CSU Policy: Leave Sharing

Policy Title: Leave Sharing Category: Human Resources
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 3-6004-018
Human Resources
Web: https://hr.colostate.edu/
Email: hr_service_center@mail.colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6947
Original Effective Date: 2/28/2012
Last Revision: 3/17/2015
Print Version: Click Here to Print


It is CSU’s policy to support its employees and their families when disaster or hardship strikes. This policy provides a certain amount of income protection to eligible state classified employees who need to be absent from work for a prolonged period of time due to such causes, but who have inadequate paid time-off accumulated (annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time) to cover the absences.

The Leave Sharing Program covers instances in which the employee, or an immediate family member of the employee, experiences an unforeseeable, life-altering event, is unable to return to work, and has exhausted all of his or her available annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time including other applicable, accrued leave. The Leave Sharing Program creates a Leave Bank to which state classified employees of CSU may contribute unused annual leave, creating a resource from which leave may be drawn by an eligible state classified employee, in accordance with applicable law, this Policy and its related rules and procedures.


This Policy applies to all state classified personnel employed by CSU.


Annual Leave: Paid leave used for personal needs, including vacation. State classified employees earn annual leave at the rate specified in the HR Manual, Section 3.

Eligible Employee: An employee who has completed at least one year of continuous employment in a state classified position at the University.

Family Medical Leave (FML): Unpaid leave intended to allow Eligible Employees to take time-off from work for qualifying family and medical events in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Immediate Family Member: An Eligible Employee’s child who is under the age of 18, adult child incapable of self-care, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner, legal dependent, or any other person in the employee’s household, for whom the employee is the primary caregiver. Note: Documentation of the familial or caregiver relationship may be required.

Incapacity: The condition of being unable to work due to the Eligible Employee’s or Immediate Family Member’s catastrophic illness or injury causing substantial limitations in performing activities of daily living which could be performed prior to the illness or injury, including substantial limitations in seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, sitting, standing, walking, lifting, performing cognitive tasks, feeding, bathing, dressing or grooming. These substantial limitations include periods of catastrophic incapacity of 30 or more calendar days as a result of illness or injury.

Leave Bank: A pool of paid time-off hours accumulated under the Leave Sharing Program, as further described in this Policy and related documents.

Leave Sharing Committee (LSC): A standing committee comprised of three (3) representatives elected by the Classified Personnel Council, three (3) state classified employees selected at large, and an administrative professional employee selected by the Administrative Professional Council (APC). The Human Resources Chief Total Rewards Officer serves ex officio as an advisory member. The LSC operates pursuant to a set of Bylaws approved by the VPUO.

Short Term Disability (STD) Leave: Time-off for which the employee is paid a benefit under an insurance program of the State of Colorado. Short term disability coverage is provided to an Eligible Employee when, as a result of sickness, injury or pregnancy, he or she is unable to perform with reasonable continuity the material duties of his or her own occupation. Disability may be total or partial. Specific requirements and benefits are established under the State’s plan, not by the University.

Sick Leave: Paid time-off provided for use when needed for health reasons. Sick Leave is granted when an employee is absent for treatment of illness or injury or is unable to perform assigned duties due to illness or injury and for medical or dental appointments.


Eligibility Conditions

An Eligible Employee must have exhausted all applicable leave benefits, including annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time, before applying for leave sharing hours.

Leave Sharing Hour Usage

In the case of an Eligible Employee whose own incapacity from work is the reason for the application for leave sharing benefits, leaving sharing hours may be used, once the employee’s application has been granted by the Leave Sharing Committee, to provide income replacement during the 30-calendar day benefit waiting period prior to commencement of short-term disability (STD) income replacement benefits. Leave sharing hours are not available beyond the 30-calendar day benefit waiting period or if the STD claim is denied.

Leave sharing hours may not be used to make an employee’s compensation whole when receiving disability or worker’s compensation income replacement benefits.

Qualifying Leave Sharing Situations

Leave sharing benefits are available to help an Eligible Employee who suffers an unforeseeable, life-altering event, which is an event or circumstance that arises beyond the employee’s control that causes the Employee to be temporarily unable to work, such as:

  1. Poses a Direct Threat to Life such as a catastrophic life-threatening health conditions of the Eligible Employee or the Eligible Employee’s Immediate Family Member.
  2. Non-life threatening catastrophic illness or injury resulting in a period of incapacity of 30 or more continuous days of absence from work.
  3. A natural disaster such as wildfire, flood, or tornado, or an accidental event such as a fire or natural gas explosion, which results in substantial loss or destruction of the employee’s residence such that it becomes uninhabitable. Note: See the Maximum Allowance section, for the number of eligible hours.
  4. Eligible Employee is unexpectedly called to serve as a first responder (e.g., paramedic, fire fighter, National Guard, etc.) in the event of such a disaster.
  5. Eligible Employee who is on active military service and is experiencing serious financial hardship during the initial call to duty. The leave sharing hours are limited to making up the difference between the employee’s base salary and the total gross military pay and allowances. Documentation may be required to substantiate financial hardship. Note: See the Maximum Allowance section, for the number of eligible hours.

