due to a chronic serious health condition; or
    • 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
    • An absence to receive multiple planned medical treatments (including any period of recovery from) either for restorative surgery (after an accident or other injury) or for a chronic condition (e.g., cancer or kidney disease).
  2. A catastrophic event is defined as follows:
    • The death of a family or household member; or
    • A catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to a terrorist attack, fire, or natural disaster.
  3. Family or household member is defined as 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-relatives; 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.

Eligibility

  1. Eligible regular status career employees who accrue vacation leave or PTO may donate accrued vacation or PTO hours to eligible recipients.
  2. 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 (e.g., medical certification of an employee’s illness) to their designated approver in coordination with the applicable HR representative;
    • has been granted a leave of absence in relation to a catastrophic illness, injury or event;
    • has exhausted all UCSF paid leave accruals;
    • does not have sufficient leave balances to meet the disability waiting period and/or is not receiving disability benefits;
    • does not have a pending workers’ compensation claim or is not receiving workers’ compensation temporary disability payments; and
    • requests and receives donated leave due to catastrophic illness, injury or event prior to the termination of the leave.
  3. Bargaining unit employees who meet the eligibility requirements listed in Sections III.A and III.B may participate in this voluntary catastrophic leave program if participation in a catastrophic leave program is specifically provided for in the provisions of their collective bargaining agreement.
  4. Based on the eligibility requirements, the following groups are ineligible to donate or receive donations under this program:
    • Residents/interns/clinical fellows
    • Postdoctoral scholars (employees, paid directs and fellows)
    • Lecturers
    • Volunteer clinical professors (APM 279)
    • Faculty and non-faculty academics who do not accrue vacation leave
    • Limited appointment, contract employees and temporary staff

Limitations

  1. The total amount of time an employee may remain off work on donated leave is six continuous or non-continuous months within a 12-month period.
  2. Only accrued vacation or PTO credited hours may be donated (donations cannot be made in advance of accrual).
  3. The minimum donation an employee may make is eight hours and the maximum is 40 hours for a continuous leave period due to a catastrophic illness, injury or event.
  4. The maximum donated hours credited to an employee’s catastrophic leave account is as follows:
    • For eligible regular status career employees, 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.

Transfer of Leave

  1. For the purpose of simplicity and auditable recordkeeping, accrued vacation or PTO credited hours shall be transferred hour for hour, regardless of differing pay scales.
  2. Donations will be voluntary, confidential, and irrevocable.
  3. An employee needing leave (recipient) will complete a Request for Leave Donations Form and submit it to their designated approver for approval and eligibility verification. The designated approver for regular status career employees is the department manager (or designee).
    1. The designated approver will work with Human Resources (UCSF Health Leave Management or the campus leaves specialist, as applicable) to verify that the employee meets the eligibility requirements listed in Section III, Eligibility.
    2. If the employee is eligible to receive leave donations, the designated approver determines if the request is approved or denied.
    3. If the request is approved, the designated approver may communicate the need to other staff in a manner agreeable to the recipient employee, e.g., email or word-of-mouth.
  4. Employees who want to make donations will submit an Authorization to Donate Leave Form to their designated approver or Human Resources (UCSF Health Leave Management or the campus leaves specialist, as applicable) for verification that the employee meets eligibility requirements listed in Section III, Eligibility.
    • If eligibility is verified, the designated approver will approve the request.
  5. Adjusted vacation or PTO balances will be recorded in the University’s time and attendance system for both the donor and recipient employee’s department.

Forms

The Emergency Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program (EVCLSP) is an emergency program for temporary implementation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EVCLSP allows staff employees to donate accrued vacation or PTO credits to a leave bank on behalf of employees who are impacted by COVID-19. A temporary leave bank has been implemented to support this effort. UCSF guidelines for the Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program (VCLSP) are applied when determining the methods for receiving, donating, and tracking vacation/PTO credits. COVID-19 guidelines for this temporary emergency program should be read in conjunction with the Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program (VCLSP) Guidelines. Catastrophic Illness or Injury and Catastrophic Event definitions have been expanded for this temporary program:

  1. Catastrophic illness or injury
    • Employee is unable to work due to own or family member’s COVID-19 illness
  2. Catastrophic event
    • Employee is unable to work or telecommute and has been told not to come to work due to COVID (includes self-isolation).
    • Non-patient care employee is unable to work or telecommute due to shelter-in-place order.
    • Employee is unable to work or telecommute due to school or dependent care closures.

