Delaware Leave: Donated Leave Program

§ 1318A Donated leave program.

(a) ”Donated leave program” means a program:

(1) In which 1 or more employees of a public school district may transfer accrued, unused sick leave days to 1 or more other employees of the same public school district;

(2) Is established by the public school district as a local Board of Education policy and/or pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement negotiated under the terms of Chapter 40 of Title 14; and

(3) Is consistent with the provisions set forth in subsection (b) of this section. No donated leave program shall prohibit participation by employees based on inclusion in or exclusion from a certified bargaining unit.

(b) Any donated leave shall be required to comply with the following requirements:

(1) Employees wishing to donate accrued sick leave must donate in increments of whole days. For every 2 days donated, 1 day will be made available to a recipient.

(2) Donated days shall be made available only for recipients within the school district for a catastrophic illness of a recipient or of a member of a recipient’s family. For this section, “catastrophic illness” shall mean any illness or injury to an employee or to a member of an employee’s family which is diagnosed by a physician and certified by the physician as rendering the employee or a member of the employee’s family unable to work, or, in the case of a family member who does not work, the medical equivalent of “unable to work”, to work for a period greater than 5 calendar weeks. Separate periods of disability lasting 7 consecutive work days or more each, and totaling more than 5 calendar weeks, resulting from the same or a related medical condition and occurring within any 12-month consecutive period, shall be considered the same period of disability. For this section, “family member” or “member of an employee’s family” means an employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent who resides with the employee and who requires the personal attendance of the employee during the family member’s catastrophic illness. Donated leave may be used by the recipient for subsequent absence because of personal medical treatments or personal illness directly related to the employee’s “catastrophic illness” as certified by the physician. This provision is limited to an absence that occurs because of an employee’s “catastrophic illness” not a family member’s “catastrophic illness.”

(3) The local school district shall convert the donated leave available for use by a recipient into cash value at the donor’s rate of pay, shall re-convert the cash value to hours of leave at the recipient’s rate of pay, and shall then credit the recipient’s account.

(4) The recipient of the donated leave shall have been an employee with the local school district for at least 6 months before that employee is eligible for donated leave time.

(5) The recipient shall have used all of that recipient’s own sick days and personal days and half of that recipient’s annual leave, where applicable. However, when donated leave is for the catastrophic illness of a family member, the employee must have used all of that employee’s sick days, personal days and annual leave.

(6) The recipient shall have established medical justification for such receipt, which must be renewed every 30 days during any absence.

(7) No potential donor nor any other person shall sell any accrued leave which might otherwise be donated under this section.

(8) The liability of the State under this program shall be limited to paying the state share of salary, benefits and other employment costs paid to employees for sick leave properly utilized pursuant to a donated leave program established pursuant to and in compliance with this section and § 4002 of Title 14, if applicable.

(9) Any recipient of this program is subject to a 1-work-year cap with the number of days equal to 188 days for a 10-month employee; 207 days for 11-month employees; and 222 days for a 12-month employee.

(10) If a long-term disability program is available to employees, a period of disability defined herein shall be limited to the waiting or elimination period defined in the policy.

(c) The Department of Education is authorized to operate a donated leave program. Such donated leave program shall conform, to the extent practicable, to the provisions of § 5956 of Title 29.