Leave Sharing Program
The Leave Sharing Bank provides a certain amount of income protection to eligible state classified employees who need to be absent from work for a prolonged period of time due to such instances in which the employee, or an immediate family member of the employee, experiences an unforeseeable, life-altering event, is unable to return to work, and has exhausted all of his or her available accrued leave.
The Leave Sharing Program creates a Leave Bank to which state classified employees of CSU may contribute unused annual leave, creating a resource from which leave may be drawn by an eligible state classified employee, in accordance with applicable law, this Policy and its related rules and procedures.
In the Spring of 1990, the University with assistance from the Classified Personnel Council developed a Leave Sharing Program for Colorado State’s classified staff. Pursuant to C.R.S. §24-50-104(7)(c) (as amended, 2009), CSU established new procedures to broaden the Leave Sharing Program’s spectrum of eligible qualifying reasons.
Under the new law and University policy, the employee’s absence from work need not necessarily be due to medical incapacity, but may be caused by an “unforeseeable life-altering event beyond the employee’s control” such as catastrophic illness or injury, or economic hardship due to such an event. Reference the University’s Leave Sharing Program Policy for State Classified Personnel on the Office of Policy and Compliance website for complete program details (eligibility exceptions, program definitions, hour usage applicable to each qualifying reason and the program application process).
The original Leave Sharing Program was established through donations of annual leave from other state classified employees. Periodically, donations from state classified employees are requested to fund future applications. Donations are also accepted at anytime throughout the year.
An employee must have completed at least one year of continuous employment in a State Classified position at the University and have exhausted all annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time before becoming eligible to apply for leave sharing hours.
For an employee’s own condition, the 30-day short term disability (STD) waiting period may be covered. Leave sharing hours are not available beyond the STD 30-day even if the claim is denied.
An employee may receive only one award during years two through five of their CSU state classified employment. Employees with more than five years of service are eligible for a total of three awards during their career. Awards utilized intermittently are only available for up to six months after the first date of use of the Leave Bank hours.
The following qualifying situations are those unforeseeable, life-altering events that cause an employee to be temporarily unable to work. Maximum hours are indicated after each situation.
- Poses a Direct Threat to Life such as a catastrophic life-threatening health conditions of the Employee or the Employee’s Immediate Family Member (176 hours). Conditions such as aortic aneurysm, cardiac arrest, heart attack, meningitis, sepsis, head trauma, hyperthermia, spinal injury, renal failure, etc. List is not inclusive.
- Non-life threatening catastrophic illness or injury resulting in a period of incapacity of 30 or more continuous days of absence from work (176 hours). Conditions such as, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, severe asthma, degenerative discs, diabetes, osteoporosis, bipolar mood disorder, etc. List is not inclusive.
- A natural disaster such as wildfire, flood, or tornado, or an accidental event such as a fire or natural gas explosion, which results in substantial loss or destruction of the employee’s residence such that it becomes uninhabitable (80 hours).
- Unexpectedly called to serve as a first responder (e.g., paramedic, fire fighter, National Guard, etc.) in the event of such a disaster (40 hours).
- Active military service and is experiencing serious financial hardship during the initial call to duty. The leave sharing hours are limited to making up the difference between the employee’s base salary and the total gross military pay and allowances. Documentation may be required to substantiate financial hardship (40 hours).
Employees may call Human Resources at 970-491-6947 or obtain a Leave Bank Application.
The employee completes the Leave Bank application, providing the required information and documentation necessary to establish eligibility for a leave bank award and the completed application and supporting documentation are submitted to Human Resources.
The Leave Sharing Committee (LSC) reviews the application and any other pertinent information, then the members by majority vote make a recommendation for application approval or denial. The LSC and Human Resources Chief Total Rewards Officer reviews the LSC recommendation and provides a written response to the Vice President of University Operations (VPUO) to uphold or overturn the recommendation.
Employees in the following situations are not eligible for assistance from the Leave Sharing Program:
- Normal pregnancy and childbirth including cesarean section;
- Short term or sporadic common illnesses such as colds, flu, and the like;
- Sprains or broken limbs, which do not require surgery or result in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days of absence from work;
- Mild mental illness requiring outpatient care (e.g., outpatient counseling);
- Surgery that is routine, corrective, elective or outpatient resulting in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days;
- Chronic illness that may result in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days;
- Any other condition that is generally temporary in nature and of relatively short duration;
- Illness or injury that is covered by disability benefits:
- Long term disability;
- PERA Disability (including Disability Retirement);
- Workers’ Compensation; or Auto insurance coverage that pays for time-off caused by injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
State classified employees may donate annual leave (four-hour minimum) at any time during the year. It is time (hours/days) being donated, not the dollars represented by the time. No donations can be made in excess of available annual leave for the donating employees.
Employees may make direct donations to an individual; however, donations should not be made until his or her application has been approved. Once donations are made they cannot be refunded for any reason and will be applied to the leave sharing pool. Donations are strictly voluntary and are kept confidential.
Issues pertaining to Leave Sharing eligibility, denial of application, amount of award, etc., are not subject to the University’s or the state’s grievance or appeal processes.