Employee & Labor Relations

Stanford Community Leave Bank

A. Program Description

Stanford recognizes that employees may have a catastrophic situation that causes a severe impact to them resulting in a need for additional salary supplement during such circumstances. To address this need, eligible employees will be allowed to donate accrued vacation leave hours from their unused balance to a central leave bank fund. This central leave bank fund will be made available to employees who have been affected by a catastrophic situation in accordance with university policy. Participation in this program is strictly voluntary for both donors and requestors.

B. Employee Eligibility

  1. Overall Participation
    1. Active employees in benefits eligible positions who have completed their initial trial period and have 12 months of service with the university are eligible to participate. Specific participation guidelines for donors and requestors follow this section. Employees in classifications that do not accrue vacation are not eligible to participate in the program.
    2. Only regular benefits eligible employees who accrue vacation are eligible to participate in this program. As such, faculty, post docs, lecturers, contingent employees and student workers are not eligible to participate.
    3. SLAC: As of June 15, 2012, SLAC participation is under review. SLAC will not participate until this review has been completed.
    4. Collective Bargaining Agreements: Employees covered by the collective bargaining agreements with SEIU HEW Local 2007 and Stanford Deputy Sheriff’s Association are eligible to participate.
  2. Donor Specific Information
    1. Donors must meet the guidelines stated in the Overall Participation section of this policy. Employees on an approved leave of absence cannot donate.
  3. Requestor Specific Information
    1. Requestors must meet the guidelines stated in the Overall Participation section of this policy.
    2. Must be on an approved leave of absence for their own illness or the illness of an FMLA eligible family member. Certification of the leave is required through the university’s disability vendor.
    3. Must meet the catastrophic definition and requirements.

C. Donation Guidelines

  1. Donors can only donate accrued vacation leave hours up to a maximum of 40 hours per fiscal year. All donations must be in full hour increments. Unaccrued leave is not eligible to be donated. If a donor is at the maximum accrual for vacation, only vacation leave currently accrued is eligible for donation. Donors cannot borrow future vacation leave accruals for donation.
  2. Once hours are donated, the donor has given up all rights to the hours. The hours remain in the central leave bank until used by an eligible employee. Donations are voluntary, confidential and irrevocable.
  3. Employees are encouraged to carefully consider the number of hours that they elect to donate to ensure that they retain a leave balance that meets their personal needs. Typically employees are encouraged to retain at least 50 percent of their available vacation leave balance.
  4. Donations are made to the SCLB central leave bank, not specific employees. It is the responsibility of the program administrators to determine payout based on the program guidelines.

D. Requestor Guidelines

  1. Requestors must complete all required documentation and meet the eligibility requirements in order to be considered to for leave hours from the central leave bank.
  2. Requestors are eligible to apply for consideration for SCLB central leave bank hours when the following criteria have been met:
    1. The requestor is on an approved leave of absence.
    2. The requestor has exhausted all available leave time, (e.g., vacation, sick, floating holiday or PTO as applicable) to supplement VDI, SDI, STD or LTD disability pay.
    3. The request meets the catastrophic definition and is covered one by the following:
      • A Serious Health Condition-a serious debilitating illness or injury that incapacitates the employee or family member and meets the qualifications of a serious health condition as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and certified by the university’s disability vendor.
      • A Major Disaster-a disaster as declared by the President of the United States under the Stafford Act that warrants individual assistance or individual and public assistance from the federal government under the Stafford Act.
      • Eligibility under the Family Temporary Disability program when related to a family member.
  3. The maximum number of hours available for payout is dependent upon the number of hours in the central leave bank and may not exceed 80 hours per fiscal calendar year. Requestors may request one additional allocation per fiscal calendar year. Consideration will be given based on needs, hours available, and will require the approval of the Vice President of Human Resources and/or his/her designee.
  4. Hours paid from the SCLB leave bank are not 403b eligible.
  5. If approved, SCLB payments, combined with other income sources, e.g., disability payments, may not exceed the employee’s wages at the time the leave began.
  6. If approved, SCLB payments are from the first pay period following the approval date, and are not retroactive.
  7. Payments end based on: the employee returning to work; the employee’s separation from the university, including LTD termination; or the exhaustion of the allocated hours.
  8. Eligibility Decisions: Eligibility is determined by Employee & Labor Relations and Disability and Leave Services based on the program guidelines. Each request is reviewed by a panel of three individuals, (a department representative, an unaffiliated representative and an Employee & Labor Relations manager.) A final review is completed by University Employee & Labor Relations prior to payment being authorized.

E. Tax Treatments

  1. Donors: A donor does not realize any income and incurs no tax for the time donated. Donated time does not qualify as a charitable contribution for the donor’s tax purposes.
  2. Requestors: Requestors will be taxed on the value of the central leave bank time paid to them at their most recent rate of pay. The value of such payments is subject to all applicable tax deductions and withholding orders.

F. Procedures

  1. Donations are based on hours, not pay rate.
  2. Leave hours are paid at the requestor’s most recent rate of pay.
  3. Payment of the SCLB central leave bank hours is coordinated through the Disability and Leave Services Offices. Payment is coordinated in the same manner as the salary supplement process.
  4. If there are no hours in the SCLB central leave bank, the request will be placed in pending status for 60 days. If there are no hours available at the end of the 60 day period, the request will be closed. The employee may reapply for further consideration.
  5. If there are multiple requests in pending status and leave hours become available, payment will be based on the order of approval and the available leave hours.
  6. Should the requestor return to work prior to the leave payout being utilized, the remaining leave payout will be re-credited to the central leave bank.

G. Definitions

  1. Catastrophic: Catastrophic generally means that the employee is totally incapacitated from work for an extended period and that the leave of absence from work creates a significant financial hardship. Further, the qualifying event meets one or more of the following: poses a threat to life; is a progressive debilitating illness from which recovery is prolonged or unlikely and which involves total medical incapacity for an extended period of time (generally in excess of 90 days); and/or requires extended inpatient or hospice health care. All employee leave time must have been exhausted and the employee must have been deemed eligible for long-term disability benefits, if applicable.
  2. Central Leave Bank: All donated leave hours are maintained in a central leave bank pending approved payouts. This central leave bank is managed by University Human Resources’ Disability and Leave Services department. SCLB hours will be used to supplement disability benefit payments to maintain the employee’s eligible base pay in accordance with Administrative Guide 27.7 (PDF).
  3. Serious Circumstances: A Serious Health Condition: a serious debilitating illness or injury that incapacitates the employee or Family Member and meets the qualifications of a serious health condition as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and certified by the university’s disability vendor; or, A Major Disaster-a disaster as declared by the President of the United States under the Stafford Act that warrants individual assistance or individual and public assistance from the federal government under the Stafford Act.
  4. Stanford Community Leave Bank: The program name that includes the central leave bank.

H. Other Provisions

  1. Decisions made under the SCLB are not subject to the staff grievance program or any collective bargaining grievance program.
  2. SCLB payments do not extend or otherwise affect the amount of leave of absence time an employee may be granted. A payout does not entitle the requestor to any extension of the underlying leave of absence.
  3. The SCLB program recognizes that often situations that may be covered by this program are often of a very personal nature. As such, while participation is encouraged, active solicitation by employees for either for donations or by requestors for specific situations, is not normally encouraged and should be discussed with Human Resources in advance.
  4. Stanford University retains the right to modify, change or discontinue the program at any time and entirely at its discretion.

Stanford Community Leave Bank Forms and Information

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