Eligibility for the recipient employee (employee receiving donated vacation/PTO)

  • Eligible recipients may receive donations from the temporary emergency bank for staff affected by COVID or from the existing VCLSP program.
  • Absence has been approved by department chair/head.
  • Recipient lacks sufficient vacation/sick leave/extended sick leave/compensatory time off/PTO to cover his or her absence.
  • Eligible recipients will be granted up to 16 hours from the temporary emergency bank, if the hours are available. First-time requests will receive priority. If the first request is granted, additional request(s) for hours may be made and will be considered after first-time requests.
  • Employee is not receiving disability benefits or workers' compensation benefits.

*Note: Receipt of donated time may have tax implications; consult your tax adviser for more information.

Eligibility for the donor employee (employee donating vacation/PTO)

  • Eligible donors may elect to donate to a temporary emergency bank for staff affected by COVID or they may donate to a specific person under the existing VCLSP program. The maximum donation an employee can make to these two programs is 40 hours in a 12-month calendar period.
  • Donated hours that are not utilized during the emergency COVID-19 situation will be available for other eligible staff who may request hours through the Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program.
  • Only accrued vacation/PTO credits may be donated (donations cannot be made in advance of accrual).
  • The minimum donation an employee may make is eight hours. The donation cannot reduce the donating employee’s leave balance by more than 50%.

Process

Application of the program to exclusively represented employees is subject to union notice procedures.

To locate your leaves specialist:

The purpose of the UCSF Global Disaster Assistance Committee Emergency Vacation Leave Sharing Program (GDAC-EVLSP) is to provide support to eligible UCSF campus and Health System career employees to assist in relief efforts for GDAC-designated local, regional, national or international disasters. These include, but are not limited to, state or federally declared disasters such as fires, floods, or other casualty loss or other disasters for which a governmental entity has requested assistance.

Program overview

The Global Disaster Assistance Committee (GDAC), in consultation with UC Office of the President via UCSF Human Resources, determines if a specific disaster meets the criteria for Emergency Vacation Leave Sharing Program (EVSLP) activation. The EVSLP Bank is available only if activation is recommended by the GDAC and the chancellor grants approval.

The GDAC-EVLSP allows eligible employees to donate vacation leave or paid time off (PTO) hours to a GDAC-EVLSP “bank” that in turn enables eligible recipient employees to continue to receive salary and benefits while they are performing domestic or international disaster relief work. When the need for volunteer assistance has abated (as determined by GDAC), the bank is inactivated (closed) until another global disaster precipitates activation.

GDAC-EVLSP participant criteria

  1. Eligible for GDAC-EVLSP participation:
    • Career employees who accrue vacation leave or paid time off (PTO) are eligible to request or donate EVLSP hours for disaster relief work
    • GDAC may determine GDAC-EVLSP recipient eligibility criteria based on need for specific clinical expertise assistance for the disaster. The recipient must meet the defined/documented criteria of assistance needed.
  2. Not eligible for GDAC-EVLSP participation:
    • Employees currently on paid or unpaid leave, and/or those receiving disability benefits or workers’ compensation payments
    • Non-career employees (limited appointment, contract employees and temporary staff); and students
    • Program participation for exclusively-represented employees is subject to union notice.
    • Personal and/or academic research is not eligible for program hours.

