Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank

Purpose

The University of California, Berkeley Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank gives staff and academic employees a chance to support their colleagues who have exhausted their paid leave due to a catastrophic event. The program was developed as part of campus efforts to create a caring environment, and because many members of the campus community have expressed a desire to assist their co-workers in this way.


Qualifying Situations

The Donating Employee must:

  • be an employee (academic or staff) of the Berkeley campus;

  • be in a position that accrues vacation leave;

  • have passed the waiting period to use vacation, if a waiting period is required by the applicable personnel policy or collective bargaining agreement; and

  • have accrued sufficient vacation leave to cover the donation (leave may not be donated prior to accrual).

The Receiving Employee must:

  • be a UCB career staff employee who has completed the probationary period and is eligible to accrue and use vacation;   

  • be a UCB fiscal-year academic employee who is eligible to accrue and use vacation;

  • have exhausted all paid leave accruals (vacation, sick, Compensatory Time Off - CTO), or will do so before the return to work date;

  • have submitted all required leave of absence paperwork and have an approved leave of absence in relation to the catastrophic illness or injury or is able to work, but a healthcare provider has prescribed multiple and/or ongoing treatments for an eligible condition which will require periodic absences from work;

  • not be presently receiving University disability benefits or Workers' 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.    

  • have not received any formal disciplinary action for excessive absenteeism during the 12-month period immediately preceding the request for catastrophic leave.

An eligible employee who wishes to receive vacation leave donations for the purpose of caring for a catastrophically ill person must first exhaust his/her accrued sick leave balance, even when doing so results in exceeding the 30-day limit imposed on the use of sick leave for family illness by applicable personnel policies and collective bargaining agreements.

The Receiving Employee’s Absence must be due to:

  • A catastrophic injury or illness

  • A serious health condition for an employee 

  • Caring for a catastrophically ill or injured family member or household member 

  • The death of a family or household member

  • A catastrophic casualty loss suffered by an employee such as a terrorist attack, fire, natural disaster, a pandemic, or other events as declared by the Office of the President. 

While the Receiving Employee must be on an approved leave of absence and provide appropriate medical certification for a serious health condition, the leave of absence does not always need to qualify as time taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or similar state laws such as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).


Nature of Donations

  • Accrued whole hours of vacation leave only

  • Donations must be eight (8) hours minimum at any one time

  • Any amount from your regular accrual bank or over max accrual bank, so long as the remaining balance is at least 80 hours, or any amount without limitation if you are within 60 days of your separation or retirement date.

  • Donations can only be made to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank.

  • Leave may not be donated prior to accrual

  • All donations made to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank are irrevocable.

  • Sick leave and compensatory time (CTO) cannot be donated.


Process

The following steps should be taken to assure proper processing of vacation leave donations:

Donating Employee

  • Donors must complete the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Donation Form

  • Ensure that the vacation hours are available for donation

  • Donations made to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank are irrevocable.

  • After verification and approval of donation request, People & Culture Benefits will transfer donated hours to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank in accordance with the Catastrophic Leave Sharing policy.

Recipient Employee

  • The Requestor must complete the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Request Form and provide supporting documents.

  • The recipient has sole responsibility for assessing the potential impact on taxes and benefits. 

  • People & Culture Benefits will verify that the requesting employee has exhausted all paid leave accruals or will do so before the return to work date and verify the status of the leave with the HR Business Partner or Liaison.

  • After verification and approval of request, People & Culture Benefits will transfer available donated hours in accordance with the Catastrophic Leave Sharing policy based on availability of hours.

People & Culture Benefits

  • Reviews Donor request. 

  • Notifies Donor of approval/denial.

  • If approved, People & Culture Benefits will transfer donated hours to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Bank in accordance with the Catastrophic Leave Sharing policy.

  • For requesting employee, People & Culture Benefits will verify that the requesting employee has exhausted all paid leave accruals or will do so before the return to work date and verify the status of the leave with the HR Business Partner or Liaison.

  • Verifies the disability waiting period.

  • Confirms the number of hours needed by the Requestor with the department/Regional Service Center.

  • Verifies the availability of donated hours in the bank.

  • Notifies Requestor of approval/denial of their request.

  • After verification and approval of request, People & Culture Benefits will transfer available donated hours in accordance with the Catastrophic Leave Sharing policy based on availability of hours.

  • HR Partners should assist employees without computer access in submitting their leave donations or requests.


Questions

For further information or questions please contact  -  catleave@berkeley.edu