Eligibility Exclusions

Employees in the following situations are not eligible for assistance from the Leave Sharing Program:

  1. Employee is not eligible (has not attained the minimum one year of continuous employment in a state classified position at the University);
  2. Employee has not exhausted all annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time or accrued holiday time;
  3. Normal pregnancy and childbirth including cesarean section;
  4. Short term or sporadic common illnesses such as colds, flu, and the like;
  5. Sprains or broken limbs, which do not require surgery or result in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days of absence from work;
  6. Migraines;
  7. Mild mental illness requiring outpatient care (e.g., outpatient counseling);
  8. Surgery that is routine, corrective, elective, outpatient surgery resulting in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days;
  9. Chronic illness that may result in a period of incapacity of less than 30 consecutive calendar days;
  10. Any other condition that is generally temporary in nature and of relatively short duration;
  11. Illness or injury that is covered by disability benefits:
    • Short term disability;
    • Long term disability;
    • PERA Disability and/or PERA Disability Retirement;
    • Workers' Compensation; or Auto insurance coverage that pays for time-off caused by injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Maximum Allowance

The number of hours an employee is eligible for depends on his/her appointment status and the reason for requesting a Leave Sharing award.

Full-time employees may apply to the Leave Sharing Program for up to a maximum of 176 hours (22 work days) per application for qualifying catastrophic life-threatening health conditions. The maximum hours will be prorated for part-time employees. Note: At no time shall the maximum hour award exceed the amount of time required to fulfill the STD waiting period.

Full-time employees may apply to the Leave Sharing Program for up to a maximum of 80 hours (10 work days) per application for a catastrophic event or emergency affecting an employee’s residence. The maximum hours will be prorated for part-time employees.

Full-time employees may apply to the bank for up to a maximum of 40 hours (5 work days) per application for when an employee is serving as a first responder or is called to active military duty. The maximum hours will be prorated for part-time employees.

Should a catastrophic event or emergency occur that affects multiple employees’ residences, a call for applications will be requested with a submission deadline. The leave bank will maintain a minimum balance of 352 hours for applications submitted for qualifying catastrophic life-threatening health conditions. The maximum allowable award under these circumstances is 80 hours (10 work days) per application.

An employee may receive only one award during years 2 through 5 of her/his CSU state classified employment. Employees with more than 5 years of CSU state classified employment are eligible for a total of three awards (approved applications) from the Leave Bank Program during their careers.

Awards that are utilized in an intermittent manner will only be available for use for a period of six months after the first date of use of the Leave Bank hours. Any award granted prior to July 1, 2007 will not reduce the employees' three award career limit.


Applying for Use of the Leave Bank

Employees may call or obtain a Leave Bank Application from Human Resources, 555 S. Howes Street, Second Floor, (970) 491-6947.

The employee completes the Leave Bank Application, providing the required information and documentation necessary to establish eligibility and a basis for requesting an award from the Leave Sharing Program.

The completed Leave Bank Application and supporting documentation are submitted to Human Resources.

Application Review

The application is first reviewed by Human Resources to ensure completion, documentation inclusion and to assess if the minimum employee eligibility and application requirements are attained.

The application is provided by Human Resources at the next LSC scheduled meeting. Employees may not submit additional written information as a supplement to the application. Human Resources will retract all identifying information from the application. The LSC shall review the application and any other pertinent information (disability documentation, worker’s compensation documentation, etc.) provided by the Human Resources Chief Total Rewards Officer. The LSC members by majority vote make a recommendation for application approval or denial on the applicable voting document, which is completed by the LSC Chair. The Human Resources Chief Total Rewards Officer reviews the LSC recommendation and provides a written response to the Vice President of University Operations (VPUO) to uphold or overturn the recommendation. The VPUO has final binding discretionary authority to approve or deny the application based upon the information presented for review.  

The applicant will be notified in writing of the VPUO’s decision by Human Resources. The application review process takes approximately four (4) weeks (20 work days) after receipt of the completed application materials including review at the next regularly scheduled LSC meeting. If the application is approved by the VPUO, payment of the approved hours will be reflected in the employee’s next payroll check. If an approval is received after the monthly payroll deadline, payment will be reflected in the following month’s payroll check.

Donating to the Leave Bank

State classified employees may donate annual leave (4-hour minimum) to the Leave Bank at any time during the year or during the annual donation drive. It is time (hours/days) being donated, not the dollars represented by the time. State classified leave sharing salaries are paid out of the fringe benefit pool which receives contributions from each department.

No donations can be made in excess of available annual leave for the donating employees, and all employees are encouraged to maintain a minimum amount of five (5) days of annual leave. This is a good opportunity for employees to share excess annual leave they might otherwise lose due to the annual leave accrual maximums calculated at fiscal year-end (June 30th).

Employees may make direct donations to an individual; however, donations should not be made until his or her application has been approved. Once donations are made they cannot be refunded for any reason and will be applied to the leave sharing pool. Donations are strictly voluntary and are kept confidential. Requests for direct donations may only be initiated by the applicant, if so desired, in order to protect his or her confidentiality.

Issues pertaining to Leave Sharing eligibility, denial of application, amount of award, etc., are not subject to the University’s or the state’s grievance or appeal processes.

Leave Bank Management and Equity

The Leave Bank is managed by the Leave Sharing Committee (“LSC”), while recordkeeping and program adherence are overseen by Human Resources under the direction of the VPUO.

The LSC shall review all applications in the same equitable manner utilizing the criteria set forth in this policy to render a recommendation for approval or denial.


  • Leave Sharing Program C.R.S. §24-50-104(7)(c) (as amended, 2009).
  • Sick Leave Policy, Human Resources Manual.
  • Family Medical Leave Policy, Human Resources Manual.

Family Medical Leave Policy, Human Resources Manual.



Original policy approved by Tony Frank, February 12, 2012;

Revision approved by Amy Parsons, September 5, 2015;

Revision approved by Amy Parsons, March 16, 2015


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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