Shared Sick Leave

Shared Sick Leave
Type of Policy
jgastley3 Tue, 05/29/2012 - 14:58
Policy No
Last Revised:
Review Date:
Policy Owner
Human Resources
Contact Name
Gail Imoukhuede
Contact Title
Benefits Manager
Contact Email
Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria and standards for the donation of accrued sick leave to a sick leave pool in order to cover absence of a benefits-eligible employee necessitated by illness or injury of the benefits-eligible employee or an immediate family member (spouse, parent, or child) of a benefits-eligible employee.

Policy Statement

This policy addresses a donation program whereby accrued sick leave may be donated to a sick leave pool for sharing with benefits-eligible employees in certain circumstances.


All faculty and staff who are eligible to accrue and use paid sick leave and who have been continuously employed as a benefits eligible employee for at least 6 months by Georgia Institute of Technology. The department of the recipient receiving donated leave is responsible for funding as the expense has been allocated in the employees’ salary. If you have any questions, please contact your assigned budget analyst.

Policy Terms

Family Member

As defined by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA):


The employee's legal husband or wife as defined or recognized under State Law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides.


A biological parent of the employee. An individual who stands or stood "in loco parentis" to an employee by providing primary day-to-day care and financial support when the employee was a child. Coverage does not include parents-in-law.


The employee's biological son or daughter under the age of 18. A legally adopted son or daughter under the age of 18. A foster child, stepchild or ward under the age of 18, legally placed with the employee. Any such child over the age of 18 if the child is incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability.

Incapable of self-care

Requiring active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more basic or instrumental "activities of daily living," such as grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, taking public transportation, etc.

Physical or mental disability

One that substantially limits one or more major life functions as defined under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Serious medical condition

A serious medical condition is a health condition involving a serious illness, injury, impairment, or condition that is likely to require the employee's absence from work for an extended period of time longer than the amount of sick and vacation leave available to the employee, and the health condition is such that it is not medically appropriate for the employee to delay the absence in order to accrue additional sick or vacation leave prior to the absence. Some examples of such conditions include: advanced or rapidly growing cancers, acute serious illnesses, chronic life threatening conditions involving failure of bodily organs or systems (e.g., heart attack) or chronic conditions requiring extended rehabilitation such as back surgery. The absence may be continuous, as in hospitalization following surgery or an accident, or intermittent, as in period absences for chemotherapy or other procedures.


This program shall be a donation program whereby accrued sick leave may be donated to a sick leave pool for sharing with benefits-eligible employees in certain circumstances.

Shared Sick Leave Program
Becoming a member of the Shared Sick Leave Program
  1. A minimum donation of eight (8) sick leave hours (Pro-rated for part time employees) is required to become a leave pool member. A member must have a minimum of forty (40) sick leave hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) remaining after their donation at the time of enrollment.
  2. The donation of sick leave is strictly voluntary and is irrevocable.
  3. An employee may donate sick leave to a pool for use by eligible recipients. Any unused sick leave so donated will revert to the donor pool and will not be returned to the donating employee.
  4. The donation of sick leave is on an hour-by-hour basis, without regard to the dollar value of the donated or used leave.
  5. The minimum number of sick leave hours that a benefits-eligible employee may donate is 8 hours. All donations will be in increments of whole hours.
  6. The maximum number of sick leave hours a benefits-eligible employee may donate in one calendar year is 80 hours.
  7. No employee may donate sick leave if, after that donation, his or her balance of sick leave is less than 40 hours.
  8. Employees will be given the opportunity to donate sick leave hours annually during the benefits open enrollment period. The donated sick leave will be transferred from the donor to the shared leave pool on January 1st or soon thereafter.
  9. Should the Shared Sick Leave pool reserve drop to less than 120 hours, the pool will be considered depleted. In this situation only, all donors will be notified of the depleted pool status and automatically charged eight (8) hours per donor, unless the donor wishes to withdraw from the program. Leave requests will be honored in the order in which they were placed when the pool is replenished. The automatic charge to replenish the pool may occur only once per calendar year. At that time an institution may initiate a special open enrollment period to accept additional program participants. Should the pool be depleted a second time in a given calendar year, no further donations for Shared Sick Leave will be accepted.

Recipient Eligibility

Members may request shared leave when they have exhausted all available accrued vacation and sick leave. The employee or immediate family member must:

  1. Complete a Shared Sick Leave Request Form and a completed Physician’s (FMLA) Certification Form from a licensed physician of a serious medical condition; or
  2. Be in quarantine due to exposure to contagious disease.

Conditions or Circumstances That Do Not Qualify for Receipt of Shared Leave

Employees may not receive shared leave in the following circumstances:

  1. Any occupationally-related accident or illness which is compensable under Workers' Compensation benefits;
  2. Disability incurred in the course of the commission of a crime does not qualify.
  3. An employee may not utilize shared leave:
  • During the period of any disciplinary suspension;
  • While receiving disability insurance/Social Security Income (SSI) benefits; or
  • After the termination of employment.

An employee employed less than one year is ineligible to receive donated leave.

Making Requests from the Shared Sick Leave Pool

An eligible employee may request shared leave by submitting a submitting a Shared Sick Leave Request Form and Physician’s (FMLA) Certification Form from a licensed physician to the program administrator.

  1. The minimum number of hours that a benefits-eligible employee may request is 40 hours.
  2. If the employee does not use the entire 40 hours within twelve months, the remainder will revert back to the leave pool.
  3. In the event of a chronic illness or injury requiring episodic treatment (dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and physical therapy), the recipient may use shared leave in non-consecutive increments.
  4. No individual employee may receive donated leave in excess of 480 hours (twelve weeks) (pro-rated for part-time employees)  during the course of one consecutive 12 month period.
  5. Shared leave will be granted in blocks of up to 160 hours.  Employee may receive additional time up to the 12 month maximum by providing additional documentation.


Shared Sick Leave Committee

Committee Appointment and Membership

A committee shall be appointed by the AVP of Human Resources or his/her designee to review requests for shared leave and to make the final determination of granting the requested leave. This committee shall consist of a representative from the Office of Human Resources, a member of the Faculty Benefits Committee, and a classified staff member.

Review Process

The Shared Sick Leave Program Committee will review the request for shared leave within 5 business days of receiving the request. The Committee's decision to approve or deny a request will be by simple majority vote and may be the result of communication by email or phone or other means in lieu of meeting. A letter from the supervisor shall accompany the application. This letter can be of a general nature and does not need to include reference to the medical condition.

Notification of Approval

If the request is approved, the program administrator will notify the employee that the request is approved and the date the employee will receive payment for the hours requested from the shared leave pool.

Notification of Denial

If the request is denied, the program administrator will inform the employee of the denial. Requests which have been denied may be appealed in writing to the Chief HR Officer at Georgia Tech.


The responsibilities each party has in connection with Shared Sick Leave program are:

Party Responsibility
Shared Services Center Maintain leave balances in OneUSG Connect Payroll
Georgia Tech Chief HR Officer Ensure Compliance with policy
GTHR Benefits Shared sick leave program administrator. Offer assistance to employees with policy interpretation

To report suspected instances of noncompliance with this policy, please visit Georgia Tech’s EthicsPoint, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: