UF COVID-19 Leave Donation Plan
The University of Florida has established a COVID-19 Leave Donation Plan (the “Plan”) in response to the developing global COVID-19 pandemic. The Plan allows a leave donor to donate their personally accrued leave (their choice of annual vacation or sick leave) into a UF-sponsored leave pool for use by other employees who have been adversely affected by this emergency and have exhausted all of their personally accrued leave. An employee is adversely affected if the disaster has caused severe hardship to the employee or to their immediate family members and requires the employee to be absent from work. Examples of hardship include personal medical emergencies, quarantine mandates, or inability to work or telework. A committee made up of UFHR members will evaluate that an employee meets the hardship criteria before granting awards from the pool.
Eligible recipient employees must be in a leave-accruing appointment. Each recipient who receives donated leave will be paid at their normal rate of compensation. Plan hours may only be applied to absences related to the COVID-19 emergency as defined above. Hours will be proportionally awarded based on FTE, in increments of up to 80 hours, based on a 1.0 FTE. Upon exhaustion of all available leave accruals, a leave-accruing employee may request up to 80 hours, which after award, can be used over multiple payroll periods to provide prolonged income or to cover payroll-deducted benefit premiums. Employees may make multiple requests up to the established limit; however, all requests are considered in the order in which they are received. A recipient may not convert leave received under the Plan into cash in lieu of using the leave.
Leave may be donated, requested, and applied during the periods of time the disaster qualifies under IRS Notice 2006-59 and the Stafford Act. Donors will not be taxed on the hours they donate. Any unused donated leave remaining in the pool at the time the emergency no longer qualifies will be returned to the donor within a reasonable time. The amount returned will be proportionate based on the number of donated hours contributed by all donors—that is, the remaining pool of contributed hours will be divided equally among the donors and returned in equal amounts, except in no case will the amount returned to an individual exceed the amount originally donated by the individual.
Donor employees may not claim an expense, tax deduction, or charitable contribution for any leave donated through this Plan. Additionally, all paid leave granted to recipients is considered wages and is subject to Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA), Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), and other federal, state, local, or municipal tax withholding requirements.