University of California, Riverside

Human Resources



Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Guidelines


The UCR Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program permits temporary salary and benefit continuation for career staff and academic employees who accrue vacation and have exhausted all paid leave credits due to a catastrophic illness or injury. The illness or injury can be to the employee or a member of the employee’s family or household and requires the employee to be absent from work. The purpose of the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program is to allow UCR employees the opportunity to assist fellow employees by making donations of vacation leave to those employees in need.

DEFINITIONS

A serious non-work-related health condition of the employee or employee’s family or household (e.g., spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, in-laws, step-relatives in the relationship or individuals residing in the employee’s household), which creates a financial hardship because the employee has exhausted all available leave credits and is not, or not yet, eligible for disability benefits.

The Human Resources Associate Vice Chancellor may authorize exceptions to limits in unusual situations, consistent with systemwide policy and collective bargaining agreements.

  1. Catastrophic Illness or Injury
  2. Serious health condition – A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

    1. Any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care ( e.g., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
    2. A period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three calendar days from work, school, or other regular daily activities that also involve continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a licensed health care provider; or
    3. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care; or
    4. Any period of incapacity or treatment due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); or
    5. A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may be effective (e.g., Alzheimer’s, stroke, terminal disease, etc.); or
    6. Any absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery) by, or referral by, a licensed health care provider (e.g., chemotherapy, physical therapy, dialysis, etc.)
  3. Eligible Recipient (Requestor) – a UCR employee is eligible to receive Catastrophic Leave if they:

    1. are a career staff employee who has completed the probationary period and is eligible to accrue and use vacation;
    2. are a fiscal-year academic employee who is eligible to accrue and use vacation;
    3. have exhausted all paid leave credits (vacation, sick, CTO), or will do so before the return to work date;
    4. have submitted all required leave of absence paperwork requested by the department and have an approved leave of absence in relation to the catastrophic illness or injury OR is able to work, but a health care provider has prescribed multiple and/or on-going treatments for an eligible condition which will require periodic absences from work;
    5. are not presently receiving University disability benefits or Worker’s Compensation payments. An employee who has applied to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits is not eligible to apply for Catastrophic Leave; however, that employee may apply if his/her claim is denied.
    6. have not received any formal disciplinary action for excessive absenteeism during the 12 month period immediately preceding the request for catastrophic leave.
  4. Eligible Donor – UCR career staff employees or academic employees who are eligible to accrue and use vacation.

  5. Donation Leave Credits – leave that may be donated is defined as accrued whole hours of vacation leave. Sick leave and compensatory time cannot be donated.

  6. Approved Leave of Absence – approved leave of absence is defined as the requestor’s department being in receipt of all required leave paperwork as determined by the type of leave being requested.

POLICY AND LIMITATIONS

  1. An eligible recipient is required to use any leave accrued on a monthly basis prior to receiving donations through this program.
  2. An eligible recipient may receive no more than 1 month or 184 hours of donated leave, whichever is greater, in a rolling twelve-month period beginning with the date of the first Request for Donations form. In the case of the employee’s own serious health condition, donated time may be applied to the disability waiting period only.
  3. An eligible recipient must apply for catastrophic leave donations by the end of the month following the month in which paid leave credits are exhausted. Exceptions to the deadline may be granted on a case by case basis.
  4. Due Dates:
    • For Exempt (monthly paid) employees, requests for donations are due by the 15th of each month.
    • For Non-Exempt (bi-weekly paid) employees, requests for donations are due by the Monday prior to the payroll roster cutoff.
  5. An eligible recipient is required to use any leave accrued on a monthly basis prior to receiving donations through this program.
  6. Donations will be processed in the order received unless the donor indicates that the vacation hours will be forfeited if not used immediately. In this case, the donation will be moved to the top of the eligible donations list and used if there is a need for the hours during that period.
  7. Donations are reflected as an hour-for-hour deduction from the vacation leave balance of the donating employee and will be received on an hour-for-hour basis by the eligible recipient.
  8. Donated hours will not be deducted from the donor’s vacation leave balance until transferred to the eligible recipient.
  9. Donations will be transferred each pay period, in amounts not to exceed the eligible recipient’s regular hours in that pay period. In the event that the total number of hours of all requests exceeds the number of hours donated, any undesignated hours will be split equally among the requests received in Payroll by the 15th of the month.
  10. Once processed and transferred, donations are irrevocable.
  11. Donations not used within six (6) months of the submission date will be considered void and the Catastrophic Leave Donation form will be returned to the donor.
  12. Donations are not tax deductible.

PROCEDURE

Requesting Catastrophic Leave
  1. The requestor must complete the Catastrophic Leave Request Form.
  2. The Catastrophic Leave Request Form must be submitted to the Human Resources Department.
  3. Human Resources will verify that the requesting employee has exhausted all paid leave credits or will do so before the return to work date and verify with the Supervisor the status of the leave.
  4. After verification, Human Resources will forward the request to the Payroll Office.
Donating Vacation Hours to the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program
  1. Donors must complete the Catastrophic Leave Donation Form. The same form is used to make donations to a specific employee or to any eligible employee.
  2. The completed Catastrophic Leave Donation Form must be forwarded to the Human Resources Department.
  3. Human Resources will verify that the donor has the vacation accruals available to make the donation.
  4. After verification, Human Resources will forward the donation form to the Payroll Office.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Requestor
  1. Complete the Catastrophic Leave Request Form.
  2. Insure all leave of absence paperwork requested by the department has been submitted.
Donor
  1. Complete the Catastrophic Leave Donation Form.
  2. Insure that the vacation hours are available to be donated.
Requestor Department
  1. Verify that the requestor’s leave of absence is approved.
  2. Indicate on the requestor’s timesheet the number of catastrophic leave hours to be used for the pay period.
  3. Complete the Catastrophic Leave Department Approval Form.
Human Resources
  1. Verify the availability of donated hours.
  2. Verify the requestor’s sick, vacation, and compensatory time accruals.
  3. Contact the requestor’s department to verify the status of the leave of absence.
  4. Verify disability waiting period.
Payroll
  1. Verify the number of hours needed by the requestor with the department.
  2. Transfer donated hours in accordance with the Catastrophic Leave Sharing policy.
Special Considerations

In the case of approved bereavement leave, up to 40 hours of catastrophic leave may be used if all other paid leave has been exhausted and the employee is receiving catastrophic leave donations immediately prior to the effective date of the bereavement leave.

Miscellaneous
  1. Participation in the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program by employees is on a strictly voluntary basis.
  2. The Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program is not subject to any grievance or arbitration procedure applicable to the employee.
  3. Administration of the program will be coordinated by the Human Resources and Payroll Offices.
  4. For further information or questions, please contact Kathy Mosley at kathy.mosley@ucr.edu or extension 2-2336.

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