Reminder: Leave donation programs revised

King County recently replaced the employee donated leave programs with two similar programs that better comply with IRS tax requirements: The Employee-to-Employee Medical Leave Donation Program allows you to donate your accrued leave directly to another employee. The Emergency Medical Leave Fund makes permanent the emergency leave fund started during the pandemic and allows you to donate accrued leave and request donations from a central fund.

Donating leave

Employee-to-Employee Medical Donated Leave Program: You can donate leave to another comprehensive leave-eligible employee as follows: Any amount of your accrued vacation time and up to 25 hours of your sick leave per year, as long as you have 100 hours or more of sick leave remaining.

Emergency Medical Leave Fund: You can donate up to 80 hours of accrued vacation and 25 hours of accrued sick leave each calendar year. Donations go to a leave bank and will be distributed to recipients with a qualifying reason.

Receiving leave

  • Donated leave must be used for a qualifying FMLA/KCFML reason, such as a serious health condition for yourself or an eligible family member, or to bond with a new child. These family and medical reasons are specified under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the King County Family and Medical Leave (KCFML) benefit.
  • Requests for hours from the Emergency Medical Leave Fund go through the Department of Human Resources and are capped at 80 hours annually (prorated to reflect the employee’s normal work week) and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You can only use donated leave after you have exhausted all of your own accrued leaves.
  • Donated time must first be used for a prolonged absence (three or more consecutive days) and then can be used intermittently.
  • Donations from the Emergency Medical Leave Fund must be used within 60 calendar days or the donated hours will be returned to the fund.
  • If an employee had remaining donated leave hours from the previous employee-to-employee leave donation program, unused balances were transferred to a new Employee-to-Employee Medical Donated Leave bank effective Jan. 7, 2023.

More information

  • Note: These changes were previously communicated to all employees in November and December of last year.
  • More details can be found in the FAQ.
  • New program forms and procedures are posted on the Taking leave
  • If you have questions about the new donated leave programs, contact the Benefits Team 206-684-1556 or KC Benefits.