GDAC-EVLSP recipient employees

  1. Recipient information:
    • Recipient employee must meet defined eligibility criteria.
    • The recipient employee may use a maximum of 80 GDAC-EVLSP hours per 12-month calendar year. Depending on the disaster, the employee’s supervisor, with the concurrence of GDAC, could make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
    • There is no obligation to exhaust all of one’s own accrued vacation leave, PTO, and/or compensatory time off (CTO) prior to utilizing the donated time.
    • Combined vacation leave/PTO and GDAC-EVLSP time off cannot exceed eight weeks.
    • Requests for donated hours will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis and/or on a skills-needed basis, as determined by GDAC.
    • It is strongly recommended that the recipient employee work with an existing disaster relief organization (e.g., Red Cross, Community Emergency Response Team) that provides insurance to the employee.
    • Receipt of donated time may have tax implications; the recipient employee is responsible for consulting their personal tax adviser for more information.
    • Faculty from the Schools of Medicine and Nursing who are members of the Health Sciences Compensation Plan should review additional requirements described at the Office of the Chancellor website.
  2. Recipient request process:
    • Employees considering time off for disaster relief are encouraged to discuss the situation with their department supervisor, manager, director, or chair and request approval for time away from regular duties well in advance.
    • To request time off, the employee should follow established department/unit procedures. Approval of a time off request for disaster relief is at the discretion of the department supervisor, manager, director, or chair (designated approver, as applicable).
      • The designated approver for regular status career employees is the department manager (or designee).
    • The length of disaster relief time off is subject to operational needs as determined by department management.
    • Begin and return dates should be inclusive of any training and/or required quarantine time, if applicable.
    • Eligible employees requesting GDAC-EVLSP hours must complete, sign, and submit the EVLSP Recipient Request Application to their designated approver for review/authorization followed by HR eligibility review/authorization. The employee will be informed if request is approved/denied and/or the employee meets eligibility criteria.
    • EVLSP hours are to be used only for time off for disaster relief; any unused hours will be returned to the GDAC-EVLSP bank
    • Employees granted time off for disaster relief are to return to their regularly scheduled work assignment at the end of the approved time off request for disaster relief. If GDAC-required for the designated disaster, applicable leaves of absence and return to work staff procedures must be completed prior to return to work

GDAC-EVLSP donor employees

  1. Donor information:
    • Donor employee must meet defined eligibility criteria:
      • Donations are voluntary and must be approved by the department supervisor, manager, director, or chair (designated approver, as applicable).
      • Only accrued vacation leave or paid time off (PTO) hours may be donated. Donations cannot be made in advance of accrual.
      • Minimum donation is eight (8) hours and the maximum donation is 40 hours.
      • No more than 40 hours during the preceding 12-month calendar year period may be donated (including the current donation).
      • Donation cannot reduce employee’s vacation leave or PTO balance more than 50% of current balance.
      • Once hours are donated, they will not be restored to the donor’s vacation leave or PTO balance — the donation is irrevocable.
      • Donations will be anonymous in order to avoid influencing a donor’s decision to donate vacation leave or PTO hours.
      • Eligible employees who wish to donate hours must complete, sign, and submit the EVLSP Donation Form to their designated approver for review/approval and HR eligibility review/authorization. The employee will be informed if donation is approved/denied and/or the employee meets eligibility criteria.

Administrative Guidelines

  1. Request processing:
    • Designated approver:
      • Determines whether time away is allowable within department/unit operational needs.
      • In conjunction with GDAC and Human Resources, determines if the employee meets defined eligibility criteria.
      • Reviews and approves/denies the request.
      • Generally, requests must be made in advance; however, given the nature of disasters, there may be requests that are granted after the fact.
      • The designated approver informs the employee if the request is denied.
      • If approved, the designated approver signs and forwards the completed EVLSP recipient request application to Human Resources (HR) for eligibility verification:
        • Campus: leaves specialist
        • UCSF Health: Leave Management
  2. Human Resources:
    • Verifies employee eligibility, consulting with GDAC and HBS Processing as necessary.
    • If employee is not eligible to receive EVLSP hours, HR informs the employee and the designated approver.
    • If recipient employee meets eligibility criteria, HR:
      • Informs the recipient employee of the amount of donated hours which they will receive.
      • Informs the designated approver and recipient employee to code the use of donated hours as vacation leave or PTO (whichever is applicable to the recipient employee).
      • Forwards the approved EVLSP recipient request application to HBS Processing.
  3. HBS Processing Team:
    • Establishes an account that will serve as the GDAC-EVLSP donation bank to track donated hours.
    • For the purpose of simplicity and auditable recordkeeping, accrued vacation or PTO credited hours shall be transferred hour for hour, regardless of differing pay scales.
    • Upon receipt of the approved EVLSP request application, HBS Processing moves donated vacation leave or PTO hours to recipient’s balance. After the recipient’s disaster leave is completed, any unused EVLSP donated hours are returned to the GDAC-EVLSP donation bank.

Forms