Compassionate Leave

St. Johns County Administrative Code | Personnel

Compassionate Leave is a means to offset the financial challenges employees could experience in the event they exhaust their own leave balances. Approval for this type of leave is solely within the purview of the County Administrator subsequent to the recommendations from the appropriate Department/Division Director and the Human Resources Department and is not appealable to the Board of County Commissioners. If such leave is approved, the employee taking the leave may receive donated vacation hours for pay, as provided for in this policy. The leave must be necessary in order to care for oneself or to serve as the primary caregiver to a family member (as defined in the FMLA) in situations that are based on medical necessity as documented by a certified medical care provider. Employees shall exhaust their Family Medical Leave prior to requesting a leave of absence. The combination of FMLA leave and any other type of leave may not exceed six (6) calendar months in a twelve (12) month period. Every effort will be made to restore the recipient of this leave type to the same or equivalent position upon return to work.


  1. Participation shall be voluntary.
  2. Shall not be solicited, coerced, threatened or intimidated into donating hours to any employee.
  3. Employees may participate as a donor after completing their initial six (6) month probationary period.
  4. Donated vacation hours shall only be available to the qualified recipient identified on the donation form.
  5. May donate any number of hours from their accrued vacation leave account (not to exceed 240 hours) but must do so in eight (8) hour increments.
  6. Must have a minimum of forty (40) vacation hours remaining in their own vacation leave account after donating hours to an employee under this policy.
  7. Shall not donate hours from their accrued sick leave account.
  8. Un-used donated vacation leave shall not be returned to the donor.
  9. Shall complete a Donor Form and submit to the Human Resources Department to be used as a source document to transfer their vacation hours to the recipient’s sick leave account. Log in to NeoGov to access Donor Form


  1. Must complete a Compassionate Leave Request Form (if not on Family Medical Leave at the time of the request) and be approved for such leave prior to using (or continuing to use) donated vacation leave hours. Log in to NeoGov to access Compassionate Leave Request Form. 
  2. Must show proof of leave necessity at the time a leave of absence is requested. Documentation from the treating physician which states the absence is medically necessary shall be forwarded to the Human Resources Department. Employees receiving donated leave must provide medical documentation every thirty (30) days to substantiate the continued need for leave donations.
  3. Shall not directly or indirectly solicit, intimidate, threaten or coerce any employee into donating hours.
  4. May not accrue sick or vacation hours while in a leave of absence status under this policy (Family Medical Leave is excluded).
  5. Shall not be entitled to merit salary increases or any other type of pay increase while in a leave of absence status under this policy (Family Medical Leave is excluded).
  6. Must have exhausted all of their accrued sick and vacation leave and sick leave pool hours (if applicable) prior to using donated hours.
  7. May only use a maximum of 1040 donated hours (if available) in any twelve (12) month period commencing the day a leave of absence was approved (the twelve (12) month period included Family Medical Leave time taken before the additional approved leave period). Extensions may be authorized by the County Administrator if donated hours are available and the recipient remains in an approved leave of absence status.
  8. Un-used donated leave shall be removed from the recipient’s sick leave account on the day the employee returns to work.
  9. Must notify the Human Resources Department at least seven (7) calendar days prior to their return date.
  10. Failure to return to work at the expiration of the leave of absence will be considered voluntary separation from the County.