Kiel Memorial Voluntary Vacation/PTO Donation Program Policy

Policy Statement

Duke provides the Kiel Memorial Voluntary Vacation/PTO Donation Program to allow staff to donate time to fellow staff who have exhausted their time off because of catastrophic illness or injury to themselves or an eligible family member. This time - either vacation or Paid Time Off - can be designated to a specific individual or a general pool that can be accessed as needed by others.

Policy Details

Procedure

  • A staff member can donate up to half of his or her accrued vacation or Paid Time Off (STB) into this program. Donations may be designated to a specific staff member or may be for a general pool.
  • To receive a donation, a staff member or an eligible family member (as defined by IRS definition of dependent) must be diagnosed with a catastrophic medical event which requires the staff member to be out of work for at least 4 weeks.
  • The staff member must have exhausted all available paid time off (vacation, sick leave, discretionary holidays, Paid Time Off) in order to receive the accrued days.
  • A staff member may use the time to maintain his or her income and benefits until he/she either returns to work or becomes eligible for disability benefits.
  • Recipients of donated time must have at least 90 days of continuous service at Duke, a work schedule of at least 20 hours a week and no corrective action warnings or suspensions within the last 12 months.
  • During a staff member’s first year of employment, donations must be specified for that staff member.
  • Recipients will not be eligible for the general leave pool during their first year of service.

Eligibility

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 staff of Duke University or Duke University Health System.
  • Duke staff 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 within the last 12 months.
  • Need for donation must be due to a catastrophic medical event which requires the staff member to be out of work for at least 4 weeks.
  • During a staff member's first year of employment, donations must be specified for that individual. Recipients will not be eligible for the general leave pool during their first year of service.

Note: Recipients are only eligible to use donated hours after the end of their 4 week absence and after their paid time off has been exhausted.

Donations

To donate to the Kiel Program, a donor must complete a Vacation or Paid Time Off Donation Form. The Donor Form is submitted to the donor’s supervisor, who forwards it to Duke Benefits.

  • Any eligible staff member may donate their accrued vacation or PTO STB in 4-hour increments. Vacation or Paid Time Off not yet accrued may not be donated.
  • Donations cannot exceed 50% of the donating staff member’s vacation balance (University) or Paid Time Off (STB) balance (Health System).
  • Donations may be made at any time before or during the recipient's period of leave. Donations may not be rescinded in part or whole to donors for any reason. Donations made to a recipient who has applied for disability benefits will not be refunded to donors even if the disability benefit is retroactively approved.
  • Donors may or may not want to specify a particular recipient.
  • Donations will be kept confidential unless the donor has signed a release of confidentiality and requests that their donation is identified.
  • The maximum amount of donations cannot exceed the period of absence for the approved medical event.
  • Vacation or Paid Time Off donations will not be transferred from the donor to the recipient until all of the recipient’s existing vacation/Paid Time Off hours have been exhausted.
  • Benefits will coordinate with Payroll to ensure proper recording of reduction in accrued sick leave/Paid Time Off (STB) balances and payment to the recipient.
  • Recipients are only eligible to use donated hours after the end of their 4 week absence and after their paid time off has been exhausted.

Recipients

To request a donation from the Kiel Program, staff must complete a Recipient Application. The Recipient Form is submitted to the staff member’s supervisor for documentation and forwarded to Benefits for processing.

  • To receive vacation or Paid Time Off donations via the Kiel Program, you must meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Vacation or Paid Time Off donations will not be transferred from the donor to the recipient until all of the recipient’s existing vacation/Paid Time Off hours have been exhausted.
  • The donation is paid per normal payroll schedule up to a maximum of 13 weeks (520 hours) within a 12-month period.
  • In order to be eligible to receive donated leave, the staff member must not be under any disciplinary warning or suspension within the last 12 months.
  • Need for donation must be due to a catastrophic medical event which requires the staff member to be out of work for at least four weeks.
  • During a staff member's first year of employment, donations must be specified for that individual. Recipients will not be eligible for the general leave pool during their first year of service.
  • The staff member’s supervisor should indicate the current amount of sick/vacation or Paid Time Off (STB) hours on the application.
  • Certification of a qualifying medical condition is required from an eligible health care provider. Conditions that are certified for periods less than 13 weeks (520 hours) are eligible to receive time from the Vacation or PTO STB donation limited to that time certified by the health care provider. If the entire 13 weeks (520 hours) are not used, eligibility may be renewed within the designated 12-month period not to exceed 13 total weeks (520 hours).
  • Benefits will coordinate with Payroll to ensure proper recording and payment of donated Vacation or Paid Time Off (STB) hours.
  • If the staff member is also applying for Duke disability, donations can be used during the disability waiting period. However, donations used after the waiting period will offset any disability claim benefit, including retroactively approved claims.
  • All applications and nominations for leaves, as well as medical information, are confidential and are not included as part of the staff member’s personnel file. Donors will remain anonymous unless the recipient provides written consent authorizing the release of information.

Coordination with Leaves of Absence

  • The staff member’s participation in the voluntary vacation or Paid Time Off (STB) donation program does not extend or substitute, but rather should run concurrently with any other approved leave of absence. Nor does it provide a guarantee that the staff member will be returned to the same or equivalent position held prior to the leave or of continuing employment, except as provided under applicable law (such as the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act).

Payment of Vacation or Paid Time Off (STB) Donation and Impact on Benefits

  • The donated hours are paid at the recipient’s regular rate of pay and from the recipient’s account code(s).
  • Staff receiving other payments such as worker’s compensation, short-term disability, or long-term disability provided through Duke’s insurance programs are not eligible to receive donations.
  • If the staff member receives at least the equivalent of 30 voluntary donation hours per week, the employer contributions will continue toward the cost of benefit programs provided the staff member continues their portion of premiums where applicable.
  • Recipients are only eligible to use donated hours after the end of their 4 week absence and after their paid time off has been exhausted. Once approved, there is up to a three-week period before donations are reflected in the recipient’s vacation or Paid Time Off bank.

Definitions

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in these procedures.

Catastrophic Event

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

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 who 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.

Policy Number: 09.14

Categories

Time Away From Duke Policy