Managers & Supervisors

Catastrophic Leave

The Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program permits salary and benefit continuation for employees who have exhausted, or will soon exhaust, all of their own accrued paid leave due to their own serious illness or injury or due to the need to care for a seriously ill member of the employee's family.

The employee's salary and benefit continuation is achieved through donations of vacation credits from the employee's colleagues.

If the employee is eligible to apply for Disability benefits due to this illness or injury, Catastrophic Leave donations must be used prior to receiving any disability benefits.

Participation in the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program is strictly confidential, voluntary and is not subject to any grievance, administrative review or arbitration procedures as applicable to either donor or recipient employees.

Getting Started

The Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program is coordinated by Human Resources. If an employee in your department inquires about a Catastrophic Leave or wishes to donate vacation hours, please refer to the Current Employees section for the following information and instructions:

  • Eligibility Requirements
  • How to apply for Catastrophic Leave
  • Guidelines for Donors
  • How to Donate Vacation Hours

Soliciting Donations

AFTER the Human Resources Program Coordinator has approved an employee’s application for Catastrophic Leave, departments are responsible for coordinating the solicitation for donations of vacation hours from employees in the department. Departments may create their own solicitation message or modify a model letter that is available from the HR Program Coordinator. Employees wanting to donate Catastrophic Leave vacation hours, can Login to the HR ServiceNow portal and click on Leave Administration.

If there are not enough donors within the department, the department may expand the search to related departments within the division. If donations fall short of the anticipated need, the department will notify the recipient that he/she will be placed on leave without pay when the donated leave is exhausted.

Donating Hours

Eligible employees who wish to donate vacation hours can Login to the HR ServiceNow portal and click on Leave Administration.

The forms are sent to the HR Program Coordinator. The donating employee's supervisor will receive an email requesting approval. Donations are used in the order received. The identity of donors is to remain confidential. 

Transferring Hours

The employee participating in the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program must use his/her accruals of vacation & sick time before using donated hours each pay period.

The objective of the program is to maintain uninterrupted pay and benefits for the recipient, thereby delaying or eliminating the need for leave-without-pay status. With that objective in mind, departments should be in close communication with the HR Program Coordinator concerning the number of donated hours needed for each pay period. The recipient of the Catastrophic Leave donations should be paid on the normal payroll cycle.

Closing the Case

The Catastrophic Leave case will be closed when the recipient returns to work or is no longer eligible for the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program. Donors whose donations were not used are notified by the HR Program Coordinator. The recipient is also notified by letter from the HR Program Coordinator that the eligibility for Catastrophic Leave has ended with the return to pay status. If another catastrophic leave situation occurs after an employee loses eligibility, a new application must be submitted.

If the recipient does not receive enough donated leave to cover a full pay period, he/she will be placed on leave without pay by his/her department; and the case will be closed. The recipient will be notified in writing that the case is closed with a copy sent to the department.


Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Coordinator

Tami Schmittgen
Catastrophic Leave Coordinator
Human Resources, Mail Code 3160, SAASB 3101
Campus Phone: 805-893-4752  Email: