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Leave and Workplace Information:

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.

Forms and Additional Information

The FMLA provisions are outlined in the NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract, the FOP and State of Nebraska Labor Contract, the SLEBC and State of Nebraska Labor Contract, the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations, and federal statutes and regulations. FMLA leave is unpaid time off from work. An employee can use paid vacation leave, compensatory time, or sick leave as part of their 12 weeks (26 weeks for service member care) of FMLA Leave, if the employee should so choose. Employers have the right to require that employees use paid leave during FMLA. Currently, the State is not requiring this use, but it could do so in the future.

An employee must have at least twelve total months of service and at least 1250 hours of service in the previous twelve month period to be eligible for FMLA Leave. Temporary employment with the State of Nebraska counts toward an employee’s eligibility.

Eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA Leave for the following reasons:

1. To care for the employee’s child after birth, or the adoption or placement of a foster child with the employee.

2. To care for a son, daughter, spouse or parent with a serious health condition.

3. For the employee’s own serious health condition.

4. For an emergency caused by a family member who belongs to the regular Armed Forces, the Reserves, or National Guard, being called to active duty deployment to a foreign country.

5. To care for a spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a service member and is injured or becomes seriously ill, or whose injury or illness was aggravated, while on active duty or within five years of leaving the Armed Forces. Up to 26 weeks of leave is allowed during a 12 month period, including any other FMLA time used.

The following fill-in forms can be filled out online. When complete, print out and submit to the agency HR representative.

The following forms are for HR Agency use only, and do not need to be filled out by employees requesting leave:

Family Military Leave Act Neb. Rev. Stat. Sections 55-501 to 55-507 were enacted by the Nebraska State Legislature on April 5, 2007. Family Military Leave is leave requested by an employee who is the spouse or parent of a person called to military service lasting 179 days or longer, with the State or United States pursuant to the orders of the Governor or President of the United States. This leave can be taken during the time the federal or state deployment orders are in effect.

Covered employers: If the employer employs between 15 and 50 employees, the employer shall provide up to 15 work days of unpaid leave. If the employer employs more than 50 employees, the employer shall provide up to 30 work days of unpaid leave. The State employs more than 50 employees, so employees may request up to 30 work days of leave. The number of days granted are at the discretion of the employer.

Eligible Employee: An eligible employee has been employed by the same covered employer for at least 12 months and has been employed for at least 1250 hours during that 12 month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave. Employee is the spouse or parent of a person called to military service lasting 179 calendar days or longer.

Notice: The employee shall give at least 14 calendar days of notice of taking leave if the leave will consist of five or more consecutive work days.

Employee Rights: When the leave ends, the employee must be restored to the position previously held or to a position with equivalent seniority status, benefits, pay, etc., except when the employer proves the employee is not restored due to reasons unrelated to taking leave.

The employee may continue benefits, during leave, at the employee's expense. The employee's service date will be adjusted after 14 calendar days of unpaid leave.

The Act provides that the employee may negotiate with the employer, for the employer to maintain benefits at the employer's expense during the leave period. As the State had concluded collective bargaining when this Act was passed, for the purpose of benefits, employees taking Family Military Leave will be treated the same as other employees taking non-Family Medical Leave Act unpaid leave. The State contribution to health insurance will continue for the first nine work days of the leave. Taking Family Military Leave shall not result in the loss of benefits accrued before the leave started (treated similar to a leave of absence).

For Additional Information Contact the DAS Employee Relations Division (Sean Davis 402-471-8292)

Effective January 8, 2018

MLD Forms

Maternity Leave Donation (MLD) Program. When an expectant mother needs to be away from work due to a birth of a child she may request MLD. MLD shall be available only to employees who have exhausted their own earned sick leave, in conjunction with an approved Family Medical Leave (FML) under the Family Medical Leave Act and only with approval of the agency head and/or designee.

Eligibility of Recipient: Employees shall meet the following criteria before request(s) for donations can be made:

  • Be the expectant mother of a newborn baby
  • FML request has been approved by the agency
  • Have exhausted all earned sick leave
  • Have not offered anything of value in exchange for the donation

Requesting Maternity Leave Donations: Employees must submit a written request for MLD to the agency/facility Human Resources office. The request must include substantiating evidence as described in the Family Medical Leave Act. (For your convenience, request forms are available from your agency/facility Human Resources office or the DAS Employee Relations website.) The Human Resources staff will be responsible to initiate the process to verify eligibility, seek agency head approval, request donations, apply the conversion formula to donations received, advise the employee of donations received and notify the appropriate payroll personnel of changes to receiving/donating employees’ leave balances. Agency heads and/or their designee(s) must approve both the FML and MLD requests before solicitation for donations begin.

Contributing Maternity Leave Donations: Employees may contribute accrued vacation leave or earned compensatory time to benefit another State employee in the same agency who requests MLD. Vacation leave and earned compensatory time shall be donated in no less than 4 hour increments. The contributing employee must identify the specific amount of time donated and the name of the recipient of the donated time on the appropriate forms for that purpose. Vacation leave and compensatory time donated and transferred to another State employee pursuant to this provision shall be irrevocably credited to the recipient’s MLD account.

Vacation leave and compensatory time transferred shall 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 $12.00 per hour and the recipient’s salary is $24.00 per hour, thus, in this case, twice the amount of hours is needed to achieve full conversion.) No more than an equivalent of 480 hours of MLD may be received by an employee during a twelve-month period. No more hours than required during the approved FML period should be received (e.g., the employee has 2 weeks of paid sick leave accrued. After the 2 weeks of accrued sick leave is used, the employee can only request 4 weeks of donated leave to fill a 6 week FML request). The agency shall transfer donated leave to the recipient’s account from the donor’s accruals in chronological order based on the date the form was received and on an as needed basis.

NOTE: If donations are being solicited near the end of a calendar year, it is important that donations be solicited and fully transferred to the recipient or returned to the donor/s (if more than requested) prior to December 31st. This will prevent any year-end vacation balancing issues. If they are not finalized by that date there is the risk that a teammate will have leave time, time that was donated, forfeited due to end of year balancing. Then the donations would be pulled from their new, balanced bank, thus resulting in a double loss of leave time for the donating teammate (both the original amount of leave that has been forfeited and that taken for donations). Agencies should be proactive and pay close attention when donation situations could or will overlap with the turning of the calendar year so as to mitigate against this risk and structure the donation requests appropriately.

Eligibility of Donor: Before donating vacation leave or earned compensatory time employees shall meet the following criteria:

  • Only increments of four (4) hours may be donated
  • Have not solicited nor accepted anything of value in exchange for the donation
  • Have remaining to his/her credit at least 40 hours of accrued vacation leave. Earned compensatory time can be donated completely- leaving a zero balance

Adoptive Mothers: Per Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-234 adoptive mothers may be entitled to use the MLD program in certain situations. Adoptive mothers must meet the eligibility requirements as outlined above. The provisions of this section are non-grievable.

Forms:

 

 

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