Appendix B – FAQs

 Catastrophic Leave Program

Why is sick leave not included as part of the program?

Sick leave is not something an employee “owns” and therefore, cannot be given away. Sick Leave accrual is essentially an insurance policy. For example, when an employee terminates, accrued sick time is forfeited. An exception occurs when an individual retires from UC, in which case accrued sick leave has an impact on computation of the retirement benefit.

What is the effect of short- and long-term disability benefits in relation to the program?

Once time is donated to an eligible employee, that employee is placed on active pay status. When an employee is on pay status, he/she is not eligible for short-term or long-term disability insurance.

May donations be made to an employee outside my home department?

Yes, donations may be made across departments.

Are donations permitted if they cross fund sources?

Yes, UCI employs a “leave costing” approach, whereby an assessment is charged to the fund source at the time the leave accrues. Ownership transfers to the employee at that moment, and he/she is free to donate it if desired, without regard to the fund source.

May an employee donate time to a central donation bank?

Yes, there is a central donation bank. Donations may also be designated for a specific employee.

Must donations be made anonymously?

Generally, it will be assumed that donations are being made anonymously. Anonymity prevents pressure from being placed on, or perceived by, employees who do not choose to donate hours, regardless of the reason for their decision . However, as a matter of personal discretion, donors may choose to inform recipients of their action.

What are considered paid leave accruals?

Use of vacation, sick leave, compensatory time, and paid time off are considered paid leave.

Can a recipient use donated catastrophic leave to cover his/her waiting period for disability?

Yes.

Does employer paid disability have to be exhausted?

No.

What effect does catastrophic leave have on the recipient’s FMLA/CAFRA rights?

FMLA/CAFRA may run concurrent with the catastrophic leave.

May an academic appointee donate to a staff employee, and vice versa?

Yes.

Why can’t an academic appointee who does not accrue sick leave request catastrophic leave?

The program requires an individual to have exhausted all of their accrued sick leave prior to requesting catastrophic leave. Academics who do not accrue sick leave already have the right to request paid leave for medical purposes. Such requests are submitted to the Chair and forwarded to the Dean then to the Executive Vice Chancellor for approval.

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