Policy Manual

Shared Sick Leave Program

Policy Statement

University System of Georgia (USG) institutions are authorized to establish policies through which employees may voluntarily donate unused sick leave to a pool for possible use by another institutional employee who is experiencing a serious health condition or whose immediate family member is experiencing a serious health condition and who has used all of their accumulated paid leave.

Reason for Policy

The Shared Sick Leave Program provides a means for USG employees to donate paid sick leave to a shared leave pool and for fellow employees who meet the eligibility provisions set forth in this policy to request leave from the pool.

Entities Affected by This Policy

All units of University System of Georgia (USG) are covered by this policy. 

Who Should Read This Policy

All USG Human Resources personnel should be aware of this policy along with all employees eligible for said policy.

Contacts

Contact Phone Email/URL
Office of Human Resources 478-445-5596 hr@gcsu.edu
Chief Human Resources Officers

Website Address for This Policy

http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/shared_sick_leave_program

Related Documents/Resources

http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/

Definitions

These definitions apply to the terms as they are used in this policy:

  • Employee Any USG employee who accrues annual or sick leave as a benefit of his/her employment by the System, including part-time employees.
  • Immediate Family Member (as defined in HRAP Family and Medical Leave policy).
  • Leave Donor An employee that makes a voluntary, written request for the irrevocable transfer of sick leave to the Shared Leave pool. Once leave has been transferred to the leave pool, it may not be used by the donor for any other benefit purposes.
  • Leave Recipient A current employee who has completed the provisional employment period and who has been approved to receive sick leave from the pool. The recipient may use Shared Leave for any qualifying purpose which meets the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) definition of a serious health condition. Shared Leave may be used for the employee or the care of an employee’s immediate family member, which requires an employee’s absence from duty for a period of time longer than the amount of sick and annual leave available to the employee.
  • Physician A health care professional licensed by his/her respective state.
  • Shared Leave pool Accumulated sick leave donated by employees for use in accordance with this program.
  • Serious Health Condition (as defined in HRAP Family and Medical Leave policy

Overview

If an institution chooses to adopt such a program, it shall be known as the “Shared Sick Leave Program” and the following provisions shall apply:

  • Only regular benefits eligible employees who have completed their BOR provisional period shall be eligible to enroll in the Shared Leave Program.
  • An employee must enroll in the program during the annual benefits open enrollment period established by the Board of Regents or subsequent enrollment period due to the depletion of the leave pool as defined below.
  • A minimum donation of eight (8) sick leave hours (Pro-rated for part time employees) is required to become a leave pool member. A member must have a minimum of forty (40) sick leave hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) remaining after their donation at the time of enrollment.
  • Any unused shared sick leave not used by a recipient for a qualifying illness or injury will be forfeited to the shared leave pool.
  • Should the Shared Leave pool reserve drop to less than 120 hours, the pool will be considered depleted. In this situation only, all donors will be notified of the depleted pool status and automatically charged eight (8) hours per donor, unless the donor wishes to withdraw from the program. Leave requests will be honored in the order in which they were placed when the pool is replenished. The automatic charge to replenish the pool may occur only once per calendar year. At that time an institution may initiate a special open enrollment period to accept additional program participants. Should the pool be depleted a second time in a given calendar year, no further requests for Shared Leave will be accepted.
  • The maximum withdrawal amount during a calendar year is 480 hours (12 weeks) (pro-rated for part-time employees). When a participating employee withdraws the maximum number of hours, his/her membership in the pool will automatically terminate for the remainder of the calendar year. To re-enroll, the employee must meet the initial enrollment requirements.
  • Each institution must designate a Shared Leave Program Administrator and may also appoint a committee to review and respond to leave pool requests. If a committee is utilized, prudence and discretion must be exercised to protect and ensure the privacy of personal and confidential health information of those seeking donations.
  • Employees receiving compensation from shared sick leave will continue to accrue annual and sick leave during their absence as long as they are paid at least one half of their monthly salary. Accrued annual and sick leave will be applied before Shared Leave.
  • A shared leave recipient cannot receive shared sick leave along with other short term or long term income protection benefits (such as SSI, Disability, Workers Compensation, etc.)
  • Participation eligibility shall cease upon employment termination (including retirement). Separating employees may not donate any additional unused sick leave hours to the pool at the time of separation.
  • No employee shall be denied program participation if he/she meets the established participation criteria. However, funding limitations (e.g., grant funding) may impact eligibility and participation.
  • Participating in the program is voluntary.
  • Institutions should consider flexibility in this policy in rare and exceptional circumstances involving pandemic emergencies.

If adopted, the program shall be subject to an annual review and continuation confirmation. This program should be administered in conjunction and accordance with all other USG leave related policies and stipulations.

Forms:

Contact:

Policy administration:

  Carol Ward, Assistant Director, carol.ward@gcsu.edu, 478-445-5596

Revision Date:

November 2015