Vacation Donation Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff

Responsible Officer
Ken Horstman
Vice President, Office of Human Resources
Mary Rohman Kuhl
Interim Senior Director - Total Compensation and Talent Acquisition
Primary Contact
See Contacts Section
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

The University permits civil service and union-represented employees to donate earned paid vacation to other employees within those groups to be used in cases of serious medical hardship or catastrophic illness or injury.


Employees must hold an appointment in the civil service, AFSCME (clerical, technical, or health care) or teamster employee group and be eligible to earn and use vacation leave in order to participate in the vacation donation program.

Employees who are paid from federally sponsored research funds or Internal Sales Organization (ISO) funds may not donate vacation days, but are eligible to receive vacation donations. Costs must be incurred against non-federal accounts. Other non-federal funds may also have similar restrictions. 


Civil service and union-represented staff employees are permitted to (1) donate available earned paid vacation days up to 40 hours per calendar year to employees approved as a recipient; or (2) request approval to use donated time up to 65 days per year as sick leave for a serious medical hardship or catastrophic illness, as defined in this policy.

Consideration is given when one or more of the following medically-related circumstances is determined to exist and when there is evidence of need for additional paid leave time. Qualifying circumstances include when the employee:

  • Is experiencing a medical condition that is life threatening such as cancer;
  • Has undergone major surgery for a health condition;
  • Requires inpatient, hospice, or residential health care; or
  • Is caring for an immediate family member who is experiencing a medical condition that is life threatening or who has undergone major surgery for a health condition, and who is not receiving round-the-clock care by medical professionals.

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 passed their initial probationary period. Employees cannot: (1) be on a disciplinary suspension, (2) be receiving or have applied to receive worker’s compensation benefits, (3) be covered by an employee’s paid long term disability for the illness or injury, or (4) have previously abused any paid leave.

Denial of a request to use donated days is not subject to grievance or appeal.

Use of donated days is to follow Civil Service Rules or applicable labor contract language regarding sick leave usage, as appropriate to the circumstance.

Reason for Policy

This policy implements Board of Regents policy: Employee Work-Life and Personal Leaves. The Vacation Donation Program is offered by the University to support eligible civil service and union-represented staff employees who are experiencing serious medical hardship or catastrophic illness 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.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Service Center 612-624-8647 612-626-0808


Immediate Family Member
Immediate family member definition as specified in the Civil Service Rules or relevant bargaining unit contract and as applied to use of sick leave by the employee receiving donated vacation days. Refer to Appendix: “Immediate Family” Definitions.
Internal Sales Organization (ISO)
University organizations that sell to other departments and offer goods or services on an on-going basis that are unique, convenient, or not readily available from external sources.
Medical Hardship or Catastrophic Illness or Injury
Situations that require prolonged hospitalization or recovery, or incapacitate a person from working, such as cancer, major surgery, AIDS, a serious accident, heart attack, etc.


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 employee as needed.
  • Receives forms UM 1549 and UM 1551 from the donor's department.
  • Submits all completed forms to Employee Benefits or the designated UMD office, as appropriate.
Donor and Donor Department
  • Completes the vacation contribution form, UM 1551.


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

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