(a) For the purposes of this section, "employee" means either of the following:
(1) A classified or nonclassified employee who is employed by a higher education governing board, by the commission or by the council; or
(2) A faculty member, as defined in section one, article eight of this chapter, who is eligible to accrue sick leave.
(b) An employee may donate sick and annual leave to a leave bank established and operated in accordance with subsection (d) of this section or directly to another employee in accordance with subsection (e) of this section. No employee may be compelled to donate sick or annual leave. Any leave donated by an employee pursuant to this section shall be used only for the purpose of catastrophic illness or injury as defined in subsection (c) of this section and shall reduce, to the extent of such donation, the number of days of annual or sick leave to which the employee is entitled.
(c) For the purpose of this section, a catastrophic illness or injury is one that is expected to incapacitate the employee and create a financial hardship because the employee has exhausted all sick and annual leave and other paid time off. Catastrophic illness or injury also includes an incapacitated immediate family member as defined by a governing board, the commission or the council, as appropriate, if this results in the employee being required to take time off from work for an extended period of time to care for the family member and if the employee has exhausted all sick and annual leave and other paid time off.
(d) A leave bank or banks may be established at each state institution of higher education, the commission or the council to which employees may donate either sick or annual leave. The bank or banks may be established jointly by the policy commission and the governing boards or may be established for the commission, the council, and each of the governing boards. Sick or annual leave may be deposited in the leave bank, and shall be reflected as a day-for-day deduction from the sick or annual leave balance of the depositing employee.
Donated leave may be withdrawn by any employee experiencing a catastrophic illness or injury when the following conditions are met:
(1) The president of the institution or the chancellor of the commission or the council, as appropriate, verifies that the employee is unable to work due to the catastrophic illness or injury; and
(2) The president of the institution or a chancellor, as appropriate, approves the withdrawal and provides written notice to the personnel office.
The withdrawal shall be reflected as a day-for-day addition to the leave balance of the withdrawing employee.
(e) Sick or annual leave may be donated to an employee experiencing a catastrophic illness or injury. The leave shall be donated at the request of the employee after appropriate verification that the employee is unable to work due to the catastrophic illness or injury as determined by the president of the institution or the appropriate chancellor. When transfer of sick or annual leave is approved by the president of the institution or the appropriate chancellor, any employee may donate sick or annual leave in one-day increments by providing written notice to the personnel office. Donations shall be reflected as a day-for-day deduction from the sick or annual leave balance of the donating employee. An employee receiving the donated sick or annual leave shall have any time which is donated credited to his or her account in one-day increments and reflected as a day-for-day addition to the leave balance of the receiving employee.
(f) Use of donated credits may not exceed a maximum of twelve continuous calendar months for any one catastrophic illness or injury.
(1) The total amount of sick or annual leave withdrawn or received may not exceed an amount sufficient to ensure the continuance of regular compensation and may not be used to extend insurance coverage pursuant to section thirteen, article sixteen, chapter five of this code.
(2) An employee withdrawing or receiving donations of sick or annual leave pursuant to this section shall use any leave personally accrued on a monthly basis prior to receiving additional donated sick or annual leave.
(g) Donated sick or annual leave deposited in an institutional leave bank or transferred under subsection (d) of this section may be inter-institutional in accordance with the policies of the appropriate governing board. Each institution, the commission or the council is responsible for the administration of the sick or annual leave deposits, withdrawals and transfers of its employees. Rules implementing the provisions of this section may be adopted jointly or separately by the governing boards, the commission or the council in accordance with section six, article one of this chapter and, in the case of the commission and council, in accordance with article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.