Catastrophic Leave

Understanding Catastrophic Leave

The Catastrophic Leave Donation Program (CLDP) allows for the donation and receipt of vacation and sick leave credits between eligible SJSU employees, regardless of bargaining unit. 

What constitutes a catastrophic illness or injury?

  • A catastrophic Illness or injury is one that has completely incapacitated you or a member of your immediately family from work
  • A chronic condition for an illness may also be considered catastrophic, even if the condition results in only intermittent absences
  • A condition, which is short term in nature, such as a cold, flu, or minor injury, is generally not deemed catastrophic

The Leave Manager will determine whether or not you are eligible for CLDP based on a variety of factors. Each case is reviewed individually and no two cases are the same.

Requirements to Use Catastrophic Leave

To be eligible to use Catastrophic Leave you must:

  • Be eligible to accrue vacation and/or sick leave
  • Be on an approved leave of absence under Family Medical Leave (FML), NDI or the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Exhaust all paid leave credits 
  • Apply for Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI) if absence is for your own illness

Provide a medical certification including an estimated return-to-work date to the Leave Program Manager along with the completed Catastrophic Leave Donation Program Participation Request [pdf]

Process to Use Catastrophic Leave

Once your leave credits have been exhausted, you may request participation in the CLDP program for up to three (3) months. In exceptional circumstances, influenced by the severity of the illness or injury, you may provide a written request for an additional three (3) months participation. The maximum participation in the CLDP program is six (6) months.

Complete the Catastrophic Leave Donation Program Participation Request [pdf] and forward to the Leave Program Manager as directed on the form. The Leave Program Manager will review your participation request to determine approval and notify you of the next steps.

Donate Your Leave

Most employees are allowed to donate up to 40 combined hours of their own vacation or sick leave during each fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Exceptions to this rule are:

  • Unit 11 (Teaching Associates only) – May donate up to 16 total hours

Donate Online:

You must be logged into your SJSUOne account to complete the Catastrophic Leave Donation Online Form. Please take note of the following information: 

  • In the instance of Catastrophic Leave for employee illness/injury, sick and vacation credits may be donated.
  • In the instance of Catastrophic Leave for family care, only vacation credits may be donated.
  • Donations must be made in whole hour increments.
  • Donations are used in the order in which they are received.
  • For employees that are resigning or donating their overages in vacation hours before it is forfeited by January 1, these leave credit donations will take priority in the order of when donations are used. Please contact Leave Program Manager if this applies to your leave donation.
  • To donate to multiple participants, please submit a donation form for each participant (maximum 40 hours total)

You must be logged in to SJSU Google Workspace to view the Catastrophic Leave Donation Form.

For additional information contact