Appendix III – Campus Catastrophic Leave Program

Appendix III – Campus Catastrophic Leave Program

February 3, 2014

I. Introduction

The UCLA Campus Catastrophic Leave Program permits temporary salary and benefit continuation for a staff employee who accrues vacation and who has exhausted all paid leave credit to address circumstances such as:

  • A catastrophic illness or injury of an employee;
  • To care for a catastrophically ill or injured family member;
  • To deal with the death of a family member; or
  • To address a catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to a terrorist attack, fire, or natural disaster. 

The Program allows employees to donate vacation leave to staff employees (or the central catastrophic leave bank) who do not have sufficient accumulated paid leave credits to meet a verifiable, catastrophic circumstance as noted above. While the Program establishes a mechanism for leave transfers, participation is entirely voluntary. Donations are anonymous, unless donors elect otherwise.

II.  DEFINITIONS

A. Catastrophic Illness or Injury: a non-industrial illness or injury which is physically debilitating or life threatening and requires the employee's absence from work when the employee has exhausted all paid leave credits.

B. Catastrophic Casualty Loss: a situation in which staff employees are unable to report to work due to a natural disaster or emergency as covered by administrative leave for emergencies in the Absence of Work Policy.

C. Family Members: Except for purposes of Family and Medical Leave, an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, children (including children of the employee’s domestic partner), parents, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. Step-relatives, in-laws, and relatives by adoption are included on the same basis as the above-listed blood relatives. If an employee was raised by persons other than his/her biological parents, these individuals also are included in this category. Likewise, if an employee is raising a child who is not his/her biological child, that child is included in this category.

D. Paid Leave Credits: includes sick leave, vacation, blood bank donations, and compensatory time off (CTO).  For purposes of this Catastrophic Leave Program, only vacation leave credits may be donated.

E. Recipient: the employee who is eligible to accrue and use vacation, has exhausted all paid leave credits, and is in need of extending his/her salary and benefits temporarily.

F. Donor: the employee who is donating vacation time to an employee or to the Catastrophic Leave Bank ("the Bank").

III. QUALIFYING SITUATIONS 

A. The Donor (donating employee) must:

  • Be an employee of a UCLA department
  • Be in a position that accrues vacation leave
  • Have accrued sufficient vacation leave to cover the amount of the donation to be made (leave may not be donated prior to accrual)

B. The Recipient (receiving employee) must:

  • Be a staff employee of a UCLA department
  • Be in a position that accrues vacation leave
  • Have exhausted all paid leave credits

NOTE: An eligible employee may receive vacation leave donations for the purpose of a catastrophically ill family member and/or death, but first he or she shall exhaust his/her sick leave balance, even when doing so results in exceeding the time limits imposed on the use of sick leave for family illness and bereavement by applicable personnel policies.

IV. CRITERIA

A. Department Head or Designee: The Department Head shall determine the methodology for soliciting donations to the Catastrophic Leave Program. Participation in the Catastrophic Leave Program is strictly voluntary. 


B. Recipient: Donations may be credited incrementally to the receiving employee to a maximum of 160 hours in a twelve-month period. Employees may not receive any University-paid or Employee-paid Disability benefits while being paid from Catastrophic Leave Program donations because the employee is considered to be on active pay status. Donated time may be applied to the recipient’s Employee-paid Disability waiting period.


C. Donor: Each donation by an eligible donor must be a minimum of eight (8) hours with any additional hours for that donation in whole hour increments. When the recipient is eligible to receive fewer than eight (8) hours, donations of less than eight (8) hours may be made. The maximum that may be donated is 50% of the donor's vacation balance or eighty (80) hours in a twelve-month period, whichever is less. Donations may be made to individual employees or to the bank.

V.  ELIGIBILITY 


All UCLA campus staff employees who are eligible to accrue and use vacation time are eligible to participate in the Catastrophic Leave Program. Exclusively represented employees who meet the criteria may participate in the program to the extent provided in the applicable collective bargaining agreements. The program is non-grievable and is not subject to any arbitration policy applicable to any employee.

Vacation leave may be credited to an employee under the Catastrophic Leave Program if the following conditions are met:

  • The employee (recipient) has sent a written request and applicable supporting documentation to the Department Head (or designee);
  • The Department Head (or designee) has confirmed that the employee is unable to work due to the catastrophic circumstances stated in section II;
  • The requesting employee has exhausted all paid leave credits; 
  • The employee (recipient) is not presently receiving disability benefits or workers' compensation payments; and
  • Vacation leave hours have been donated for that employee or are available from the Bank.


VI. METHOD OF DONATING VACATION HOURS 

  1. Designated Donation: An employee may donate time to an individual employee who is eligible to receive catastrophic leave hours by completing a donation form and submitting it to his/her department head or designee.

