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Sick Leave/Sick Leave Donation/Sick Leave Pool

Sick Leave

Sick Leave is paid time off from work for health-related purposes (including mental health).  Sick leave accruals begin on the first day of employment at eight (8) hours a month prorated for employees who work less than 40 hours per week in a salaried position.

  • Sick Leave can be used for illness, injury, pregnancy, confinement, and to care for an immediate family member.
  • Immediate family member – includes those who live in the same household and additional family members such as a parent, who do not live in the same household, but requires care.


Sick Leave Policies:


Sick Leave Pool

Sick leave pool is a program that assists employees who have exhausted all other Leave due to a catastrophic illness or injury to themselves or an immediate family member.

  • Employees must be benefits-eligible (Salaried full and part-time).
  • Sick leave pool provides a maximum lifetime benefit of 720 hours.
  • Employees eligible for Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI) benefits are not eligible for the sick leave pool.  
  • An employee eligible for sick leave pool must exhaust all of their accruals before pool will be awarded.
  • Any unused hours will be returned to the pool.
  • Current employees may make voluntary contributions of accrued sick leave hours to the sick leave pool at any time.
  • Terminating employees may donate all or a portion of their sick Leave.


Sick Leave Donation

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. 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 Donation Form

Sick Leave Donation Recipient Form


  1. Donated Sick Leave is not job protected leave.
  2. 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.
  3. The recipient may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for donated sick leave under this program.
  4. 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. 
  5. To ensure consistency and avoid even the appearance of impropriety, supervisors are discouraged from donating to their subordinates 
  6. 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.
  7. Donated sick leave is subject to the same use requirements as accrued sick leave.  
  8. Unused sick leave donation balances are not eligible for transfer to another employee.