The Shared Leave Program allows eligible University Support Staff and Unclassified Staff to donate sick and/or vacation leave and eligible faculty to donate sick leave to the Shared Leave Pool. The Shared Leave Pool is available to eligible faculty/staff member(s) who are experiencing an extreme or life threatening illness/injury either personally or to provide care for a family member that is experiencing an extreme or life threatening illness/injury; that do not have enough accrued leave to support the duration of leave required for the medical absence.
Faculty and staff members who are appointed to regular positions, with six months of continuous service in such positions, are eligible to participate in the Shared Leave Program as leave recipients or as donors.
An eligible faculty/staff member may request personal or family Shared Leave only for an extreme or life threatening illness or injury that may require leave without pay from work or termination of employment for inpatient or hospice care, extensive outpatient treatment, or care at home. The standard for qualifying as an extreme or life threatening illness or injury is, at a minimum, the criteria established for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) including, for example, overnight hospital care and its resulting incapacity or subsequent treatment, chronic conditions requiring medical treatment, or permanent long term conditions requiring medical treatment. The department to which a faculty/staff member is appointed pays the sick leave for a Shared Leave recipient. Upon returning to work, a Shared Leave recipient will be expected to provide a release to return to work from a health care provider to Human Resource Management (HRM).
Shared Leave, in and of itself does not provide job protected leave. Shared Leave serves to keep approved employees in paid status during an absence due to an extreme or life threatening medical condition. Shared Leave may be granted for a maximum of six months per designated condition. When Shared Leave is requested for more than six calendar months, the leave may cause an undue burden on the department. In such cases, HRM will consult the appointing unit to determine if the leave should be denied. However, protected leave of more than six calendar months approved under the auspices of the FMLA or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will not be denied.
Faculty and staff may apply for Shared Leave if they have six months of continuous service cannot perform regular work duties, and have exhausted or will have exhausted all forms of paid leave at the time Shared Leave is granted. The requesting faculty/staff member must:
- Have a satisfactory attendance record for the 12 months prior to any Shared Leave approval. Unsatisfactory attendance includes but is not limited to: documented discipline for attendance (to include unauthorized breaks during the work shift) and/or placement on attendance restrictions;
- Have not been subject to disciplinary action within the 12 months prior to any Shared Leave approval, as determined by HRM;
- Have a satisfactory (or meets expectations) or higher on the most recent performance evaluation.
If the employee is eligible for the FMLA, the employee must have applied for and been approved for FMLA coverage for the same condition to qualify for Shared Leave.
Relationship to Long Term Disability:
While Shared Leave is only granted to those faculty/staff who are expected to return to work, in special circumstances it may serve as a "bridge" until an eligible employee has reached 180 days of total continuous absence, starting from the first day of incapacity. 180 days of continuous absences is one of the requirements to qualify for long-term disability (LTD). 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.
Conditions that do not qualify and/or are not likely to qualify for Shared Leave include, but are not limited to, pregnancy, care of a healthy new born child, routine surgeries, non-emergency procedures.
If a faculty/staff member has not worked for 12 months, the employee must have a satisfactory attendance and performance record since the date of employment.
Eligibility to donate or to receive Shared Leave is based on continuous service being appointed to a position with regular, rather than temporary, status.
A faculty/staff member receiving Workers' Compensation is not eligible for Shared Leave. Shared Leave is only granted to those faculty/staff who are expected to return to work.
A university staff member who wishes to donate vacation leave must have a vacation leave balance of at least 80 hours after the donation is made.
A faculty/staff member who wish to donate sick leave must have a sick leave balance of at least 480 hours after the donation is made. Faculty are allowed to donate only sick leave, with a maximum donation of 80 hours per fiscal year.
The leave balance requirements are not applicable if the employee is separating from employment with the University. Those who are retiring or who are retirement eligible who qualify for a sick leave payout may donate hours in excess of their qualifying hours balance.
Donations may be made to a specific employee if the employee has been approved for Shared Leave by the Shared Leave Committee.
No employee shall be coerced, threatened, intimidated or financially induced to donate Shared Leave. Any effort to inappropriately induce such donations should be reported to the Department of Human Resource Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
For faculty, unclassified staff, and academic staff, "employee's family" 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. “Family” is defined by Kansas Board of Regents Policy, II, C.10.dii
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.
A child is defined as an individual less than 18 years of age.
Life Threatening illness - Shared leave for an extreme or life threatening condition 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 impairments include, but are not limited to; mental health, psychosocial, or behavioral health.
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).