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HR-414 Shared Leave


The policy provides a shared leave program that enables eligible employees to donate accrued vacation leave to a pool. This pool will be used to provide pay to eligible employees who have experienced certain catastrophic events and have exhausted all other sources of paid leave. A catastrophic event is defined as a major illness, injury or medical condition as outlined below.


Per Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 340.055: Principles for the Establishment of a Shared Leave Program (Bd. Min 12-8-17):

  1. Purpose
    This rule directs the establishment of a Shared Leave Program to allow eligible employees to donate vacation leave benefits to a pool that will be available to provide additional paid leave benefits to eligible employees who have experienced certain catastrophic events and exhausted other sources of available paid leave.  This rule also sets standards for design and approval of the Shared Leave Program.
  2. Scope
    One Shared Leave Program shall be adopted for all eligible employees. Separate and unique plans may not be adopted for individual departments or business units, nor may individual departments or business units elect out of the plan.
  3. Program Elements and Standards
    The Shared Leave Program must meet the following elements and standards. Specific operational policies consistent with these elements and standards will be developed for the Shared Leave Program and stated in University Human Resources policies, provided that they must be approved as stated in this rule.

    1. Eligibility. The Program will apply to Regular Administrative, Service and Support employees and certain non-regular academic employees who are eligible for paid leave plans. This includes donors and recipients.
    2. Donations. Eligible employees may donate unused vacation leave benefits only.  No other forms of leave or compensatory time off may be donated.  The Shared Leave Program policy will define other requirements for donors, such as minimum donations, maximum limits, and length of service. 
    3. Pool. Donations will be made to a shared leave pool and distributed to recipient employees who apply for leave benefits from the pool and meet qualifications as defined in the Shared Leave Program policy.  Donations will not be made to or designated for individual recipients. 
    4. Recipients. To receive leave benefits from the Shared Leave Program, eligible employees (a) must have exhausted all other forms of paid leave; (b) must not be approved for long-term University disability benefits; and (c) have experienced a catastrophic event, as defined in the Shared Leave Program Policy, requiring prolonged absence from work. The Shared Leave Program policy will define other requirements for recipients including types of catastrophic events covered, maximum amount of leave, length of service, and application and documentation process. 
    5. Process. The Shared Leave Program Policy will identify a fair and equitable process for review and approval of applications for leave benefits from the pool. 
    6. Voluntary. All donations and receipt of eligible leave shall be voluntary.  No employee may intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee with respect to donating or receiving leave under the Shared Leave Program.
  4. Approval Process
    The Vice President for Human Resources will identify an appropriate committee including, but not limited to, human resources and finance personnel, to develop the Shared Leave Program policy, review the operation of the policy periodically, and propose revisions to the policy as appropriate.  The Shared Leave Program policy and any material revisions to the policy must be approved by the General Counsel as to legal form and content and by the President before being implemented.  Non-material changes may be approved by the Vice President of Human Resources or designee.

Further HR Policy Provisions

Additional HR-414 policy provisions below in accordance with CRR 340.055:

  1. Donor and Recipient Eligibility
    1. To donate unused vacation, benefit-eligible administrative, service and support employees must have successfully completed their probationary period, and non-regular academic employees must have been employed for at least six months in a leave accruing position.
    2. Benefit-eligible administrative, service and support employees and non-regular academic employees in leave accruing positions are eligible to be recipients once they have completed all required background screening and verification of employment eligibility and have become employed.
  2. Catastrophic event definition and coverage
    1. A catastrophic event for the purposes of shared leave eligibility is defined as a major illness, injury or medical condition which is life threatening, terminal or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability as certified in writing by a health provider.
    2. This policy covers catastrophic events of covered employees and for employees to provide care or attention to an immediate family member with a catastrophic event.
    3. Covered family members are defined in HR-404 Sick Leave.
  3. Policy Administration
    1. Donors
      1. Employees may only donate accrued vacation hours. Sick and Personal days, compensatory time may not be donated.
      2. Donations are contributed to a shared campus pool. Donors may not designate a specific person to receive the funds.
      3. Donations are voluntary on the part of the contributor and may not be rescinded.
      4. Employees may donate a minimum of eight (8) hours per donation, regardless of FTE.
      5. The employee donating vacation hours cannot donate an amount which will cause their own remaining vacation balance to fall below 40 hours of accrued vacation.
    2. Recipients
      1. A completed shared leave application and a statement from a licensed health care provider are required for shared leave requests to be reviewed. The university may request subsequent re-verifications during the course of the leave.
      2. Employees must request and be approved for time off prior to submitting an application for shared leave.
      3. Employees must have exhausted all forms of available paid leave prior to receiving shared leave hours.
      4. Shared leave is awarded as donation funds are available and requests are approved.
      5. Intermittent hours will not be approved, only continuous leave.
      6. Minimum and maximum allowable limits for recipients:

        a. Min 30 continuous hours granted per approved application
        b. Up to a max of 160 hours granted per approved application
        c. Annual max shared leave an employee may receive is 480 hours per fiscal year.

      7. Employee recipients may not receive shared leave that exceeds the anticipated period that the catastrophic event requires absence from work. Shared leave awarded but not used will be returned to the shared leave pool.
      8. Employees receiving shared leave will be placed on a paid leave of absence and are not eligible for paid leave accruals during the time they are on paid leave as a result of receiving shared leave.
      9. Supplementation of long-term disability or workers compensation benefits will not be permitted, other than during the waiting period for such benefits to commence.
      10. Shared leave is a pooled fund of donated vacation benefits for use by eligible University employees who, during the time of absence from work due to a catastrophic event, would otherwise experience a substantial loss of income. Shared leave compensation is not a guarantee. Nor is shared leave ‘job protected’ leave. Accordingly, employees on shared leave remain subject to dismissal, layoff, or other job action consistent with University policy.
  4. Process Employees may visit the Shared Leave Program website to obtain an application to apply for Shared Leave. Questions may be directed to the UM Leave Administration Team at
  5. Appeals
    1. Shared leave donations and applications are subject to review and approval by human resource staff responsible for administering the Shared Leave Program.
    2. If an employee whose application has been denied alleges the denial is due to policy violation, the employees may appeal the decision by submitting a written appeal within five (5) calendar days to the Assistant Vice President of UM Human Resources or designee stating the reasons for the differences of interpretation of policy.
    3. In conducting the review, the HR office may consult with other appropriate administrators as necessary.
    4. The Assistant Vice President of Human Resources will issue a decision on the appeal, which will be final with no other review permitted.

See Also

Shared Leave Program
CRR Section 340.030: Sick Leave
CRR Section 340.050: Vacation
CRR Section 340.060: Personal Days
CRR Section 340.010: Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
HR-404 Sick Leave
HR-408 Leaves of Absence

Date Created: 07/01/2018
Updated: 11/01/2020; 06/15/2023

Reviewed 2023-06-16