Catastrophic Illness Donation
The provisions of this section of the NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract and of the FOP and State of Nebraska Labor Contract are non-grievable. Employees may contribute accrued vacation leave or compensatory time to benefit another State employee in the same agency suffering from a catastrophic illness. Vacation/Compensatory leave shall be donated in no less than four (4) hour increments. The contributing employee must identify the specific amount of time donated and the name of the recipient of the donated vacation/compensatory leave on forms provided by the Employer for this purpose. The agency shall transfer donated leave to the recipient's account on an as needed basis.
Donated Leave will be available only to employees who have exhausted their own paid leave through bona fide serious illness or accident. Donating employees must sign an authorization, including specifying the specific employee to be a recipient of the donation. Leave transferred will be converted to a dollar value and then converted to hours based on the recipient's hourly rate e.g., the leave donor's salary is $6.00 per hour and the recipient's salary is $12.00 per hour; thus a donor must transfer twice the amount of hours to achieve full conversion. No more than 1200 hours of donated leave may be received by an employee during a twelve month period.
Eligibility of Recipient:
- Must be suffering a serious illness or injury resulting in a prolonged absence of at least thirty work days during the past six months.
- Must produce satisfactory medical verification.
- Must have completed original probation.
- Must have exhausted all earned paid leave time including compensatory time off, sick leave and vacation leave.
- Must not have offered anything of value in exchange for the donation.
Eligibility of Donor Employee:
- Only four (4) hour increments of vacation/compensatory leave may be donated.
- Must not have solicited nor accepted anything of value in exchange for the donation.
- Must have remaining to his/her credit at least 40 hours of accrued vacation leave, after donating vacation leave.
Catastrophic Illness Donation Program
The Catastrophic Illness Donation Program for employees covered by the NAPE/AFSCME labor contract became operational on April 7, 1995 , and has had minor changes through the years. This program has also been incorporated into the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The following is a guideline to use when determining the type of illnesses and injuries that are considered “catastrophic”:
- Each situation needs to be considered individually and an eligibility determination made based on the circumstances of the request.
- As a general guide, illnesses or injuries such as terminal cancer, serious heart problems, or surgery, or injury which will require that the employee be absent from the work place for more than six weeks, would qualify as a “serious illness or injury” under this program. Normal child birth does not apply.
- Satisfactory medical verification must be provided.
Many illnesses or conditions could be considered eligible as long as the employee meets the eligibility criteria of having a prolonged absence of at least 30 work days, related to this illness or condition, during the previous six months, produces satisfactory medical verification, has completed original probation, and has exhausted all paid leave time.
Catastrophic Leave Process
The Agency Personnel Officer does the following:
Step 1: Receives a request from an employee to participate in the Catastrophic Illness Donation Program.
Step 2: Determines if an employee is eligible for catastrophic leave according to the guidelines in the NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.
Step 3: Distributes the Catastrophic leave donation memo with top portion completed (see attached), to agency employees.
Step 4: Processes donations according to NIS instructions which can be found at the NIS website (this includes adjusting the vacation leave balance for the donating employee, and adjusting the sick leave balance for the receiving employee) :
Step 5: Ensures that the process is confidential; however, payroll information is considered public under the Public Records Statues. Medical information regarding an individual’s qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act is protected and should not be released.