Catastrophic Leave Program
Effective January 2, 2007, Meredith College established a Catastrophic Leave Bank to assist employees during times of serious illness or injury when all available leave has been exhausted. Employees who become members may apply for leave time to offset a period of unpaid leave due to their own serious illness or injury, or that of a family member that they must provide care for.
To be eligible to join the bank, the employee must:
1. Have completed a minimum of one year of benefit eligible service;
2. Accumulated a minimum of 80 hours of sick and/or vacation leave; and
3. Donate a minimum of eight hours of leave time to the bank by signing a leave donation authorization. The leave donation does not require the supervisor’s signature.
Enrollment in the bank is optional. All employees who earn leave benefits tracked by HR will be given the opportunity to participate. A maximum of 24 hours total may be donated by each participant. Once an employee makes a donation, they are a member of the bank. Annual reenrollment is not required however, additional amounts, up to the 24 hour maximum, may be made during the annual open enrollment.
Catastrophic leave requests will be reviewed in a timely manner by the Catastrophic Leave Request Committee (comprised of a three member subcommittee of the Employee Benefits Committee, with an HR representative serving as ex-officio). Leave time could be approved for up to six months, not to exceed the medically required time off or the maximum number of hours available in the leave bank. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines regarding serious health condition will be used for determinations (excludes maternity leave without medical complications and adoption leave where no health issues are involved).
The requesting employee will be required to submit a request form and medical verification that the leave of absence is medically required. Elective or cosmetic surgery will generally not be eligible. The employee is not eligible for leave if they have been disciplined for leave abuse within the past year.
All information regarding requests and the outcome of requests will remain confidential to protect the privacy of the employee.
Employees will have the opportunity to join the catastrophic leave bank after completing one year of benefit-eligible service if they have a minimum of 80 hours of leave available at that time. If the employee does not meet the 80 hour requirement or does not elect to participate at the time of initial eligibility, they will be given additional opportunities to join the bank during the regular benefit open enrollment period, typically held during the month of November each year.