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Vacation Donation for Serious Illness

An employee may donate vacation time to another employee who has exhausted their sick leave and/or vacation time due to a serious medical condition if specific criteria are met.

The Policy

The Laboratory realizes that if an employee, their immediate family member, or a person living in their household has a serious medical condition, the employee may need to take a significant amount of time away from the Laboratory.

Although employees may use their sick leave and/or vacation time to provide income during this period, sometimes, such sick leave and vacation balances may be exhausted which can result in limited or no income for the employee.

To assist employees who find themselves in this position, the Laboratory has created a vacation donation policy where, in the case of a serious medical condition, a regular full-time or part-time benefits eligible employee (Donor) may donate accrued vacation to another regular full-time benefits eligible or part-time employee (Recipient) if certain criteria are met.   

Eligibility and Criteria

If an employee, their immediate family member (spouse, parent, or child), or a person living in their household has a serious medical condition (not applicable to maternity leave unless there is a medical emergency) and that employee may be exhausting his/her available paid time off, the employee may request, in writing, from his/her supervisor that a Vacation Donation Account be set up.

The supervisor will review the employee’s sick leave, vacation and Vacation Buy balances and determine if such balances will be insufficient to provide income to the employee during the time the employee needs to be away from work. Supervisors have the right to deny a request for Vacation Donation based on several factors, including but not limited to an employee’s performance, absence history, disciplinary actions, etc.

Alternately, if a supervisor determines that an employee may be exhausting their available paid time off, the supervisor may initiate a discussion with the employee regarding establishment of a Vacation Donation Account. If the employee approves, the supervisor needs to obtain such approval from the employee in writing.

To be eligible to establish a Vacation Donation Account, the following criteria must be met:

  • The Recipient must be employed by the Laboratory for 12 or more months prior to the request for Vacation Donation. The Vacation Donation program is available to members of the collective bargaining units.
  • The Recipient must be exhausting all available paid time. An employee who is receiving New York State Disability benefits, New York State Paid Family Leave, Workers’ Compensation or Long Term Disability benefits is not eligible to receive Vacation Donation at the same time, since alternate forms of income are available.
  • The absence has to be prolonged and result in a substantial loss of income to the employee.

See the Vacation Donation Program (PDF) for full details.