Oct 25, 2016 | Atlanta, GA
Each year during Open Enrollment, faculty and staff have the opportunity to participate in Georgia Tech’s Donated Sick Leave program. Starting this year, participation will require membership in the form of a one-time donation of at least eight hours and a qualifying personal retainer.
This program, which Tech has offered since 2009, allows eligible employees (who do not have enough sick leave of their own) to receive a donation of hours in certain critical illness or long-term leave situations.
This year, those who enroll in the Donated Sick Leave program will be required to have at least 40 hours of accrued sick leave beginning at the time of their donation.
Human Resources will continue to manage the pool of donated time. If the pool drops to fewer than 120 hours, all members will be notified of the depleted pool status, and each member will automatically be charged eight hours of sick time to replenish the pool.
These changes are designed to help meet the needs of qualified requests, which can now include conditions or circumstances that meet the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) definition of a serious health condition, now including the birth of a child. In years prior, only critical illnesses were considered qualified health conditions.
Membership in the pool is open to full-time and part-time employees who have met their six-month probationary period. Hours are prorated for part-time employees. Donated Sick Leave cannot be used in conjunction with long- or short-term Disability, but it can be used to meet the elimination period.
“People regularly hear about the policies and regulations we enforce, but they rarely hear about cancer patients or gunshot victims we have helped,” said Athena Jones, Leave Management Specialist. “The pool is facilitated by HR, but it’s the kindness of faculty and staff that makes it possible — and that’s what makes the pool meaningful.”
Leave donations cannot be withdrawn, but members are allowed to withdraw or resume membership each year during Open Enrollment. Employees nearing retirement and on the Optional Retirement Plan are encouraged to consider participation, as their sick hours dissolve at the point of retirement and cannot be cashed in.
Registration for the pool will be available during 2017 Open Enrollment, which runs from Oct. 31 through Nov. 11, at techworks.gatech.edu. For questions about qualified requests, donating hours, or involvement in the pool, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With these changes, Georgia Tech’s Donated Sick Leave program aligns with that of the University System of Georgia (USG). More details about the USG policy and additional changes can be found at c.gatech.edu/usgsickleave.