To clarify who is eligible to donate sick and/or vacation leave to the Shared Leave program and identify who is eligible to use Shared Leave.

Applies to: 

Faculty, University Support Staff, Unclassified Professional Staff, and Academic Staff members who are eligible to earn sick leave, with six months of continuous service in such positions.

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

Eligible employees may request Shared Leave for personal or family reasons involving an extreme or life-threatening illness or injury that may otherwise require a leave without pay from work stipulation or termination of employment. A qualifying extreme or life-threatening illness or injury must meet the criteria established for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Shared Leave does not provide job protection while on leave but serves to keep eligible employees in paid status. Shared Leave may be granted for a maximum of six months per approved event.

All Shared Leave recipients on Shared Leave for their own illness or injury are required to provide a release to return to work from a health care provider to Human Resource Management (HRM) prior to resuming job duties.

Shared Leave Recipient Eligibility:

Employees appointed to regular positions with a minimum of six months of continuous service may apply for Shared Leave if they are unable to perform regular work duties due to a qualifying event. All other forms of paid leave must be exhausted at the time Shared Leave is granted.

For the 12 months preceding the Shared Leave request, or the entire time of continuous service if less than 12 months, the requesting employee must:

  • Have a satisfactory attendance record (documentation of written discipline due to attendance as detailed on the HRM website, will result in ineligibility for Shared Leave);
  • Not have an overall rating of “unsatisfactory” on their most recent performance evaluation, if applicable; and
  • Not have been subject to disciplinary action as detailed on the HRM website;

To request Shared Leave, an employee must submit a Shared Leave Request Form that has been completed by a health care provider to establish the nature of the illness or injury. The Shared Leave Committee, appointed by HRM, will review requests for eligible employees. Ultimately, HRM will determine eligibility for Shared Leave. Information about the request procedure and timelines is located on the Shared Leave website and in the Shared Leave Guide.

If the employee is eligible for the FMLA, HRM will make an FMLA determination using the completed Shared Leave Request form. Employees who are currently receiving or have applied for Workers' Compensation for the illness or injury that is the basis for the shared leave request, and employees who have been approved for Long Term Disability (LTD) are not eligible for Shared Leave.

Shared Leave Donor Eligibility:

Fiscal year faculty and University staff who wish to donate vacation leave must have a remaining vacation leave balance of at least 80 hours after the donation.

University faculty or staff who wish to donate sick leave must have a remaining sick leave balance of at least 480 hours after the donation.

The leave balance requirements are not applicable if the employee is separating or retiring from employment with the University. Retirement eligible employees who qualify for a sick leave payout may donate hours in excess of their qualifying hours balance.

Relationship to Long Term Disability:

While Shared Leave is only granted to those employees who are expected to return to work, in special circumstances it may serve as a temporary solution for an eligible employee who has yet to reach the required 180 days of total continuous absence required for long-term disability (LTD). Also, in special circumstances, an extension of Shared Leave may be approved beyond 180 days of continuous absence if the employee is actively pursuing LTD, as determined by Human Resource Management. Shared Leave may be revoked at any time if it is determined the employee is not complying with the LTD application process.

Unit Information:

The unit to which the recipient employee is appointed is responsible for the salary and fringe costs of Shared Leave which are charged to the current HR/Pay funding source. No employee shall be coerced, threatened, intimidated, or financially induced to donate or not apply for Shared Leave. Any effort to inappropriately induce such donations or prohibit application for Shared Leave should be reported to Human Resource Management at hrdept@ku.edu.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Conditions that do not qualify and/or are not likely to qualify for Shared Leave include, but are not limited to, routine pregnancy and delivery, routine surgeries, non-emergency procedures.

An employee who has worked for the University for a minimum of six months but not long enough to qualify under the Parental Leave policy, may be granted Shared Leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child. In such a case, the terms and stipulations of the Parental Leave policy will apply as appropriate. Shared Leave cannot be combined with the Parental Leave policy. Please contact Human Resource Management to determine eligibility.

Donations may be made to a specific employee if the employee has been approved for Shared Leave by the Shared Leave Committee.

Temporary employees are not eligible to donate or receive Shared Leave.


Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Chief Human Resource Officer
Approved on: 
Friday, June 1, 2001
Effective on: 
Friday, June 1, 2001
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

For faculty, unclassified staff, and academic staff, “employee's family”, as defined by Kansas Board of Regents Policy II. C. 10., shall include persons related to the employee by blood, marriage, or adoption, and minors residing in the employee's residence as members of the employee’s household.

Parents are defined as persons who have primary care giving and financial support roles for a child who is newly born, adopted, or placed in the persons’ residence. Under the Shared Leave policy, a child is defined as an individual less than 18 years of age.

Life-Threatening illness - Shared leave will only be granted for extreme, or life-threatening illnesses, injuries, impairments or physical or mental conditions which have caused, or are likely to cause, an employee to take leave without pay or terminate employment. Mental conditions include, but are not limited to; mental health, psychosocial, or behavioral health.

Shared Leave, donate leave, sick, illness, injury, accident, newborn, baby, disability
Change History: 

03/27/2023: Updated special circumstances and revised policy language for clarity.
02/10/2022: Added statement to address birth, adoption, or placement of a child in exclusions section.
04/30/2021: Updated policy to include mental health terminology. 
07/01/2019: Updated to remove parental shared leave information
06/13/2019: Added provision of parental shared leave policy for qualifying events occuring prior to July 1, 2019. 
06/01/2018: Application of Shared Leave for parental leave.
01/08/2018: Clarify eligibility to reflect ongoing practice, that the employee must have six months of continuous, service appointed to a regular, not temporary, position.
09/25/2017: Make clear that shared leave is not protected leave like FMLA and ADA. Clarify eligibility requirements to now include all discipline rather than just discipline related to attendance. Added that in order to get shared leave as a "bridge" they have to be actively participating in the Long Term Disability process.
02/22/2017: Fixed broken link to Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual.
03/16/2015: Updated last review date, added purpose and applies to, expanded campuses, updated policy statement to align with process changes.
10/14/2015: Updated policy to align with process changes.
04/02/2015: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
12/17/2014: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
11/17/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/2008: Updated.

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays

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