Sick Leave Donation is a program that allows all eligible employees to transfer sick leave hours voluntarily to another eligible employee within the same agency.
Employees may donate any amount of their own sick leave balance to another employee who is employed by the same employer (same agency. Example – UNTHSC employee to UNTHSC employee). Recipients may use donated hours in accordance with each campus’s sick leave policy. Donated hours cannot be used for retirement credit. An employee may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for a donation.
Sick leave donations are not considered job-protected hours. Sick leave donations will be considered taxable to the donor unless the recipient has a medical emergency pursuant to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines and has exhausted all paid leave balances. For sick leave donation purposes, a medical emergency is defined as "a major illness or other medical condition that requires a prolonged absence from work, including intermittent absences that are related to the same illness or condition."
Any donation not qualified under IRS guidelines as a medical emergency will have the cash value of hours included in gross income of the donor and will be treated as wages for employment tax purposes. Such wages will be considered a lump-sum payment and subject to up to 25% income tax, Medicare, and applicable social security withholdings. Individuals who wish to donate are encouraged to consult a tax advisor.
Sick leave donations will be processed using these forms:
- Sick Leave Direct Donation Recipient Form
- Sick Leave Direct Donation Health Care Provider Medical Certification
- Sick Leave Direct Donation Donor Form
- Donated Sick Leave is not job protected leave.
- Donated Sick Leave cannot be applied retroactively. Hours donated can only be used for absences occurring after the recipient has the hours in their balance.
- The recipient may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for donated sick leave under this program.
- An employee may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other employee for the purpose of soliciting donations of sick leave under this program. Such action shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination. Because the donation of sick leave hours must be done voluntarily, solicitation of donations is discouraged. Furthermore, solicitation of leave that is disruptive to the workplace is unacceptable and may lead to corrective or disciplinary action. Unacceptable solicitation includes communications that exert pressure or play on people's emotions.
- To ensure consistency and avoid even the appearance of impropriety, supervisors are discouraged from donating to their subordinates
- Donated sick leave balances will not transfer with an employee to another state agency, are not eligible for restoration upon re-employment after a separation of employment and are not eligible for payment upon separation or to an estate upon death. The recipient may not purchase service credit in the Employees Retirement System of Texas or Teacher Retirement System of Texas with donated sick leave that is unused on the last day of the employee’s employment.
- Donated sick leave is subject to the same use requirements as accrued sick leave.
- Unused sick leave donation balances are not eligible for transfer to another employee.