Effective March 25, 2003, amendments to Sections 25-3-93, 25-3-95 and 25-3-91 of Mississippi Code of 1972 were signed into law, allowing state employees to donate accrued personal or major medical leave to other state employees who are suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness (1), or to another employee who has a member of his or her immediate family (2) who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness. This law provides paid leave for employees with a catastrophic injury or illness who have exhausted all other paid leave.
Donated Leave must be requested and approved during the time of the medical absence. Requests for retroactive donated leave are not permitted.
1 Catastrophic injury or illness: Catastrophic injury or illness is defined as a life-threatening injury or illness of an employee or a member of an employee’s immediate family which totally incapacitates the employee from work, as verified by a licensed physician, and forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee, resulting in the loss of compensation from the state for the employee. Conditions that are short-term in nature, including, but not limited to, common illnesses such as influenza and the measles, and common injuries, are not catastrophic. Chronic illnesses or injuries, such as cancer or major surgery, which result in intermittent absences from work and which are long-term in nature and require long recuperation periods may be considered catastrophic.
2 Immediate family (for donated leave purposes): Spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child or stepchild.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires covered employers to provide up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and medical reasons. This includes serious health conditions, defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job. Consequently, an employee with a medical condition that meets the definition of catastrophic injury or illness under Sections 25-3-93, 25-3-95 and 25-3-91 of Mississippi Code of 1972 and who meets the eligibility requirements to receive donated leave, also may meet FMLA eligibility requirements. In addition to any other FMLA leave you have used (or any unused portion of your entitlement), all Donated Leave time taken will reduce your twelve (12) week FMLA entitlement for the fiscal year in which it occurs. If an employee has FMLA eligibility and receives donated leave, FMLA and donated leave will run concurrently.
Upon notification of an “FMLA eligible” situation, the FMLA requires employers to give employees written notice that their leave time in regard to the situation will be deducted from their twelve-week FMLA entitlement. The information provided above serves as notice that your twelve-week FMLA entitlement will be reduced by the amount of any Donated Leave time used by you.