Agenda Item No. V. A. 1.

Washburn University Board of Regents





SUBJECT: Shared Leave Program



DESCRIPTION:



In 2001 the Benefits Committee, representing faculty and staff, spent more than a year investigating and refining a recommendation to develop a shared leave program for eligible Washburn University employees. Two primary reasons motivated the committee and the administration to pursue this program. First, many major employers, including the Kansas Board of Regents universities and the City of Topeka have such programs. Having a shared leave program would help Washburn compete for employees. Secondly, shared leave is ultimately motivated by the humanitarian concerns of employees for their coworkers who, on rare occasion, have special, if not dreadful, needs for support from their family of coworkers. Shared leave is an important employee morale issue.



Under this program, Washburn University will provide an employee paid leave of absence in a fiscal year from a shared leave pool created by donations of leave from employees participating in the shared leave program when: (1) the employee has completed six months of service; (2) the employee has donated at least one day of personal leave and two days of sick leave to the pool in such fiscal year; (3) the employee has exhausted all other paid leave; and (4) a health condition of an immediate family member or of the employee when it requires the employee's absence from work. The shared leave program is administered by the Vice President for Administration and Treasurer through the Human Resources department.



Limitations imposed upon the University's Shared Leave Program included:

Employees must be eligible under the rules and volunteer to join the shared leave program;

Employees must give something of value to join the program (in this case, an irrevocable contribution of annual [not sick] leave to the pool);

All accrued personal and sick leave must be exhausted before eligibility for shared leave;

The shared leave may only be used when an employee needs additional leave to care for an ill family member or employee illnesses;



To date, the program has never been used by anyone needing sick leave. The time contributed totals more than 2700 days. The Benefits Committee studied the program further to determine whether it is meeting the need and has recommended the following changes for its improvement:

Reduce maximum shared leave a recipient may be awarded in any program year or on any single application from 65 days to 30 days;

Reduce the requirement to retain a minimum balance from six to four day to enable a new employee to join the program after six months;

Reduce the required balance for new employees from eight to six days to enable new employees who have met the six month waiting period without using sick leave, to join the plan

If the shared sick leave pool exceeds 2500 hours at program year end, those who contributed and did not use shared leave during the two previous years will not be required to make additional contributions to the pool.





FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: As necessary, and on a case-by-case basis, temporary employees may be needed to cover duties of an individual on Shared Leave. Those costs will be managed from existing budgets if and when they occur.



RECOMMENDATION: President Farley recommends the approval of Shared Leave Program as attached.



___________________ __________________________

(date) Jerry B. Farley, President



SHARED LEAVE PROGRAM



1. DESCRIPTION OF SHARED LEAVE PROGRAM



Washburn University will provide an employee up to 65 30 days paid leave of absence in a fiscal year from a shared leave pool created by donations of leave from employees participating in the shared leave program when: (1) the employee has completed six months of service; (2) the employee has donated at least one day of personal leave and two days of sick leave to the pool in such fiscal year or is qualified based on participation in prior years; (3) the employee has exhausted all other paid leave; and (4) a severe health condition of an the employee or employee's immediate family member requires the employee's absence from work. The shared leave program is administered by the Vice President for Administration and Treasurer though the Human Resources Office.



2. DEFINITIONS



2.1. An "eligible employee" is an employee of Washburn University who is entitled to accrue personal leave under the University's policy for such leave set forth in the Business and Financial Affairs Handbook (BFAH), Chapter I, Section 3.



2.2. "Leave" means personal and sick leave as defined in the BFAH, I.3.



2.3. "Shared leave" refers to leave donated to or received from a pool administered by the Human Resources Office.



2.4. "Program year" refers to the twelve month period beginning on the first day of July of each calendar year.



2.5. "One day" or a "full day" of leave means eight hours of leave.



2.6. The definition of "immediate family" used in the BFAH at I.3.2.2.1(b) is adopted and incorporated by reference.



2.7. "Severe health condition" means an immediate life-threatening physical or mental condition requiring treatment by a health care provider; a long-term physical or mental condition requiring continuous treatment by health care providers; a period of incapacity requiring more than a week's absence from work and continuing treatment by a health care provider; or, incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition.. A minor and/or short term physical or mental condition, even if it requires the employee's absence from work, does not constitute a severe health condition within the meaning of the shared leave program.



2.8. "Ineligible for short-term disability benefits" means that the University has determined the employee has a documented physical or mental condition that, according to the University's current short-term disability insurance provider, makes the employee

ineligible to purchase short-term disability insurance offered through the University. All

other benefits-eligible employees are considered "eligible for short-term disability benefits."



2.89. The definition of "health care provider" used in the University's Family and Medical Leave Policy, BFAH, Appendix H, is adopted and incorporated by reference.



3. DONORS: ELIGIBLITY AND LIMITATIONS



3.1. Donor must be an eligible employee.



3.2. Donation to the shared leave pool is voluntary and shall not be made a condition of

employment or a prerequisite to the receipt of raises, promotions, or other employee

benefits; provided other than that, as set forth below, except as provided in 4.4 below, a donation of one personal leave day and two sick leave days at the beginning of the current program year is a prerequisite to requesting receiving shared leave during such year.



3.3. Donor may donate only earned and accrued leave. Donor may donate as much personal leave as desired as often as desired. Except for the donation of two sick leave days to be eligible for participation each program year, donations of additional accrued sick leave days may only be made in a blocks of not less than five days.



