Voluntary Shared Leave



Policy/Operational Procedure Name:

Voluntary Shared Leave


Kathy McKinley
Executive Director, Human Resources


Human Resources

Effective Date(s):

May 1, 2017

Next Review Date:





25 NCAC 01E.1304, 1C SBCCC 200.94


Policy Statement



In case of a serious and prolonged medical condition, Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech) employees may apply for or be nominated to become a recipient of leave transferred from another employee. Durham Tech’s voluntary shared leave procedure is as follows:

  1. Limits on Program Participation

    • The use of annual, sick, or bonus leave on a shared basis for any purpose other than specified by this procedure is prohibited.

    • The establishment of a "leave bank" for use by unnamed employees is expressly prohibited.

    • The employee donating leave cannot receive compensation for the leave donated.

    • Participation in this program is strictly voluntary. Any action by an employee to coerce another employee or interfere in any way with donating, receiving, or using leave under this program shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to, and including, dismissal on the basis of personal conduct.

  2. Solicitation of Leave

    • Only the Human Resources department may solicit donations of annual, bonus, or sick leave on behalf of an employee approved for participation in this program. This solicitation of leave will be made only through periodic notices, as required. Employees interested in participating in the program must complete the Voluntary Shared Leave Program application.

    • An employee may not personally solicit leave donations on his/her own behalf or on behalf of another employee, under the penalties noted above. However, an employee may solicit family members on his/her own behalf.

  3. Confidentiality

    • Individual leave records are confidential, and only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of leave. In addition, an employee receiving donated leave shall not be informed of the names of employees who have donated leave. Finally, the nature of an employee's medical condition will not be made public.

  4. Eligibility and Participation Requirements for Recipients

    • Recipients must be permanent full-time employees in a leave-earning status (including probationary employees and trainees to permanent appointments).

    • An employee may apply for shared leave when medical evidence is available to support the need for leave beyond 20 days and also beyond the employee's accumulated leave balance. Leave donated under the program may be used to cover any associated absence from work.

    • An employee must deplete all annual, bonus, and sick leave, and accrued compensatory time in his or her account to become eligible to use donated leave. Leave accrued during the disability period will be deducted prior to shared leave donations.

    • Participation in this program is limited to 1,040 hours either continuously or, if for the same condition, on a recurring basis. However, leadership may grant employees continuation in the program, month by month, for a maximum of 2,080 hours if management would otherwise have granted leave without pay.

    • The college may initially or periodically require verification from the employee's attending physician (or the employee's family member's attending physician) as to the current or continuing nature of the medical condition determine initial or continuing eligibility for participation in the shared leave program.

    • An employee on the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina or on workers' compensation leave should contact Human Resources for further information regarding participation in the program.

  5. Participation Requirements for Donors

    • Donation of Annual or Bonus Leave

      • If the recipient employee has been approved for leave transfer under this program, annual or bonus leave may be donated by any full-time employee in a leave-earning status provided the employee donating annual or bonus leave does not reduce his or her annual leave balance below one-half the annual annual leave accrual rate. For example, a full-time employee with five, but less than 10, years of state service earns 136 hours annually. This employee may contribute four or more hours but may not reduce his or her annual leave balance below 68 hours.

    • Donation of Sick Leave

      • Employees may donate sick leave to an immediate family member. For transfer of sick leave, “immediate family member” is restricted to spouse, parents, children (including stepchildren), and other dependents living in the employee's household. An employee donating sick leave to a qualified family member under this program may not reduce his or her sick leave account below 40 hours.

      • Employees may donate to a non-family member no more than five days of sick leave per year to any one nonfamily member. The combined total of sick leave donated to a recipient from nonfamily member donors shall not exceed 20 days per year.

    • Amount of Sick or Annual Leave to be Donated

      • The minimum amount of sick or annual leave to be donated is four hours. Additional amounts may be donated in one-hour increments. The maximum amount of sick leave that may be donated is 1,040 hours but may not reduce the donor’s sick leave balance below 40 hours.

    • Impact of Donated Sick Leave

      • Donated sick leave may not be used for retirement purposes. Employees who donate sick leave shall be notified in writing of the state retirement credit consequences of donating sick leave.

  6. Treatment of Unused Donated Leave

    • Expiration of Medical Condition or Resignation of Recipient

      • At the expiration of the medical condition (as determined by the college) or if the recipient employee resigns while participating in the program, the following guidelines apply:

        • The recipient’s sick leave balance of the recipient may not exceed 40 hours. Annual leave balance will be zero.

        • Any additional unused donated leave beyond 40 hours will be returned to the donor(s) on a prorated basis in increments of five minutes. Amounts less than one hour or increments fewer than five minutes shall not be returned to an individual donor and will be forfeited.

        • Donated leave that would have been forfeited by the donor at the end of the calendar year (any amount above the 240 hours maximum allowable carryover) will not be returned to the donor.

    • Death of Recipient Employee

      • In the case of the death of an employee, unused donated leave will be returned to the donor(s) on a prorated basis in increments as indicated in procedure statement VI above.

  7. Participation in Shared Leave Program – Recipients

    • Request for Participation

      • An employee wishing to receive shared leave must apply or be nominated by a fellow employee by letter of application to Human Resources. The nature of the employee's medical condition shall not be made public. (Please Note: In regard to application for participation in the program, each approved medical condition shall stand alone. An employee already approved for the shared leave program for one illness who subsequently develops another illness while in the program will have to reapply to remain eligible for the program.) Employees who are eligible for FMLA must complete an FMLA request through Human Resources. Employees who are not eligible for FMLA must request participation by contacting Human Resources and providing the following information:

        • Name;

        • Estimated length of time needed to participate in the program;

        • A physician's statement or diagnosis certification of the illness and the anticipated length of disability; and

        • A current time sheet.

    • Approval of the Request

      • Human Resources will review the merits of the request and will inform the employee of the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection.

    • Recipient Leave Accounting and Usage If Approved

      • Recipients will be notified in writing by Human Resources of leave amounts which have been donated to their account. Recipients should enter donated leave on their monthly time sheet.

Leave transferred under this program will be available for use on a current basis or may be retroactive up to 60 calendar days. Leave may be used to cover the initial 20 days of disability. All donated leave (whether sick, annual, or bonus leave) will be credited to the recipient's sick leave account.

         8. Participation in Shared Leave Program – Donors

  • Request for Participation

    • An employee who wishes to donate annual, bonus, or sick leave should submit an Application for Leave to his or her immediate supervisor for approval.

  • Approval of the Request

    • Supervisory approval to donate annual, bonus, or sick leave is intended only to ensure participation requirements are met and leave donated is accurately reported. Supervisory approval of donated leave is not discretionary as is regular use of leave. The supervisor should ensure that donors do not exceed the donation limits and should contact Human Resources if unsure whether designated recipients have been approved for participation in the program. Following supervisory approval, the original form should be forwarded to Human Resources for further review and final approval.

  • Donor Leave Accounting if Approved

Once an employee receives supervisory approval, he or she should record the number of donated hours on his or her monthly time sheet.


The intent of the Voluntary Shared Leave Program is to allow employees to assist each other in a crisis involving a serious, prolonged medical condition. This program is not meant to apply to incidental, normal, and short-term medical conditions.

For the purpose of this policy, medical condition refers to a medical condition of an employee (or his/her family member) that is likely to require the employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and result in a substantial loss of income due to limited leave in the employee's leave accounts.