(a) The governing board of a school district or county office of education may establish a catastrophic leave program to permit employees of that district or county office to donate eligible leave credits to an employee when that employee or a member of his or her family suffers from a catastrophic illness or injury.
For the purposes of this section the following terms are defined as follows:
(1) "Catastrophic illness" or "injury" means an illness or injury that is expected to incapacitate the employee for an extended period of time, or that incapacitates a member of the employee's family which incapacity requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time to care for that family member, and taking extended time off work creates a financial hardship for the employee because he or she has exhausted all of his or her sick leave and other paid time off.
(2) "Eligible leave credits" means vacation leave and sick leave accrued to the donating employee.
(b) Eligible leave credits may be donated to an employee for a catastrophic illness or injury if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The employee who is, or whose family member is, suffering from a catastrophic illness or injury requests that eligible leave credits be donated and provides verification of catastrophic injury or illness as required by the governing board of the school district or county office in which he or she is employed.
(2) The governing board of the school district or county office determines that the employee is unable to work due to the employee's or his or her family member's catastrophic illness or injury.
(3) The employee has exhausted all accrued paid leave credits.
(c) If the transfer of eligible leave credits is approved by the governing board of the school district or county office, any employee may, upon written notice to the governing board of the district or county office, donate eligible leave credits at a minimum of eight hours, and in hour increments thereafter.
(d) The governing board of a school district or county office that provides a catastrophic leave program pursuant to this section shall adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this section, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The maximum amount of time for which donated leave credits may be used, but not to exceed use for a maximum period of 12 consecutive months.
(2) The verification of catastrophic injury or illness required pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).
(3) Making all transfers of eligible leave credit irrevocable.
(e) An employee who receives paid leave pursuant to this section shall use any leave credits that he or she continues to accrue on a monthly basis prior to receiving paid leave pursuant to this section.
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the governing board of a school district or county office and an exclusive bargaining representative of employees in that district or county may agree to include in any collective bargaining agreement, a provision setting forth requirements for a catastrophic leave program.
(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 78, Sec. 1.)