Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

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TITLE: Donating Leave For Catastrophic Illness

POLICY

A Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services employee may donate accrued vacation to another employee suffering from a catastrophic illness. Such contributions shall be designated as "donated leave" and shall be subject to the procedures adopted by the Department. Donated leave shall be irrevocable once credited to the recipient.

DEFINITIONS

"Employee" means a full-time or part-time Department employee who is eligible to accrue vacation.

"Catastrophic illness" means a physical or mental illness or injury, as certified by a licensed physician, that will result in the inability of the employee to work for more than 30 work days on a consecutive or intermittent basis.

"Donated leave" means vacation leave (hours) donated to employees as a monetary benefit only. Recipients will not accrue vacation and sick leave benefits based on donated leave (vacation) hours.

PROCEDURES

  1. Program Eligibility
    1. In order to receive donated leave for a catastrophic illness, an employee must:
      1. have a catastrophic illness as defined; and
      2. have exhausted all paid leave; and
      3. not supplement workers' compensation to the extent that it exceeds more than 100 percent of the employee's pay for his or her regularly scheduled work hours on a pay period-by-pay period basis; and
      4. not receive long-term disability (LTD); and
      5. be approved for and using or have exhausted Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave hours if eligible; and
      6. be on approved leave without pay for medical reasons during any hours for which he or she will receive donated leave.
    2. The Physician's statement on the "Donated Leave For Catastrophic Illness Application" form is the basis for determining if an employee meets the requirements of the catastrophic illness definition. The Personnel Technician will determine whether the employee meets the remaining eligibility requirements
    3. The Director may seek second opinions or updates from physicians regarding the status of the employee's illness or injury. If the employee is receiving FMLA leave, a second opinion must be obtained from a physician who is not employed by the State.
  2. Program Requirements
    1. Vacation hours shall be donated in whole-hour increments. All of the recipient's accrued leave must be used before donations will be credited to the recipient. Hours will be credited in increments not to exceed the employee's regularly scheduled work hours on a pay period-by-pay period basis. Recipients will not accrue vacation and sick leave on donated leave hours.
    2. Approval for use of donated (vacation) leave shall be for a period not to exceed one year either on an intermittent or continuous basis for each occurrence.
    3. Donated leave shall be irrevocable after it is credited to the recipient. Donated leave (vacation) hours not credited to the recipient will not be deducted from the donor's vacation leave balance.
    4. Donations will be credited on a first-in/first-out basis according to the date and time on the "Donated Leave for Catastrophic Illness Contributions" form.
    5. Donated leave for catastrophic illness will not impede the right to terminate probationary employees. The period of probationary status and the pay increase eligibility date will be extended by the amount of time the employee received donated leave.
    6. The Personnel Technician will notify all Area Office Supervisors and Residential Managers with a "Donated Leave for Catastrophic Illness Request" form indicating that an employee is eligible to receive donated leave and who should be contacted for the appropriate forms.
    7. Leave without pay provisions shall apply to the following benefits: health, dental, life and long-term disability insurances; pre-tax; deferred compensation (see Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993); holiday pay; sick leave accrual; vacation leave accrual; shift differential pay; longevity pay; and cash payments. In addition, employees receiving donated leave for catastrophic illness will not be eligible for lead worker pay, extraordinary duty pay or special duty pay. If, however, FMLA leave and donated (vacation) leave for a catastrophic illness are used concurrently (simultaneously), the Department is obligated to pay its share of health, dental, and life insurance premiums. The department also maintains an employee's basic life and long-term disability insurances during periods of FMLA leave.
    8. Employees may choose to continue or terminate their optional deductions (e.g., savings bonds and credit union) while using donated (vacation) leave hours. Mandatory deductions are taken from gross pay first, then optional deductions as funds are available and as authorized by the employee. Union dues deductions will continue as long as the employee has sufficient earnings to cover the dollar amount certified to the employer after deductions for social security, federal taxes, state taxes, retirement, health insurance and life insurance.
    9. Contributions to the employee's dependent care account will not be allowed during a period of leave without pay. Claims will not be paid for dependent care while an employee is on leave without pay, unless the employee is not capable of self care.
    10. If an employee applies for and is approved to receive Long Term Disability (LTD), he/she may continue to receive donated leave contributions for up to one year on an intermittent or continuous basis or the effective date of the employee's LTD, whichever comes first. An employee cannot receive both donated (vacation) leave and LTD benefits. When a LTD claim is ready to be approved, donated (vacation) leave must cease regardless of how many unused hours have been donated. The effective date of LTD approval will be the latter of the LTD effective date (90 working days or expiration of personal sick leave), or the last date the employee received donated (vacation) leave. If the employee still has unused donated leave available, donations must stop being credited on the later of the LTD effective date, or the last date the employee received donated leave in the previous pay period.
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