University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Vacation Donation Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff

Policy Statement

The University permits eligible employees to donate earned vacation to Civil Service or Labor Represented staff employeesto be used in cases of a serious medical condition Or injury to an employee or immediate family member.


Recipient Eligibility

A Civil Service or Labor Represented staff employee that holds a University benefits eligible position that allows them to earn and use vacation, is eligible to request use of this program.

Donor Eligibility

Any employee who holds a University (P&A, Faculty, Civil Service, or Labor-Represented) benefits eligible position that allows them to earn and use vacation, may donate earned vacation time to this program.


Donating Vacation Hours

Eligible donors are permitted to donate up to 40 hours per calendar year to employees approved to be a recipient of donated vacation (Civil Service or Labor-Represented staff employees) under this policy. Vacation must be donated in 8-hour increments.

Employees who donate vacation may not claim an expense, tax deduction, or a charitable contribution for any leave donated under this policy. Donated hours are given to the recipient on a first in first out basis and their vacation balances will reflect the donation when it’s surrendered. Surrendered hours cannot be returned to the employee.

Requesting Vacation Hour Donations

Civil Service and Labor-Represented employees may request to use up to 65 days of donated time per rolling calendar year for leave due to the circumstances specified in this policy. The rolling calendar year will begin on the date an employee first receives donated leave under the program in a particular calendar year. Employees who receive a donation will have a normal tax withholding occur when the employee receives pay while using donated vacation time.

The amount of donated time is determined by multiplying the donor’s hourly rate of pay by the number of hours of vacation the donor wishes to donate, which results in the calculation of a dollar value of the time that is to be donated. This dollar value is then divided by the recipient’s hourly wage to calculate the number of hours of donated vacation that are added to the recipient’s vacation balance.

Employees may request to use the vacation donation program for leaves due to one or more of the following circumstances and the leave will exceed 3 consecutive working days:

  • When the employee or an immediate family member is experiencing a serious medical condition or injury and receives a physician’s statement that extended time off is required;
  • When the employee requires inpatient, hospice or residential health care; or
  • When an employee is requesting extended time off due to a death of an immediate family member.

To be approved to use donated vacation days, employees must have exhausted all forms of paid leave (e.g., vacation, sick, compensatory time, personal holiday), and have been employed in a benefits eligible position for at least 6-months. In addition, to be approved to use donated vacation time, employees cannot: (1) be on a disciplinary suspension, (2) be receiving or have applied to receive worker’s compensation benefits, (3) be receiving any paid long term disability benefits for the illness or injury, or (4) have previously been subject to disciplinary action related to paid leave.

The Senior Director of Total Compensation will conduct a secondary review of any request that is denied to ensure consistent application of the program criteria. The final decision by the Senior Director of Total Compensation is not subject to grievance or appeal.

Reason for Policy

This policy implements Board of Regents policy: Employee Work-Life and Personal Leaves (PDF). The Vacation Donation Program is offered by the University to support eligible civil service and labor-represented staff employees who are experiencing a serious medical condition or injury, or who are caring for immediate family members with these conditions, and who are experiencing financial need because they have exhausted all paid leave to which they have access.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which department is charged for the donated vacation hours?

    The receiving department

  2. Can donated hours be used towards previous weeks that were unpaid?

    Yes, within a reasonable timeframe

  3. If an employee is working intermittently during their recovery, is the employee eligible to receive Vacation Donation?

    Once donated vacation usage is approved in accordance with the policy, the employee may use it for any related absence, including intermittent absences.

  4. If an employee is covered by a labor contract, does the eligibility criteria in this policy or the eligibility in the labor contract take precedence?

    The union contact takes precedence.


Employee BenefitsEmployee Benefits Service Center612-624-8647[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Vice President, Office of Human Resources
  • Senior Director - Total Rewards
  • See Contacts Table above


Immediate Family Member

For the purposes of this policy, immediate family includes the spouse or domestic partner, child (biological, adopted, step, foster, or ward), spouse or domestic partner’s children in law (or equivalent), parent or parent-in-law, sibling, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or first cousins of the employee. Domestic partner for this policy is defined as two persons of the same or different sex who are (1) engaged in a committed relationship, and (2) not related by blood closer than permitted under Minnesota marriage laws.

Serious Medical Condition

Situations that require prolonged hospitalization or recovery, or incapacitate a person from working for at least 3 consecutive working days in a pay period.


Office of Human Resources

  • Informs supervisors and impacted employees of the policy and procedures.
  • Consults with employee and/or employee’s department regarding eligibility to receive donated paid vacation days for use as sick leave.
  • Reviews, approves or denies request, informs affected employee and supervisor, and coordinates donations, as appropriate.

Employee, Immediate Family Member, or Employee’s Department

  • Completes the vacation donation program application form, UM 1549.
  • Secures a vacation donation physician’s statement form, UM 1550.

Supervisor/Employee’s Department

  • Assists the employee as needed.
  • Receives forms UM 1549 and UM 1551 from the donor's department.
  • Submits all completed forms to Employee Benefits.

Donor and Donor Department

  • Completes the vacation contribution form, UM 1551.

Related Information



August 2021 - Comprehensive Review.

  1. P&A are now allowed to donate vacation hours
  2. Specified that the 65 days of donated time is per rolling calendar year and simplified the reasons for requesting use of the program.
  3. Clarified that extended time off is a time period exceeding three consecutive working days
  4. The immediate family member definition was changed to match the CS Employment Rules definition
  5. Removed the section on federally sponsored funds not being able to donate. They are able to donate.
  6. Added that any denials will be reviewed by the Senior Director of Total Comp. If the denial is upheld, there is no appeal or grievance.


September 2016 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. 1. Simplifies language and reorganized information for clarity. 2. Update forms and procedures to reflect current practice by removing the financial and fringe transaction.


March 2011 - Clarified language where needed and added new FAQ and Appendix.


May 2008 - Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies.


October 1992


October 1992