Leave Sharing Program
The primary purpose of this policy is to establish a Leave Sharing Program for Illinois Central College employees by allowing an employee in a regular, internally, and externally funded, full-time, benefited position to offer sick leave hours to other employees who are experiencing (or have an immediate family member, as defined in ICC’s handbooks, experiencing) a catastrophic medical emergency, illness, or injury and who have exhausted all of their accrued paid time off (PTO) benefits.
Under special circumstances, such as a personal or family emergency (medical or non-medicial in nature, planned or unplanned), and employee may be allowed to give a portion of his/her sick time to another employee (recipient).
The situations in which sick time allocations may occur with be judged on a case-by-case basis and must be reviewed through a committee based in Human Resources. Some of the factors that may be taken into account are, but not limited to:
- Nature of the situation
- Financial hardships
- Recipient’s employment status, insurance benefits, and the amount of time off he/she has to date
- Remaining balance of sick time in the givers back
- Potential length of absence for the recipient
An employee wishing to share sick time must complete a Surrender of Hours form. A minimum of 40 hours remaining in the giver’s bank is required.
The number of hours provided will be converted based on the hourly rates of the giver and recipient and the amount calculated dollar-for-dollar. If more sick hours are surrendered than are needed by the recipient, any remaining hours will be returned to the giver.
Payments made under this policy are reportable in a recipient employee’s gross income and are subject to withholding taxes upon that employee’s receipt of the payment, but not applicable to the giving employee’s income.
The use of hours from the Leave Sharing Bank does not maintain an employee’s position if he/she has exhausted his/her own PTO and Family and Medical Leave. In other words, authorization to use shared hours does not obligate ICC to re-employ an employee under FMLA if the employe’s own PTO and FMLA benefits have been exhausted.
Employees surrendering PTO hours to the Leave Sharing Bank should also understand that employees requesting time from the bank must meet the eligibility criteria to access the bank. The eligibility requirements are:
- Employee must have (or an immediate family member must have) a documentable catastrophic medical emergency, illness, or injury
- Have one full year of continuous service, and occupy a regular, full-time, benefited position
- Have exhausted all accumulated personal, sick, vacation, and leave time and currently be missing time from work due to a catastrophic incident or other qualifying event
- Must not have been evidence of sick leave abuse
An employee can receive up to a maximum of 240 hours or six weeks of shared leave from the program.
In general, an employee may receive the maximum amount of shared leave once in a 12-month period beginning on the first day shared leave is used. However, a request to receive shared leave may be submitted for consideration as often as necessary, but if approved, may only be used one time in a 12-month period. The Vice President of Human Resources may overrule this requirement if circumstances indicate a serious and significant need based on a different and separate condition, but not an extension of the original request.
All shared hours will be disbursed by action of the committee housed in the Human Resources office subject to the approval of the Vice President of Human Resources. Leave requests may be denied if it is determined through medical documentations that the employee will not be able to return to work within 6 months of exhausting all paid leave or if the employee has a record (e.g. documented in performance appraisals or disciplinary/counseling statements) of abusing sick leave.
All request for shared leave will come through the employee’s supervisor or manager, verifying that the employee has no more available leave and the employee is absent from work at the time of the request for leave. At that time, the committee will accept the application, review the request and data, and render a decision. If shared leave should be requested, approved, and disbursed to the requested employee’s leave account in error, and it should later be learned the employee did not need the leave because the employee was not actually missing time from work or another error occurred, the recipient may be required to reconcile the Shared Leave account balance.