Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Human Resources

Shared Leave

I.    PURPOSE

An employee may donate leave to another employee who has been approved to receive shared leave due to a medical condition of the employee or of a member of the employee’s immediate family that will require the employee’s absence for a prolonged period of time, in accordance with this policy.

II.    POLICY

In the case of a prolonged medical condition, an employee may apply for or be nominated to become a recipient of leave transferred from the vacation leave account of another employee, from the sick leave or vacation account of an immediate family member as defined in this policy or from the sick leave account of a non-family member as defined in this policy. To qualify for shared leave an employee shall meet the following conditions:

  1. A donor or recipient shall have a half-time or more permanent, probationary, or time-limited appointment (The limitation and leave balance for permanent part-time employees shall be pro-rated).
  2. A recipient shall apply or be nominated by a fellow employee to participate in the program.
  3. The employee has a serious or prolonged medical condition. For purposes of this Policy, a serious or prolonged medical condition means a medical that will require an employee’s absence from duty for a period of at least twenty (20) consecutive workdays. If an employee has had previous absences for the same condition that has caused the employee to not have enough leave to cover the new need for leave or if the employee has had a previous, but different, prolonged medical condition within the last 12 months, the college may waive the requirement that the employee be absent from duty for a period of 20 consecutive workdays to participate in the program.
  4. Employee shall exhaust all available leave balances before using donated leave.
  5. Provide medical evidence to support the need for leave beyond the available accumulated leave.

An employee who received benefits from the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) is not eligible to participate in the shared leave program. Shared leave, however, may be used during the required waiting period and following the waiting period provided DIPNC benefits have not begun. 

Participation in the voluntary shared leave program shall be limited to 1,040 hours within a 12 month period (pro-rated for part-time employees), either continuously or, if for the same condition on a recurring basis.  However management may grant employees continuation in the program, month by month, for a maximum of 2,080 hours, if management would have otherwise granted leave without pay.

An employee on workers’ compensation leave who is drawing temporary total disability compensation may be eligible to participate in the voluntary shared leave program.  Use of donated leave under the workers’ compensation program shall be limited to use with the supplemental leave schedule as described in 25 NCAC 01E .0707.

This leave does not apply to short-term or sporadic conditions or illnesses that are common, expected or anticipated as determined by the college president or the college president’s designee. This includes such things as sporadic, short-term recurrences of chronic allergies or conditions; short term absences due to contagious diseases; or short term, recurring medical or therapeutic treatments. These examples are illustrative, not all inclusive. Each case will be examined and decided based on its conformity with the intent of this Policy and must be handled consistently and equitability.

The application for shared leave may be obtained from the College’s intranet site. The President of the College shall review the merits of the request and approve or disapprove the leave. The President’s decision is final. Approval of shared leave is subject to the availability of funds.

For purposes of this policy, immediate family means:

  1. Spouse: A husband or wife;
  2. Parent: a biological or adoptive parent; or an individual who stood in loco parentis (a person who is in the position or place of a parent) to an employee when the employee was a child; or a step-parent; or in-law relationships;
  3. Child: a son or daughter who is: a biological child; or an adopted child; or a foster child (a child for whom the employee performs the duties of a parent as if it were the employee’s child); or step-child (a child of the employee’s spouse from a former marriage; or a legal ward (a minor child placed by the court under the care of a guardian); or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis; or in-law relationships;
  4. Sister or brother: biological; or adoptive (including step-, half- or in-law relationships);
  5. Grandparents, great grandparents, grand children, great grandchildren (including step relationships); and
  6. Other dependents living in the employee’s household.

Donor Guidelines:

An employee of a community college may donate vacation leave, bonus leave or sick leave to an immediate family member in any State agency, public school or community college.  An employee of a community college may donate vacation or bonus leave to a coworker’s immediate family member who is an employee in a state agency or public school provided the employee and coworker are at the same college. 

An employee of a community college may donate up to five days of sick leave to a non-immediate family member employee of a community college.  The combined total of sick leave donated to a recipient from non-immediate family member donors shall not exceed 20 days per year.  Donated sick leave shall not be used for retirement purposes.

Employees who donate sick leave shall be notified in writing of the State retirement credit consequences of donating sick leave.

The minimum amount of sick leave or vacation leave to be donated is 4 hours.  An employee family member donating sick leave to a qualified immediate family member under the Voluntary Shared Leave program may donate up to a maximum of 1,040 hours but may not reduce the sick leave account below 40 hours.

The maximum amount of vacation leave allowed to be donated by one individual is the amount of the individual’s annual accrual rate.  However, the amount donated shall not reduce the donor’s vacation leave balance below one-half of the annual vacation leave accrual rate.  Bonus leave may be donated without regard to this limitation.

An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee for the purpose of interfering with any right which such employee may not have with respect to donating, receiving, or using annual leave under this program. Such action by an employee shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.  Individual leave records are confidential and only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of leave. Recipients of voluntary shared leave shall not have access to information about individuals who donated leave.  The employee donating may not receive remuneration for the leave donated.

Any unused donated leave will be returned to the donors at a pro-rated basis at the end of the medical condition for which the shared leave was approved.  If a recipient separates due to resignation, death, or retirement from state government, participation in the program ends.  Donated leave shall be returned to donor(s) on a pro-rated basis.  Leave shall be donated on a one-to-one personal basis.  Establishment of a leave “bank” is prohibited.

Shared leave is prohibited for any purpose other than specified by this policy.

Policy No: 302-03-05BP

Reference:  GS 115D 25.3
Cross Reference: 
Adopted:  December 15, 1994 
Amended:  February 3, 1998; June 29, 2010; June 13, 2017