LLNS Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program

Catastrophic Leave

Questions and Answers

Q: What are the eligible reasons to request Catastrophic Leave?
A: The purpose of the Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program is to provide eligible employees an opportunity to voluntarily donate accrued vacation leave to support colleagues who have exhausted their paid leave balances due to their own serious illness/injury or in caring for a seriously ill/injured eligible family member or for personal bereavement.
Q: What is the minimum number of vacation hours I can donate?
A: You can donate a minimum of one hour.
Q: Is there a maximum number of vacation hours I can donate?
A: Donations may not exceed 50% of your vacation balance.
Q: I am at my vacation maximum accrual. Can I donate the vacation that I will forfeit?
A: Yes. This is permitted under the program provisions.


  • For eligibility information, please contact Benefits (925) 422-9955 or loa [at] llnl.gov (loa[at]llnl[dot]gov) prior to sending request.
Q. Can I make my donations to more than one person?
A. There is no limit to the number of employees you can donate leave to as long as you do not exceed maximum donation limits. However, you would need to donate a minimum of one hour to each employee.
Q. If I receive more donated leave than I need and I come back to work, can I keep it?
A. No. Unused donated leave is returned to the donor employee.
Q: Is my donation confidential?
A: All donations are anonymous and will not be revealed to the recipient.
Q: Can I donate sick leave?
A: No. The program permits the donations of accumulated vacation leave only.
Q: Why can't I donate my sick leave?
A: Unlike accrued vacation leave which is vested with cash value as it is accrued, sick leave has no cash value. When an employee leaves the Laboratory, there is no cash out of sick leave. Only accrued vacation credits may be donated.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of times I can request donated leave?
A: As long as your request qualifies under the rules of the program, you may continue to request donations.
Q: Must I wait until I have exhausted all paid leave before I can request leave donations?
A: No. It is not required that you have already exhausted all leave in order to request leave donation, however, it is required that you use all paid leave prior to using donated leave.
Q: I have exhausted my sick leave and would like to save my vacation leave. Can I request leave donations and save my vacation leave?
A: No. To be eligible for Catastrophic Leave Sharing you must have exhausted or expect to exhaust all available paid leave benefits, including all vacation leave.
Q: Is there any documentation required with my request to receive leave donation?
A: Yes. A doctor’s certification must be provided to document the date the condition began and the expected duration.
Q: Can I donate leave to non-Livermore Lab employees?
A: No. This program is limited to donations from and to Livermore Lab employees only.
Q: What happens if I request donated leave and no donated leave is available?
A: Your request for donated leave will be kept active for the period of documented need and processed as requested when leave is donated.
Q: Do differences in pay between the recipient and donor affect the number of donated hours received?
A: No. Donations are hour for hour. Pay differences are ignored.
Q: Can I use donated leave while receiving Short Term Disability or Supplemental Disability?
A: No. You are not eligible to receive Disability benefits while receiving full pay from the Laboratory. Donated leave qualifies as pay and therefore cannot be used in conjunction with Disability benefits.
Q: Since I can use my earned vacation in lieu or applying for Supplemental Disability is it also possible to use donated leave in the same manner?
A: No. Donated leave can only be used for an eligible Catastrophic Leave period and cannot be used to extend the waiting period for application of Supplemental Disability benefits.