Donated leave policy expands to family illness and injury

Under a recently adopted policy change, Iowa State faculty and staff can receive donated paid leave from other university and state employees to care for a family member who is seriously hurt or sick. The change expands the pre-existing policy that allows employees suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness to accept leave donations from co-workers.

The change is effective as of Aug. 1, said Ed Holland, benefits director for university human resources (UHR). Expanding the policy to cover a family member's medical emergency aligns with Iowa State's strategic plan and the policies of other state Board of Regents institutions.

Eligibility requirements are similar to the pre-existing policy. The recipient must have no vacation or emergency leave available, and the family member's illness or injury must require the employee to miss work for at least 30 consecutive days. Qualifying family members are those covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act -- spouses or partners, children and parents.

To seek approval to receive donated leave, potential recipients must fill out specific forms for their own illness or injury and for the illness or injury of a family member.

Here's how it works if the donation request is approved: The employee's departmental human resources liaison will inform colleagues in the college or department that the employee is requesting donated leave. The department or the employee also can pass along the request to others, though the university doesn't send centrally solicit or post requests.

Donors also fill out different forms to contribute vacation leave for an employee's own illness or to care for a family member. The recipient's department will collect donations and forward them to UHR. Donations must be made in hourly increments. The actual financial value of the vacation time will transfer for Iowa State donors. Donations from other state workers are on an hour-for-hour basis. The source of donations will remain anonymous.

For more information, check out UHR's website for leave and absence policies.