Catastrophic Leave

The Catastrophic Leave Bank Program assists eligible university employees, after they have exhausted their earned sick leave, annual leave, holidays, and compensatory time, to manage medical emergencies, injuries and illnesses incurred by them or eligible family members. In fiscal year 2014, the program provided assistance to 39 university employees.

There are two separate catastrophic leave banks: one for faculty and one for classified and nonclassified staff. Arkansas Code Ann. § 6-63-602 states that a catastrophic leave bank program must be for non-faculty, benefits-eligible, full-time employees of the state institutions of higher education. Although the university has permission to maintain a catastrophic leave bank for faculty, the donations must be kept separate. Faculty may donate or receive leave hours in the faculty bank, and staff may donate or receive hours in the staff bank.

Donations to the Catastrophic Leave Bank

Only 100% appointed employees are eligible to donate or receive hours in the catastrophic leave bank. Donations are strictly voluntary and employees do not need to be donors to receive hours from the bank. Leave donations are accepted only during donation drives or at an employee's end of employment.

Donations are made in one-hour increments. There is no limit to the number of hours that can be donated. A donation cannot be accepted, however, if it reduces the combined sick and annual leave balances of the donor to less than 80 hours.

To donate to the catastrophic leave bank, contact your departmental leave representative or complete the Donation Form.

Applying for Catastrophic Leave

Employees on catastrophic leave continue to accrue leave and receive other benefits; however, any leave earned while an employee is on catastrophic leave must be assigned to the catastrophic leave bank as a condition of voluntary participation in the program. Restrictions concerning the maintenance of minimum leave balances do not apply to employees on catastrophic leave.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for catastrophic leave, you must:

  • Be a current, full-time employee
  • Have been employed by the state of Arkansas for two years—continuous employment is not required
  • Not have been disciplined for misuse or inappropriate use of leave within the past two years
  • Have exhausted all regular accrued leave—annual, sick, holiday and compensatory time
  • Provide a current Physician's Certification of a medical condition which prevents you from performing your job duties for 20 or more working days and will result in a substantial loss of income
  • Have at least 80 hours combined sick and annual leave accrued at the onset of illness or injury

Procedure

It is important that you or your legal representative file as soon as you know that you will need catastrophic leave.

  • Read and understand the Catastrophic Leave Bank Program Rules and Regulations.
  • Obtain a current set of application forms from HR or your department leave administrator.
  • Sign the Authorization to Release Information section of the Physician's Certification form and have your physician complete the remainder of the form.
  • Complete the employee portion of Parts I and IV of the Recipient Application form and have your department leave administrator complete the leave portion.
  • Read and sign the Liability Agreement form.
  • Provide the signed application packet to your supervisor. Your supervisor must verify on Part II that you have not been disciplined for misuse or inappropriate use of leave during the past two years, explain why your regular leave has been exhausted, and submit the completed application packet to HR.

Human Resources presents the application to the Catastrophic Leave Bank Committee for review. For additional information, contact an HR Expert.