Voluntary Shared Leave

Purpose

The Voluntary Shared Leave (VSL) policy allows for College and employees of other State Agencies, Universities and Community Colleges to donate leave to other employees who have been approved to receive leave through the VSL program and who are contributing members to the N.C. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System in the event of a serious illness that may cause an employee to exhaust all available leave balances resulting in a leave – without – pay status.  (Reference 1CSBCCC 200.94, amended May 1, 2017)   

Download Forms (Excel format):  VSL Donor Form / VSL Recipient Form

Definitions

Medical Condition:    a serious or extended health condition of an employee or his/her immediate family that will require his/her absence from duty for a period of at least twenty consecutive workdays.  If an employee has had previous random absences for a serious or extended health condition that has caused excessive absences for the same, or if the employee has had a previous but different serious or prolonged medical condition within the last twelve months, the College may make an exception to the 20-day period.

Immediate Family Member:  spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or grandchild.  An immediate family member also includes step-, half-, foster- and in-law relationship.

Policy

A prolonged health condition of a college employee may necessitate applying or being nominated to receive leave donated from the leave of another employee, or the vacation or sick leave account of an immediate family member. 

General Guidelines

The recipient may not be eligible to participate in the VSL program if the recipient is receiving benefits from the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC).  However, VSL may be used during the waiting period and following the waiting period as long as benefits have not commenced.

An employee who is on workers’ compensation leave receiving temporary total disability compensation benefits may be eligible to participate in the VSL program, subject to 25 NCAC 01E.0707.

Participation in the VSL program is limited to 1,040 hours (prorated for part-time employees) for the same or recurring health condition per fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).  Continuation in the VSL program may be granted by college administration up to a maximum of 2,080 hours for the duration of the employee’s employment at the College.

All available sick, vacation, personal and bonus leave must be exhausted prior to using VSL.

The VSL program shall not apply to short-term health conditions that are commonplace and/or anticipated.  This includes such chronic conditions as allergies, contagious diseases, or continual health treatments.

Donations of leave (whether it is sick or vacation leave donated) will go into the recipient’s sick leave account.  The employee must exhaust all available leave before using donated leave.

Leave must be donated to a specific employee.  Establishment of a leave “bank” for use by unspecified employees is prohibited; however, employees who have been approved to receive VSL may bank up to 40 hours in their sick leave accounts upon return to work. 

An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee for the purpose of interfering with any employee’s choice to donate, receive, or use leave under the VSL program.  Such action(s) by an employee are grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.  Individual leave records are confidential and only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of leave.  The employee donating leave cannot receive remuneration for the leave donated.

Donor Guidelines

A donor may volunteer to contribute ONLY Vacation leave to another employee in any State agency, University, community college, etc., that participate in the Teachers’ & State Employees’ Retirement System.  A member may contribute Sick or Vacation leave to an immediate family member. 

An employee of a community college may donate up to five days of sick leave to a nonfamily member employee of a community college.  The combined total of sick leave donated by nonfamily member donors shall not exceed 20 days per year.

The minimum amount of leave an employee may donate is four hours.  An employee family member donating sick leave to a qualified family member under the VSL program may donate up to a maximum of 1040 hours but may not result in a reduction in their sick leave account to less than 40 hours.

The maximum amount of vacation leave allowed by one employee to donate is the amount of the individual’s annual accrual rate.  However, the amount donated shall not reduce the donor’s vacation leave balance below one-half of the annual vacation leave accrual rate.

Crediting Donated Leave

Faculty and Staff will be notified of a recipient’s approval to participate in the program by Human Resources and the College will allow a time frame of two weeks for leave to be donated up to 1040 hours.

All leave donated shall be credited in the order donated to the recipient’s sick leave account on an as needed basis.  Upon the employee’s return to work, any unused donations will be handled as follows: 

  • The recipient’s vacation and sick leave balances will not exceed a combined total of 40 hours (prorated for part-time employees).
  • Additional unused donated leave will be returned to the donor(s).

If a recipient separates due to resignation, death or retirement from state government, participation in the program ends.  Donated leave will be returned to active donors.

Voluntary Shared Leave Application Process

A recipient may apply or be nominated by a coworker to participate in the program.

The VSL program application must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor with the following information:  name, position, department, description of a medical condition of employee or immediate family member, estimated length of time needed to participate in the VSL program and a doctor’s statement verifying health condition of the employee or immediate family member.  A signature of approval must come from the employee’s supervisor and vice president, and then forwarded to Human Resources for final approval and communication. 

HIPAA laws protect medical information and must be kept confidential.  When disclosing information on an approved recipient or the immediate family member, only a statement that the recipient has a medical condition should be disclosed.  If employee desires to disclose his/her health status, the employee must sign a release before his/her health status can be disclosed.

Approval

Chair, Board of Trustees 

Effective Date:  July 1, 2017

Policy Owner:  Human Resources