4.09 Compassionate Transfer of Leave

Origination date: 10/1/93
Revised: 7/1/2012
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Service Professionals


The purpose of the Compassionate Transfer of Leave policy is to allow eligible employees who have exhausted all forms of paid leave to supplement  their lost wages (or supplement short-term disability) using vacation leave transferred to them by another university employee.

Compassionate Transfer of Leave

An employee may voluntarily transfer a portion of their accrued vacation leave hours to eligible employees who are unable to work due to catastrophic illness or injury to themselves or to a member of their immediate family, as defined by university leave policies.  Employees eligible to participate in this transfer of leave are regular, classified, professional and administrative employees who accrue vacation and are subject to the following conditions:

An illness/injury is considered catastrophic for an employee or a covered family if it is:

  • A serious or life-threatening injury or illness that is expected to last for a period of at least 45 consecutive calendar days and the employee is not able to work in any capacity for at least this period; and

  • Is a non-work related illness; and

  • Is confirmed in writing by the employee’s medical provider, subject to reconfirmation by a medical provider chosen by the university.

Employee Transferring Leave Hours

  • Transfers of leave are voluntary, and no employee may be coerced, threatened, or intimidated into transferring leave hours under this policy.
  • The transferring employee must retain a minimum balance of 80 vacation hours after the leave hours transfer.

Employees Receiving Transferred Leave Hours

  • Must have been continuously employed by the university in a benefit eligible position for at least one year immediately prior to receiving any transferred leave hours, and must have been eligible to accrue vacation leave hours during that period of service.
  • Must have exhausted all forms of paid leave (e.g., vacation, sick leave, and compensatory time) prior to receiving any transferred leave hours.
  • Must be on an approved and authorized medical leave of absence in order to receive and utilize transferred leave hours.
  • Must apply for transferred leave in accordance with university procedures. The application of transferred leave is not automatic and must be approved by the recipient’s department head.
  • May utilize a maximum of 480 transferred leave hours (after conversion to recipient’s hours) in a 12 month rolling period.
  • The amount of transferred leave time that an employee is eligible to receive is calculated based upon their standard hours/FTE worked.  The maximum eligible hours is based upon 40 hours per week (100% full-time equivalent employment).  Any benefit eligible employee working less than 40 hours per week is eligible for transferred leave hours as stated above, prorated accordingly.
  • Transferred vacation leave hours will be converted to sick leave hours based upon the dollar value of the transferring employee’s vacation leave hours and converting to the dollar value of the recipient’s sick leave hours.


  • The availability of transferred leave hours for an employee under this policy does not automatically authorize that employee’s time off from work and/or pay continuation.
  • Transferred leave hours under this policy will run concurrently with authorized medical leave policies.
  • Any unused transferred leave hours are irrevocable and shall not be returned to the transferring employee who provided the leave hours nor shall they be retained by the recipient for use beyond the provisions allowed by this policy.
  • Recipients of transferred leave hours who are enrolled in a short-term disability program offered by the university must apply for and, if eligible, receive his/her short-term disability benefits before transferred  leave hours under this policy can be used beyond the initial short term disability benefits waiting period.   Such transferred leave hours (other than for the initial short-term disability benefits waiting period), may only be used to supplement the short-term disability benefits payment up to, but not exceeding, the recipient's regular rate of pay.  An employee shall not receive or use transferred leave hours beyond the period of  medically certified leave, six calendar months (regardless of availability or amount of transferred leave hours used each week), the maximum hours outlined in this policy, or until long-term disability benefits (if applicable) commence, whichever is shorter.
  • After meeting original qualifications for this policy, an employee who, with physician certification and departmental approval, returns to work on a temporary part-time schedule, may continue to use transfers of vacation leave for the specified reduction in work hours stated in the medical certification. This temporary, reduced schedule must be for support of the same qualifying medical condition, not to exceed the maximum provisions outlined in this policy.
  • Employees utilizing transferred leave will not accrue additional sick or vacation leave hours based on the time paid under transferred leave.


  • All university employees and supervisors involved in compassionate transfers of leave hours are encouraged to be as discreet as possible and must refrain from sharing medical information pertaining to the receiving employee.


  • The Human Resources Department is responsible for administering this program, and establishing and communicating procedures to university employees.
  • Employees wishing to donate leave or receive donations of leave under this policy, must utilize the university procedures established by the Human Resources Department.  

Contact the Human Resources Department for more information. For CTL forms, go to http://nau.edu/Human-Resources/Forms-Index/