Shared Leave Program

2017 Shared Sick Leave Program changes

Effective January 1, 2017, the UGA Shared Sick Leave Program will align with the University System of Georgia Shared Sick Leave program.

Get details about the 2017 Shared Sick Leave Program


***Information below is referring to the Shared Leave program which ends December 31, 2016.***

Employees at the University of Georgia may voluntarily donate sick or annual leave to other employees who have exhausted all of their sick and annual leave and, because of a serious medical condition (see definition below), are in need of additional leave.

The employee will be eligible for shared leave during the time his/her physician indicates he/she or a family member is experiencing a serious medical condition.

Applicability

This program applies to all employees of the University who earn or accrue annual or sick leave. The receipt of shared leave is not a form of job protection and does not protect an employee from disciplinary actions for cause.

Sunset provision

This program will be periodically reviewed by Human Resources and modified, as necessary.

Definitions

EMPLOYEE means any employee of the University who earns or accrues annual or sick leave as a benefit of his/her employment by the University.

FAMILY MEMBER means spouse, child, or parent as defined in the FMLA definitions list.

LEAVE DONOR means an employee making a voluntary written request for transfer of annual or sick leave to the sick leave account of a leave recipient.

LEAVE RECIPIENT means a current employee who has worked at UGA in a benefit-eligible position for at least one year and a minimum of 1250 hours, and for whom Human Resources has approved an application to receive leave from the annual or sick leave accounts of one or more donors.

SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION as defined in the FMLA definitions list.

Confidentiality

Any medical information forwarded to Human Resources will be handled confidentially and discreetly.

bullet SHARED LEAVE PROCEDURES

Application to become a leave recipient

An employee may make written application to the Shared Leave Program administered by Human Resources to become a leave recipient, using the Shared Leave Request Form and other required forms (see below).

If an employee is not capable of making application on his or her own behalf, a personal representative having documented power of attorney for the potential leave recipient, or the employee's supervisor or department head may make written application on behalf of the employee.

In order for a request to receive donated leave to be approved, the employee must:

  1. Provide documentation that he/she has applied for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) (see list of required documents below) and
  2. Provide certification from a licensed physician that the employee (or family member) has a serious medical condition, and
  3. Have exhausted all sick and annual leave (or provide credible evidence that he or she will have exhausted all sick and annual leave during the time he/she has a serious medical condition).

check markA potential leave recipient may request shared leave no earlier than 45 calendar days prior to the shared leave event. The recipient may request up to 120 hours of leave transfer at one time, and may request shared leave up to 4 times per calendar year.

check markA leave recipient may receive a maximum of 480 shared leave hours during his/her employment at the University. Employees working less than full time are eligible to receive a prorated number of hours, based on their percent time worked.

check mark An individual who is eligible to receive short- or long-term disability benefits must first exhaust all accrued leave and shared leave (if approved and donations are received) prior to receiving the full disability benefit. The employee cannot receive the full disability benefit while receiving any paid leave.

check markAn individual who is eligible to receive Workers' Compensation benefits and receiving Shared Leave must first exhaust accrued leave and shared leave (if approved and donations are received) prior to receiving the full Workers’ Compensation benefit. Once an employee starts receiving a Workers' Compensation benefit, the employee cannot revert back to shared leave or accrued leave pay.

Each shared leave application must include:

1-A copy of the completed FMLA Departmental Response form

2-A completed Shared Leave Request Form

3-Shared leave medical forms (FMLA forms will be used by shared leave to determine eligibility). Choose appropriate form below for employee or family member.

Medical form for employee's serious health condition
Medical form for family member with serious health condition

4-A copy of the Leave Declaration for Disability Claims form (if filing a disability claim)

5-A copy of the Workers' Compensation Payment Election Form (for work-related injuries only)

Approval of application to become a leave recipient

Each application will be reviewed by the Human Resources shared leave coordinator.

If the application is approved, HR will notify the leave recipient’s departmental payroll or leave-adjustment contact, who should notify the employee that the application has been approved. The leave recipient or his or her representative may then advise potential donors by word of mouth that they may use the Shared Leave Donation Form to request transfer of some of their leave to the leave recipient's account. Requests for shared leave received after December 16 may not be reviewed until the following January.

check markWhen soliciting leave from other employees, potential leave recipients must refrain from any activity that might be interpreted as pressuring other employees to donate leave (such as repeated requests or demand for a yes or no answer).

check markPotential leave recipients and their representatives must refrain from using University e-mail to solicit leave; however, the employee's departmental management may, on an equitable basis, request donations for approved shared leave recipients in their areas. An appropriate departmental email request should not include recipient names (e.g., "There is a shared leave need in our area. Please contact me if you would like to donate leave.").

