The Duke University Vacation and Duke University Health System Paid Time Off (PTO) Donation Program allows employees the opportunity to donate accrued vacation or PTO Short Term Bank (STB) hours to fellow employees who have experienced a catastrophic illness or injury and who have exhausted all accrued time, thus resulting in a prolonged,  unpaid leave of absence. The illness or injury must either be the employee's or that of an eligible family member as defined by the IRS definition of a "dependent". Donated time must be either vacation or Short Term Bank hours in order to be considered a gift.

Have additional questions? See the Kiel Program FAQ.


In order to be eligible to receive a donation from the Kiel Memorial Voluntary Vacation/PTO Donation Program, you must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Regular employees of Duke University or the Duke University Health System.
  • Duke employees with a work schedule of at least 20 hours per week.
  • Employed by Duke for at least 90 consecutive days.
  • Absence of any disciplinary warnings or suspension.
  • Need for donation must be due to a catastrophic medical event which requires the employee to be out of work for at least 4 weeks.
  • During an employee's first year of employment, donations must be specified for that employee. Recipients will not be eligible for the general leave pool during their first year of service.
  • Exhausted all of accrued time thus resulting in a prolonged, unpaid leave of absence.
  • For more information, please see Recipients.

Note: Recipients are only eligible to use donated hours after the end of their four week absence and after their paid time off has been exhausted.

Important Timelines

For processing of applications, donations, and payment of donations, please see the Documentation Processing Schedules.

Kiel Program Forms

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Catastrophic Event: A catastrophic event is defined under the plan as an extreme medical misfortune of the employee or a family member of the employee that will require the prolonged absence of the employee from duty and will result in substantial loss of income to the employee because the employee will have exhausted all paid leave available apart from the voluntary donation plan.

Definition of a Family Member:

Dependent: An individual meeting the criteria used by the Internal Revenue Service in defining "dependent" will be considered a dependent for purposes of this policy.

Child: A biological, adopted or foster child; a step-child, legal ward, or a child for whom a person is standing in loco parentis (in place of a parent); who is under 19 years of age or a full-time, unmarried student to age 24, or is over 19, but incapable of self-care because of a permanent and total disability.

Spouse: A husband or wife as defined by North Carolina State law.

Registered Same Sex Spousal Equivalent: Two individuals of the same sex who live together and are registered with the Duke Benefits Office as being same sex spousal equivalents prior to January 1, 2016.