The Catastrophic Leave Policy is designed to assist employees who have exhausted paid time credits due to a serious or catastrophic illness, injury or condition of the employee or his/her extended family. This policy allows other employees to make grants of time to that employee so that s/he can remain in a paid status for a longer period of time, thus partially ameliorating the financial impact of the illness, injury or condition. The maximum amount of time that can be donated is 1 year. 

Conditions for Receiving Employee

Upon request of an employee and upon approval of the department head, leave credits (vacation, sick leave, compensatory time for employees in Work Groups 1, 4, or 5, and/or holiday time) may be transferred from one or more employees (donating employees) to another employee (receiving employee). The receiving employee may participate in the program under the four following conditions:

  1. The receiving employee is a full or part-time employee;

  2. The receiving employee or member of the employee's extended family including spouse, domestic partner, or young adult dependent to age 30 has sustained a life threatening or debilitating illness, injury or condition. (The Department Head may require that the condition be confirmed by a doctor's report.);

  3. The receiving employee has exhausted all paid time off and payment for SDI, PFL or any other income source.

  4. The receiving employee must be prevented from returning to work for at least 30 days and have applied for a leave of absence without pay for medical reasons.

Appeal Rights

If an employee is denied participation in the program by the Department Head, s/he may appeal this initial decision jointly to the Human Resources Director and the County Manager. Their decision will be final.

Transferring Time

The following rules apply when donations of time occur:

  1. Vacation and holiday time may be transferred by employees in all work groups. Compensatory time for employees in Work Groups 1, 4 and 5 may be transferred; in Work Groups 2 and 3 compensatory time may not be transferred;

  2. Sick leave may be transferred at the rate of one (1) hour of sick leave for every four (4) hours of other time (i.e., holiday, vacation, or eligible compensatory time);

  3. The time will be converted from the type of time given (i.e., vacation, holiday, etc.) to sick leave and credited to the receiving employee's sick leave time balance on an hour-for-hour basis and shall be paid at the rate of pay of the receiving employee;

  4. The donations must be a minimum of eight (8) hours and, thereafter, in whole hour increments;

  5. The total leave credits received by the employee shall normally not exceed six months; however, if approved by the department head, the total leave credits received may be up to a maximum of twelve months;

  6. Donations approved shall be made on a Catastrophic Leave Time Grant form signed by the donating employee and approved by the receiving employee's department head. These donations are irrevocable under any conditions.