check markIf the application is not approved, Human Resources will notify the applicant (or the personal representative who made application on behalf of the potential leave recipient) the application has not been approved and the reasons for its disapproval.

check markRequests not approved may be appealed in writing to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

Donation of leave

An employee may submit a Shared Leave Donation Form to Human Resources, requesting that a specified number of hours of leave be transferred from his/her annual or sick leave account to the sick leave account of a specified leave recipient. Requests for leave transfers must be in 8-hour increments.

check markA leave donor must retain a combined total of 120 hours of leave in his/her own annual and sick leave accounts (pro rated for part-time employees), unless the donation is to the leave account of his/her own spouse, child, or parent.

check markIf you wish to donate leave prior to separating from UGA (retirement, changing jobs), you may not donate more hours than you could use during the remainder of your employment. For example, if you have 10 working days until retirement, you may donate only 80 leave hours (8 hours x 10 days). The 120-hour rule still applies (see above).

If shared leave is approved and donations are received, HR will notify the payroll representatives of the donor and recipient, specifying the amounts of leave to be added or deleted from their leave balances.

check mark Potential DONORS must refrain from using University resources (including email) to advertise the availability of their leave for use by shared leave recipients not known to them.

check mark The University will not transfer annual or sick leave to a leave donor's immediate or upper-level supervisor(s).

check markThe University will not transfer any leave which will be lost due to end-of-year annual leave adjustments, for use by any recipient after December 31. Donations of annual leave to be used prior to December 31 must be received by Human Resources by December 16.

check markLeave transferred under this section may be substituted retroactively for the specific period of “leave without pay” for which the employee was approved for shared leave.

check markShared Leave Donation Forms will be accepted until the total amount donated is equal to the amount approved by HR. Additional Leave Donation Forms received will be held until the shared leave event is over, after which time they will be destroyed.

check markIf the leave recipient does not use all the donated leave, the department should retain the leave in the recipient's sick leave account. Therefore, the total leave donated will be deducted from the employee’s 480-hour maximum (or prorated maximum for part-time employees).

••• Q&A •••

How much leave may I donate?

  • You may donate leave in 8-hour increments only (8, 16, 24, etc.) and
  • You must reserve a minimum of 120 hours of combined sick and annual leave in your leave balance; however, there is no minimum reserve required when employees donate leave to their own spouses, parents, or children.

What happens if I change my mind and need the leave I previously donated?

Donations are irrevocable, i.e., once leave is transferred to the account of the recipient, it is lost to the donor.

What happens to my donated leave if the recipient doesn't use it; for example, if the serious health condition doesn't last as long as anticipated or the recipient leaves the University before using all donated leave?

Because donations are irrevocable, unused donated hours will be lost to the donor. If the leave recipient does not use all the donated leave, the department should retain the leave in the recipient's sick leave account. Therefore, the total leave donated will be deducted from his/her 480-hour maximum (or prorated maximum for part-time employees).

If my employment with the University is coming to an end (retirement, changing jobs, etc.) and I have some unused leave, may I donate my unused leave to another employee?

You may not donate more hours than you could use during the remainder of your employment. For example, if you have 10 working days until retirement, you may donate only 80 leave hours (8 hours x 10 days). The 120-hour rule applies (see second paragraph under "Donation of leave" above).

How much leave may I request?

  • You may request up to 120 hours of leave per application (pro-rated for part-time employees)
  • You may request shared leave up to 4 times per calendar year
  • You may receive a maximum of 480 shared leave hours during your employment at UGA (or prorated maximum for part-time employees).

How will I know I have received donated leave?

Human Resources will send your payroll representative an email confirming the leave amount donated to you. Donated leave will be transferred to you in 8-hour increments. Leave for intermittent recovery treatment will be transferred to you on an as-needed basis in 1-hour increments.

Does an employee who is using donated leave continue to accrue sick or annual leave during the time they are missing work and using donated leave?

If you are using donated leave, you will continue to accrue sick and annual leave at the same rate you would have accrued leave had you been using your own, original leave during an absence from work. Your own accrued leave will be applied to your absence before any donated leave is applied to the absence.

What happens to any transferred leave I don't use, for example, if the serious health condition doesn't last as long as I anticipated or I leave the University before using all donated leave?

Any unused hours are lost to the donor. If the recipient does not use all the donated leave, his/her department should retain the leave in the recipient's sick leave account. Therefore, the total leave donated will be deducted from the recipient’s 480-hour maximum (or prorated maximum for part-time employees).

Questions about the shared leave program may directed to the shared leave coordinator in Human Resources:
706-542-2222 or
hrweb@uga.edu

12.16.16