Voluntary Leave Transfer Program

I-2022-1


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
Jan. 6, 2022 When Superseded 12  

Overview

The District of Columbia government provides employees with an opportunity to minimize financial loss due to prolonged absences caused by the employee's own serious health condition or the responsibility to provide personal care for an immediate relative through the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). This issuance outlines the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, explains the application process, and provides processing guidance to subordinate agencies (including independent agencies with service agreements with the D.C. Department of Human Resources (DCHR)) so that an eligible employee may take full advantage of this important benefit.

NOTE: This issuance supersedes DPM Issuance No. 12-35, Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, effected April 21, 2008. Please also note for purposes of this Issuance that “donated leave” and “transferred leave” have the same meaning. 

Voluntarily Transferring Leave to Colleagues

Each agency must establish a voluntary leave transfer program. Voluntary Leave Transfer Programs exist within agencies to minimize an employee’s financial loss due to prolonged absences due to the employee’s serious health condition or the employee’s responsibility to provide personal care for an immediate relative. The contributed hours are transferred to recipients on an hour-per-hour basis.

District employees may contribute to their agency program as follows:

  1. Up to ½ of the amount of annual or universal leave that the contributing employee would be entitled to accrue during the leave year; or
  2. Up to the entirety of their restored leave.

For step-by-step instruction on how to transfer leave through PeopleSoft, please see Attachment 3, Guide to Donating Leave. 

Eligible employees who expect or currently experience an absence of at least 10 consecutive workdays may receive a maximum of 320 hours of transferred leave in a 12-month period to:

  1. Manage a serious health condition; or
  2. Provide personal care to an immediate relative.

NOTE: “Immediate relative” means (a) an individual who is related to the recipient employee by blood, marriage, adoption, or domestic partnership as father, mother, child, husband, wife, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, or similar familial relationship; or (b) an individual for whom the recipient employee is the legal guardian; or (c) a fiancé, fiancée, or domestic partner.  

“Personal care” means custodial or primary assistance that helps an individual with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, dressing, and continence. This term also includes the recent adoption of a child and the care of a newborn child. 

“Prolonged absence” means an employee’s absence from duty for at least 10 consecutive workdays that will result in a substantial loss of income because of the unavailability of paid leave. 

“Serious health condition” means pregnancy or a physical or mental illness, injury, or impairment that involves a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility or continuing treatment at home by a competent health care provider or other individual.


Recipient Eligibility

To qualify as a recipient under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, an employee must:

  1. Be a District government employee that is eligible to accrue annual or universal leave; and
  1. Have experienced (or will experience) a prolonged absence due to any of the following:
    1. A serious health condition; or
    2. The need to provide personal care to an immediate relative.

For a quick overview of the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, please review Attachment 1, VLTP at a Glance.


Requesting Donations

An employee who expects a prolonged absence due to a serious health condition or the need to provide personal care for an immediate relative should submit a completed Attachment 2, VLTP Request Form to their agency to become a leave recipient. If an employee is not capable of making an application, another employee of the agency or the employee’s family member may make a written application on the employee’s behalf.

All applications requesting leave donations shall include at least the following, as applicable:

  1. The eligible employee’s name, position title, and grade;
  2. The reason(s) transferred leave is needed;
  3. The name of the organizational unit within the agency, as appropriate, of the potential leave contributor;
  4. The anticipated duration of the prolonged absence;
  5. The number of hours of leave requested;
  6. An affidavit signed by the eligible employee attesting to the fact that the individual requiring personal care is an immediate relative or that the personal care is due to the recent adoption of a child or care of a newborn child;
  7. Certification from a physician or other licensed healthcare professional that the eligible employee has experienced a serious health condition or that the eligible employee’s immediate relative requires personal care, except that no certification shall be required in cases of pregnancy, the recent adoption of a child, or the care of a newborn child.

An eligible employee may only receive an annual or universal leave contribution from an employee within their respective agency.

Personal identifying information or any confidential medical information contained in the application will remain confidential and will not be used outside of the donation request decision process.


Approving Donation Request Applications

Once the HR Advisor or other agency designee receives the application, they have 15 calendar days to:

  1. Establish a determination; and
  2. Provide written notification to the recipient or the individual who submitted the application on the recipient’s behalf.