3.4. Donations by full-time eligible employees must be made in full day increments.

Donations by less than full-time employees shall be equal to one times the number of

hours normally worked each work day.



3.5. Donated leave will be deducted from the donor's current leave balance and added to the balance of the shared leave pool. A donor must retain a minimum accrued sick leave

balance of six four days following any donation of sick leave days,.



6. Eligible employees cannot donate accrued sick leave balances at separation from

employment and cannot donate more than twelve days of sick leave to the shared leave

pool in any program year.



4. RECIPIENTS: ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS



4.1. Recipient must be an eligible employee.



4.2. Except as provided in 4.3, a Rrecipient must have donated at least one day of personal leave and two days of sick leave to the shared leave pool in the first month of the program year in which the recipient requests shared leave. New employees must make a donation of at least one day of personal leave and two days of sick leave in the first month following accrual of a balance of eight four days sick leave to be eligible to receive shared leave in the then program

year



4.3. An employee eligible for short-term disability benefits may not receive shared leave for the employee's own severe illness that necessitates the employee's absence from work. To qualify for receipt of shared leave either the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family must be experiencing a severe health condition requiring employee to be absent from work or an employee ineligible for short-term disability benefits must be experiencing a severe health condition requiring the employee to be absent from work.





4.4 If, on the first day of any program year, the shared leave pool exceeds 2500 hours, employees eligible to receive shared leave during the two previous program years, but who did not receive such leave during those years, will be eligible to receive shared leave during the current year without making additional leave donations. A new employee's partial, first, years eligibility will count as a full year for purposes of this paragraph.



4.54 Recipient must have exhausted all of the recipient's accrued leave before the recipient may utilize shared leave.



4.65 Shared leave shall ordinarily be utilized in increments equal to the recipient's normal full work day.



4.76. Recipients of shared leave shall be compensated a day of leave with pay for each day of shared leave, at their same rate of pay they otherwise would have received and shall continue to receive benefits which they otherwise would have received were they utilizing their own accrued leave.



4.87. Recipients of shared leave shall continue to accrue leave at their regular rate. However, any newly accrued leave must be utilized as accrued before additional shared leave is used.



4.98. The maximum shared leave a recipient may be awarded in any program year or on any single application is 65 30 days. Thus, if an award of shared leave extends from one program year to the next, that particular award may not exceed 65 30days even though it extends into a second program year. However, the recipient may be eligible for a subsequent award in the second program year so long as the recipient meets all other eligibility requirements and the total shared leave awarded to the recipient in the second

program year does not exceed 65 30 days.



4.109. The recipient's use of shared leave shall terminate on the date designated on the a shared leave, when the recipient returns or is determined to be able to return to work, the

recipient separates service from the University, the recipient has received 65 30 days of

shared leave in a program year or on a single application, or the shared leave pool is

depleted, whichever occurs first. No shared leave may extend a single period of leave of sick/personal leave beyond six months.



5. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM



5.1. The Human Resources Office shall administer the Shared Leave Program and the shared leave pool, and be responsible for providing quarterly annual reports to all eligible employees indicating the amount of leave available in the shared leave pool and advising employees where donation forms may be obtained.



5.2. The Human Resources Office shall notify eligible employees at the commencement of their employment and at the beginning of each program year of their donation requirements for gaining or maintaining eligibility to request shared leave during the year.



5.3. Confidentiality of both donors and recipients shall be maintained, except as identification of donors or recipients is required for administrative record keeping purposes.



5.4. An application for shared leave will be made on a form provided by the Human Resources Office signed by a health care provider. It may be supplemented by any additional written documentation the applicant deems appropriate.



5.5. The decision of the Director of Human Resources shall be based on the written submissions provided by the applicant, except that the Director may require the applicant

to obtain a second opinion concerning the health condition of the employee or employee's family member from an independent health care provider selected by the University. The University will pay for the second opinion. If the two opinions conflict, the conflict may be resolved by a third opinion by a provider agreed to by the University and the employee which shall be considered final and binding . The University will pay for the third opinion.



5.6. The University may require periodically that the treating health care provider furnish reverification that the health condition for which the shared leave was awarded is still a severe health condition warranting the employee's absence. If the recipient fails to provide the required reverification, the recipient's continued receipt of shared leave shall be terminated. In obtaining reverification, the University may require a second or third opinion as provided in paragraph 5 above.



5.7. Recipients of shared leave shall report bi-weekly to the Human Resources Office on their status and ability to return to work.

5.8. The Director's decision to deny an application for shared leave in whole or in part or to involuntarily terminate shared leave which has been awarded is subject to review by the University's Vice Presidents. An individual seeking review must notify the Vice President for Administration and Treasurer in writing within five (5) working days after being notified of the Human Resource Director's decision. The Vice Presidents' decision is final.



5.9. The Human Resources Office will keep track of the number of days of shared leave

utilized by the recipient to assure that the 65 30 day limit of shared leave is not exceeded and that the use of shared leave terminates when the shared leave pool is depleted.



5.10. This Shared Leave Program will sunset in three years unless renewed within that time period. If the Shared Leave Program terminates, any employee who requested and received approval for shared leave shall continue to receive shared leave as long as the pool is not depleted and the recipient otherwise continues to be eligible for shared leave. If the Shared Leave Program terminates, any unused leave in the shared leave pool not

needed by previously approved eligible recipients will not be returned to donors, but will revert to the University.


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