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Shared Leave - FAQs

For more information, please visit Shared Leave.

Who qualifies for Shared Leave?

All faculty and staff who are appointed to a regular position and meet the following requirements are eligible to participate in the shared leave program as leave recipients or as donors:

  • You have, or are caring for a family member who has, a serious, extreme, or life-threatening illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition, which makes you unable to perform your regular work duties.
  • You are requesting parental leave due to the birth or placement of a child.
  • The above condition has caused, or is it likely to cause you to take leave without pay or terminate employment (because you are out of leave or will be out of leave).
  • You have six months of continuous service with the State of Kansas.
  • You have a satisfactory attendance record and no history of disciplinary actions.
  • You have obtained a satisfactory performance evaluation or an evaluation rating of at least "meets expectations" (for University Support Staff).
  • You have contacted Human Resources Management about Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility.

What is the difference between FMLA and Shared Leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a United States labor law which allows an employee a specific period of leave due to medical leave for their own condition or that of a family member, military exigency leave, or care for a covered military service member. FMLA is a designation of leave and in and of itself is not a paid leave. Please visit Family and Medical Leave for more information. Shared Leave is a university program that allows an eligible employee who is approved for Shared Leave, to receive donated Shared Leave hours to maintain them in a paid leave status.

If I am approved for FMLA, will I also be approved for Shared Leave?

Not necessarily, the standard to qualify for Shared Leave due to an extreme or life threatening condition is a higher standard than that of the FMLA. The standard for qualifying for FMLA is if the employee, or their family member are experiencing a serious health condition, as defined by the FMLA.  Additionally the eligibility requirements for Shared Leave differ from the eligibility requirements for the FMLA.

Where should I send my completed Shared Leave forms?

Completed Shared Leave forms should be sent to Human Resource Management. They can be sent via fax to 785-864-5790, via email to hrdept@ku.edu, via campus mail to Human Resources - Employee Relations, or via federal mail to:

Human Resource Management
University of Kansas
1246 W. Campus Road, room 103
Lawrence, KS 66045 


Who is the contact person and phone number for the person who handles Shared Leave?

Any Employee Relations staff member would be able to answer questions and provide guidance to employees on Shared Leave, please contact them by email at hrdept@ku.edu or by phone at 785-864-4946. 

Will my medical condition qualify for Shared Leave?

There is not a specific list of medical conditions that qualify for Shared Leave. To determine if the condition is serious, extreme, or life threatening, the Shared Leave committee relies on the information received from the Health Care Provider on the Shared Leave request form. 

When should I apply?

Employees should apply if they are experiencing (or a family member they are caring for is experiencing) a serious, extreme, or life threatening medical condition that is causing the employee to miss work AND the employee has exhausted or is close to exhausting his/her own available leave balances.  Employees should also apply when they are aware of a need for absence due to the birt or placement of a child AND they estimate their current leave balances will not cover the absence due to that leave.   Please be aware, that if an employee applies for Shared Leave too early, additional medical information may be requested close to the date that leave will be exhausted. HRM advises that employees apply for Shared Leave no sooner than when they have four weeks of leave balances left available to them.

Why do I have to use up all of my own leave balances before receiving Shared Leave?

Exhausting all leave balances prior to receiving Shared Leave is a policy requirement.

What if I am denied Shared Leave?

  • If you are denied Shared Leave due to ineligibility, you would need to wait until you are eligible for the Shared Leave to re-apply. Eligible employees must be regular employees in a position with the university for at least 6 months, have a satisfactory attendance record and satisfactory performance evaluation most recently on file. If you are not eligible and are denied, once you have exhausted your available leave balances, you would be in a leave without pay status until you were cleared to return to work.
  • If you are denied Shared Leave due to your medical condition not meeting the standard of a serious, extreme, or life threatening medical condition, once you have exhausted your available leave balances, you would be in a leave without pay status until you are cleared to return to work. The determination about the nature of the medical condition and the decision to approve or deny the application of Shared Leave is final and not subject to appeal. However, additional medical information will be considered if provided.

How much Shared Leave is available to me?

If you are approved for shared leave due to an extreme or life threatening condition, the maximum Shared Leave granted is six months per approved condition.  If you are approved for shared leave due to parental leave, you may receive up to 12 weeks within the first six months of the child being placed with you.  If you have accrued paid leave, parental Shared Leave, whether full-time or intermittent, will only be granted in sufficient amount to equal a total of 12 weeks of paid leave from the date of the child’s birth, adoption or placement. 

Once I return to work, will I need to repay the hours that I used while on Shared Leave?

No, upon your return to work, you are not expected to repay or return any donated hours used while on Shared Leave. 

I have people who want to donate hours to me, can they do so?

If you have been approved to receive Shared Leave by the Shared Leave committee, other employees can donate leave to you. Eligible university support staff and unclassified professional staff can donate sick and/or vacation leave and eligible faculty can donate sick leave to employees who have been approved for Shared Leave. To donate hours, employees willing to donate should complete the Shared Leave Donation Form.

I don’t have anyone who wants to donate to me, will you find someone to donate to me?

No, Human Resources will not seek donations for a specific employee. However, we have a pool of hours available to employees who are approved for Shared Leave. 

What if I use shared leave for parental leave but need shared leave later due to an extreme or life threatening condition, am I still eligible for shared leave?

Yes, eligible employees may receive up to six months of shared leave due an extreme or life threatening condition, and may receive up to 12 weeks due to the birth or placement of a child.

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