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University Policy 43

Voluntary Shared Leave Program

Formerly Executive Memorandum 90-99
Initially approved November 15, 1990
Revised December 19, 2016

Policy Topic: Personnel

Administering Office: Office of Human Resources and Payroll


It is the policy of Western Carolina University (the “University”) to comply with the State Human Resources Commission policy governing the administration of the voluntary shared leave program.


This policy applies to all University employees in leave-earning appointments, both subject to and exempt from the State Human Resources Act (“SHRA” and “EHRA” respectively).  The intent of this policy is to allow one employee to assist another who is experiencing a serious, prolonged medical condition. The policy is not intended to apply to incidental, routine or short-term medical conditions.


donor” means the employee who donates leave.

executive manager” means each of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Engagement, Chief of Staff, Chief Information Officer, General Counsel or Athletic Director.

immediate family member” means any of the following: (1) a husband, wife, mother, father, child, brother or sister, including biological, adoptive, foster, step, In Loco Parentis, and in-law family members; (2) grand/great-grand parent, child, step, and in-law family members; and (3) dependents living in the employee’s household.

prolonged medical condition or prolonged period of time” means twenty (20) consecutive workdays.

recipient” means the employee or the employee’s immediate family who receives leave.


A. Participation in Voluntary Shared Leave Program – General Requirements

Participation in the shared leave program, either as donor or recipient, is subject to limitations with respect to eligibility, minimum and maximum transfers, type of leave transferred, verification of medical condition, and disposition of unused leave, among others. These requirements, as well as procedures and forms for the shared leave program are available upon request to the Office of Human Resources and Payroll.

B. Eligibility for Voluntary Shared Leave / Application

An employee is eligible to participate in the voluntary shared leave program if: (1) the employee has a medical condition which will cause him/her to be absent from work for a prolonged period of time (typically twenty (20) consecutive workdays); (2) the absence from work is necessary because of personal illness or the provision of care to an immediate family member; and (3) the employee will incur substantial loss of income due to limited accumulation in his/her leave account.

An eligible employee may apply for or be nominated by a fellow employee for participation in the voluntary shared leave program. The executive manager is responsible for approving or disapproving participation by employees in his/her respective division/unit.

C.  Requirements for Donors

Any employee may donate leave to an employee who has been approved to receive voluntary shared leave because of a medical condition of the employee or a member of the employee's immediate family that will require the employee's absence from work for a prolonged period of time.

An immediate family member may donate vacation, bonus or sick leave to another immediate family member.

A non-family member may donate vacation or bonus leave to another employee. A non-family member may also donate sick leave to another employee subject to the following requirements/limitations: (1) the donor shall not donate more than five (5) days of sick leave per year to any one nonfamily member; (2) the combined total of sick leave donated to a recipient from nonfamily member donors shall not exceed twenty (20) days per year; (3) donated sick leave shall not be used for retirement purposes; and (4) employees who donate sick leave shall be notified in writing of the State retirement credit consequences of donating sick leave.

D. Prohibitions

The use of vacation or sick leave on a shared basis for any purpose other than that specified by this policy is prohibited.

Establishment of a leave "bank" for use by unspecified employees is prohibited.

An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee for the purpose of interfering with any right which the latter may have with respect to donating, receiving or using leave under this program. Such action by an employee shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.

Individual leave records are confidential, and only individual employees may reveal their transfer or receipt of leave.

The donor is not permitted to receive remuneration for the leave transferred.


This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary in the event that the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources revises related policies and/ procedures.


Office of State Human Resources Policies: Voluntary Shared Leave

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