Open Enrollment for 2020 ends on Friday, Nov. 8, and there are a lot of decisions — not all of them pleasant — to be made. But there’s one that will provide a measure of security for Georgia Tech employees who need it the most.

Under the University System of Georgia’s Shared Sick Leave Program, Tech employees who are experiencing any condition under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may tap into a pool of donated sick leave. They can also tap into it to cover an absence necessitated by the illness or injury of an immediate family member (such as a spouse, parent, or child). This includes those who will be welcoming a child through birth or adoption.

Where does the donated sick leave come from? From fellow Georgia Tech employees. And it can make all the difference to someone facing a debilitating illness, injury, or other long-term health issue.

All faculty and staff members who are eligible to accrue and use paid sick leave, and who have been continuously employed as a benefits-eligible employee at Georgia Tech and have met their provisional period of six months, are eligible for this program. 

If you’re interested in enrolling in the program and donating sick leave, there are a few things to know.

You must donate to gain membership. Any employee who wishes to benefit from the donated sick leave pool must donate at least eight hours of their own time. Employees must also have a balance of at least 40 hours of sick leave after their donation (meaning, in order to opt in, you must have at least 48 hours of sick leave at the time of your donation — which can only be made during Open Enrollment).

Once you are a member of the pool, all requests must be submitted via an application process. Employees must go through a confidential application process to request sick leave hours when a situation occurs.

The maximum withdrawal amount is 480 hours (12 weeks) per year. When an employee withdraws the maximum number of hours, membership in the pool will be terminated for the rest of the calendar year. The employee must donate again during benefits open enrollment in order to become a member again.

Donated sick leave cannot be used in conjunction with disability coverage, or any other short- or long-term income protection benefits.

You must exhaust all sick and annual leave first, or provide credible evidence that you will exhaust all sick and annual leave before the medical condition is resolved.

Read the full policy at

For more information about Open Enrollment, visit