Making the Determination

For the HR Advisor to determine approval or denial, the advisor must first consider:

  1. Whether the requesting recipient will experience or has experienced an absence of 10 consecutive workdays or more due to:
    1. Pregnancy;
    2. Physical or mental illness;
    3. Injury; or
    4. Impairment; and
  2. Whether the condition referenced above involves a:
    1. Hospital;
    2. Hospice;
    3. Residential health care facility; or
    4. Continuing treatment at home by a competent health care provider or other individual.

OR

  1. Whether the employee needs to provide personal care for an immediate relative.

When evaluating a request, the HR professional or agency designee may consider the following:

  1. The leave record of the employee;
  2. The probability that the employee will separate from the District; and
  3. Any exigency or disruption in service that the agency may experience.
NOTE: If the employee is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., the leave transfer shall be granted.

 

Exclusions

If an agency head determines that any organization or program within their agency is being substantially disrupted in carrying out its functions or is incurring additional costs because of participation in the VLTP, they may exclude any employee or group of employees from the VLTP. If an agency head excludes an employee or group of employees from the VLTP, the agency head must submit a report to the Director of DCHR identifying how the organization or program would be substantially disrupted in carrying out its functions or would incur additional costs.

Providing Notice

Leave approval or denial notification must occur in writing within 15 calendar days of receipt of the application.   

Quality Assurance

Each agency must maintain Voluntary Leave Transfer Program records of donations and usage. When presented with a discrepancy between the donation and receipt of employee hours, the agency must contact the Office of Payroll and Retirement Services (OPRS) to correct the error.

DCHR will periodically review agencies’ Voluntary Leave Transfer Program records to ensure accurate donations and receipt of employee hours. DCHR will alert agencies of any discovered discrepancies for their review and amendment, if necessary.


Approving Leave Donations

Once an employee donates leave for use by the applicant, the agency must approve the leave donation through PeopleSoft. Once approved, the leave becomes available to the applicant for their use.

For step-by-step instructions on approving leave donations, see Attachment 4, Approving Leave Donations Guide.


Using Donated Leave

If approved for transferred leave under the VLTP, the employee must exhaust all annual, universal, sick, and advanced leave before any transferred leave may be used. The employee may use the donated leave in the same manner as if the employee had accrued the leave such as for consecutive days or at separate times within 12 months of the effective approval date.

The employee or timekeeper should use the following PeopleSoft Time Reporting Codes to reflect the use of leave under the program.

Requesting Leave Through E-Time (PeopleSoft)

Program

Pay Status

TRC to Use

Voluntary Leave Transfer Program

Voluntary Leave Scheduled

VLS

Voluntary Leave Unscheduled

VLT

NOTE: An employee shall not accrue annual, universal, or sick leave during the period they are using leave under the VLTP. 

Expiration and Forfeiture of Leave 

Approved leave under the VLTP must be used within 12 months of the effective approval date. Otherwise, leave expires when:

  1. The employee is no longer affected by the serious health condition or is no longer providing personal care to the immediate relative; or
  2. The employee separates from employment.

Any unused leave shall be transferred to the Annual Leave Bank maintained by DCHR.

NOTE: Unused transferred leave shall not be subject to any form of lump-sum leave payment upon the recipient employee’s separation from employment.

Other Leave Options

The District of Columbia offers a variety of leave options and workplace flexibilities to accommodate employees who need to be away from the workplace for extended periods of time. These options include: leave under the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Paid Family Leave, the annual leave bank, and leave without pay.


Applicability

The provisions of this issuance apply to all agencies under the Mayor’s personnel authority.


References

For additional information about the VLTP, please refer to the following DC Municipal Regulation subsection and statute.


Attachments

  1. Attachment 1 - VLTP at a Glance
  2. Attachment 2 - VLTP Request Form
  3. Attachment 3 - Donating Voluntary Leave
  4. Attachment 4 - Approving Voluntary Leave Donation

Issued by Interim Director E. Lindsey Maxwell II, Esq., D.C. Department of Human Resources on Jan. 6, 2022, 9:12 a.m.