|Policy Number: 111||Effective Date: 07/15/94|
|Policy Title: Catastrophic Leave||Revised: 07/01/97; 03/15/05|
|Approval Date: 12/11/06||President’s Signature: on file|
Consistent with the provisions of WV Code 18B-9-10, “Higher Education Employee’s Catastrophic Leave Bank and Leave Transfer,” the following policy clarifies and facilitates an orderly and consistent application of the law’s provisions and subsections. This policy is to establish the specific operation of the broader statute on the campus of West Liberty University.
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS:
The purpose of this catastrophic leave policy is to allow for the donation to an eligible employee, additional sick or annual leave days from other employees, in the event the requesting employee has exhausted all other types of paid leave available to them, and removing them from the payroll would cause them a financial hardship. This catastrophic leave is intended to only be applied where a catastrophic illness or injury exists. The catastrophic illness or injury may be as a result of a personal or immediate family need and must be verified and substantiated by appropriate documentation and administrative review.
Employees on an approved leave shall continue to accrue sick and annual vacation leave time as appropriate for the individual employee, and any such leave shall be used before additional donated leave days are used. Such additional earned leave days may not however, be used to reduce the use of donated time until they are actually earned and credited to the employee on leave.
Any approved leave request is limited to one (1) continuous calendar year in duration from the date such leave period starts. The amount of donated leave time actually used for any approved request shall not exceed the amount necessary to ensure the continuance of regular compensation and shall not be used to extend insurance coverage. The actual amount of leave used for any specific request shall be adjusted according to any leave earned or holiday periods which accrue to the employee during an approved leave. An employee who is approved to receive over thirty (30) days of leave is subject to review(s) of the reason(s) for such leave every thirty (30) days.
A. CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS OR INJURY – A medically certified illness or injury which is expected to incapacitate the employee and which creates a financial hardship because the employee has exhausted all sick and annual leave and other paid time off. This also applies to an incapacitated immediate family member where the employee is required to take time off from work for an extended period of time to care for the family member.
B. IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER – As outlined in WV Higher Education Policy Commission Series 38 Employee Leave, and includes: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, granddaughter, grandson, stepmother, stepfather, stepchildren, or others considered to be members of the household and living under the same roof.
C. ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE – Any full-time regular employee of West Liberty University or the Foundation. This includes both classified and non-classified employees. Employees, whose primary job function is student instruction, (i.e. Faculty) are excluded from either donating or receiving leave under this policy.
D. QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE – An eligible employee who has made application for catastrophic leave and who has no sick, annual vacation, or other paid leave available to them and who has successfully met the requirements of documentation of their request as determined by the President of the University or other senior administrator to whom such authority has been delegated by the President.
E. EXCESS DAYS – Donated days of leave made by eligible employees which are not used by the qualified employee and which are not returned to the donating employee by their own request.
F. EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME – A period of time at least two (2) calendar weeks in duration and containing a minimum of 10 working days.
A. Eligible employees who wish to apply for catastrophic leave as defined in this policy must make a written request to the Human Resources Department to start the approval process. Written requests must include the employee’s name, specific reason(s) for the request, total leave time requested (if known), expected date of return, and any documentation the employee wishes to present as verification of their request for leave. Leave requests submitted without documentation will be considered; however, approval status may be delayed if supporting documents or other information must be obtained by University administration prior to rendering a decision on the request.
B. If a request is denied, the employee making the request shall be notified by University administration in a timely manner. Such notification shall include the reason(s) for the denial of the leave request.
C. Upon approval of an application for leave the Human Resources Department shall prepare and distribute to all eligible employees a donation request form (see attached), indicating the qualified employee’s name and total number of days requested if known. As donation forms are returned to the Human Resources Department they will be time and date stamped in the order received. Donated leave days shall be used in the order so marked until the individual leave request is completed. A donation slip must be signed by the person donating days. Unsigned slips will not be honored. A donating employee shall be given a choice on the donating form to indicate if the days are to be returned in the event they are not needed or donated to a leave pool to be used for future approved leave requests. Once donated to the leave pool days may not be reclaimed by the donating employee. The donation of leave time is a personal decision of the solicited employee and as such is strictly voluntary. An employee does need to have previously donated leave in order to be approved to receive leave under this policy.
D. An employee must donate whole days, and whole days must be credited to the qualified employee’s account in order to be withdrawn by the employee on leave. Donated days are to be used on a day-for-day basis and earned leave shall be taken before donated leave.
E. Reports concerning the number of “leave pool” days available for use shall be made by the Human Resources Department as needed or by request. No separate provisions shall exist for the donation of days to the “leave pool.” This shall ensure that most donated days will be used by the qualified employee on leave and that only “excess days” will go into the “pool.”
F. Records maintained by the Human Resources Department pertaining to the application of this leave policy shall be available to any duly elected classified staff representatives for their review upon adequate notice to the Executive Director Human Resources. Material of a confidential nature however, may not be reviewed without the written consent of any individual employee affected.
A. In all cases, the use of donated days will cease upon a qualified employee’s return to work, retirement, death, or resignation of employment.
B. In the event an eligible employee applies and is determined qualified, but does not receive any donations of leave or enough donated leave time to fulfil their request, said qualified employee may draw “leave pool” days in the amount necessary to fulfill the
leave period requested on a day-for-day basis, provided such “pool” days are available. In the event not enough days are in the “pool”, such qualified employee’s leave period shall be limited to the number of days available in the “pool.” The qualified employee shall be timely notified of the situation and shall have the option to request an additional solicitation for leave be made, either campus and/or state-wide, or converting their remaining approved leave period to unpaid leave.
C. Any medical information received regarding an employee’s request for catastrophic leave shall be retained for record-keeping purposes in strict accordance with the Americans with Disability Act, (ADA) of 1990, Section 1630.2(g) and 1630.14(d), to a confidential medical file and will be kept separate and apart from regular personnel files.
D. An employee may donate leave time only upon solicitation of an actual approved leave request. Employees may not contribute earned days in total to the leave pool upon termination of employment.
E. Where prior notification is given, leave taken under this policy may be considered as counting toward the statutory 12 week leave period provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as provided for by the Act.
F. In all cases, conflicts arising from the interpretation of this policy shall be resolved by University administration in accordance with applicable provisions of WV Higher Education Series 38 Employee Leave, Section 8 and State/federal law as appropriate.
To access a PDF of the CATASTROPHIC LEAVE DONATION REQUEST FORM, click here.