    • The department head or designee is responsible for coordinating the solicitation for leave donations.
    • The department is responsible for processing adjustments to the leave balances of the donor and the recipient.
  2. Undesignated Donation: An employee may donate vacation leave hours to a central catastrophic leave bank maintained by campus Payroll Services by completing a donation form and submitting it to his/her department head.

    • The department head authorizes the department timekeeper to reduce the employee's vacation leave balance.
    • The donation form is submitted to Campus Human Resources – Policy & Personnel Services.

VII.   PROCESS, VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL

In order to receive any donated vacation leave hours, the employee must provide appropriate verification of illness or injury (from a licensed health care provider), or documentation of the catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to death, fire or natural disaster to his/her Department Head (or designee). 

A. The potential recipient may initiate the process by submitting a “Catastrophic Leave Request Application Form” to his/her Department Head (or designee) to participate in the Program. The employee must request, and the Department Head (or designee) must approve, a leave for a specified period of time. Approved leaves may not be open-ended.

B. The potential recipient’s department will verify that proper documentation from a licensed health care provider or pertinent information of the catastrophic casualty loss exists. The department will also verify that the intended recipient has exhausted, or will exhaust, all paid leave and determine the number of hours necessary for the remainder of the approved catastrophic leave.

C. The potential donor may also initiate the donating process by submitting a Catastrophic Leave Donor Form.

D. The department must submit the signed Catastrophic Leave Recipient Application, Donor forms (if applicable) and any requested documentation to Campus Human Resources – Policy & Personnel Services for review and approval. 


VIII. Transfer of Vacation Leave Hours

Donations are irrevocable once the donor signs the form authorizing a deduction from his or her vacation leave balance unless the designated recipient becomes ineligible to receive the donation. The department head or designee will ensure that donations meet the eligibility criteria and will deduct the donated vacation hours from the leave balance of the donor. The leave balance should be reduced using the Description of Service (DOS) code VLC so that the department does not receive a credit from the financial leave reserve account.

IX. Effect on the Family & Medical Leave and California Family Rights

Participation in the Catastrophic Leave Program does not affect a recipient employee's right to Family and Medical Leave (FML) and/or leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Time paid through this Program will be charged as FML or CFRA as long as the employee meets the eligibility requirements (i.e., having worked at least 1,250 hours during the last twelve (12) months), and the leave has been designated as FML or CFRA.


UCLA CAMPUS CATASTROPHIC LEAVE PROGRAM
Description Summary

Implementation Date March 1, 1999
Modified June 1, 2010
Program Outline UCLA Catastrophic Leave Program address circumstances such as catastrophic injury or illness of an employee; caring for a catastrophically ill or injured family member or household member; to deal with the death of a family or household member; or to address a catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to a terrorist attack, fire, or natural disaster. The catastrophic nature requires the employee's absence from work. The employee shall have exhausted all accrued paid leave credits (i.e., vacation, sick leave, blood bank donations, and compensatory time off).
Eligibility All UCLA staff employees who accrue and who are eligible to use accrued vacation. The contributing and receiving employees may be from the same department or from different departments; or, employees may contribute and receive hours from the central catastrophic leave bank maintained by campus Payroll Services. 
Eligible Leave Credits Accrued vacation time. Sick leave credits may NOT be transferred. 
Minimum Donations Each donation must be a minimum of eight (8) hours with any additional hours for that donation in whole-hour increments. Donations of less than eight (8) hours may be made only when the recipient is eligible to receive fewer than eight (8) hours.
Maximum Donations The maximum that may be donated is 50% of his/her vacation balance or eighty (80) hours of accrued vacation leave in a twelve-month period, whichever is less. 
Maximum Receipt
of Donations
An employee may receive a maximum of 160 hours vacation in each twelve-month period. 
Pay Level of
Donating or Receiving
Employees
Contributions can be made to employees at a higher or lower pay level because donations are transferred on an hour-for-hour basis (not on a dollar-for-dollar basis). 
Department Head's
(or Designee's)
Responsibilities

The Department Head (or designee) is responsible for:

  • determining if the applicant (with appropriate verification) is eligible to participate in the Program.
  • submitting appropriate documentation upon request to support applications made to the central catastrophic leave blank;
  • verifying that all paid leave has been exhausted;
  • assuring that only the hours that are needed by a recipient are actually credited (as an hour-for-hour addition to his/her leave balance) and assuring that all hours granted to the recipient are used within the period specified on the request form; and
  • ensuring that all unused hours are returned to the appropriate donor (or Bank).
Employee's
Responsibilities*

The employee is responsible for:

  • obtaining the appropriate verification;
  • completing the Recipient Application Request form with the medical verification attached; and
  • assuring that all credits requested are used within the period specified on the request form.

*The Recipient Application Request form can be completed by the department designee, a family member or individual residing in the household if the employee is incapacitated.