Emergency PTO Donation Program (EPDP)


In the event of a federal major disaster or emergency, as declared by the President of the United States, which results in severe adverse effects for a substantial number of employees, the University of South Alabama, USA HealthCare Management, LLC, and USA Health Care Authority may establish an Emergency PTO Donation Program (EPDP). Under an EPDP, an eligible employee may donate accrued but unused PTO for transfer to a PTO leave bank for co-employees who are adversely affected by the same declared major disaster or emergency. This program applies to faculty, physicians, administrators, and staff employees.

Donate or Receive PTO


  • Major Disaster or Emergency - A major disaster or emergency, as declared by the President of the United States, that results in severe adverse effects for a substantial number of employees.
  • Eligible Employee to Donate PTO – Must be in an active employment status, and must retain eighty (80) hours of PTO (based on FTE) for their own use; must donate voluntarily and in increments of eight (8) hours. 
  • Eligible Employee to be a PTO recipient – Must be in an active employment status, must have 6 months of service, be employed in a regular benefits-eligible position, work twenty (20) or more hours per week (.50 FTE or greater) and must have exhausted all personal accrued PTO leave before they are eligible to receive donated PTO.
  • Full Time Equivalency (FTE) - An FTE is the hours worked by an employee on a full-time basis. On an annual basis, an FTE is considered 2,080 hours, which is calculated as 8 hours per day.

Application to Become a PTO Donation Recipient

In order to be approved to receive donated PTO leave, an eligible employee must make electronic application to the dedicated link to become an emergency PTO leave donation recipient. An employee is considered to be adversely affected if the federal disaster or emergency has caused severe hardship to the employee to such a degree that his or her absence from work is required.

Approval or Disapproval of Application to Become an Emergency PTO Donation Recipient

USA Human Resources must review the employee’s application and notify the employee at the employee’s University issued email address, of the approval or disapproval of the application within 10 business days after the date of the application is received. USA Human Resources has the discretion to approve or disapprove any amount of hours requested up to the maximum allowed. There are no appeals for this decision.

PTO Leave Donations from Employees

An employee may voluntarily submit an electronic request, on the applicable PTO Leave Donation dedicated link, to USA Human Resources that a specified number of hours of his or her accrued PTO hours be transferred from his or her PTO balance to the EPDP. PTO leave donors may not donate to a specific employee. Leave donations will be accepted until the termination of the EPDP.

Limitation on Amount of PTO Hours an Employee May Donate

A PTO leave donor may not donate less than eight (8) hours or more than the maximum amount of PTO leave that the employee normally accrues each year to the EPDP. The donating employee must retain a balance of eighty (80) hours of accrued PTO hours.

Limitation on Amount of PTO Hours an Employee May Receive

A PTO leave recipient may receive a maximum of 80 hours (prorated based on FTE) of donated PTO leave from the EPDP. The PTO leave available in the EPDP is limited to the total volume of donated leave in the program at the time of application.

Use of Donated PTO Leave

An approved PTO donation leave recipient is required to exhaust his or her accrued PTO balance before receiving donated PTO leave under the EPDP. Any donated PTO a recipient receives from the EPDP may be used only for purposes related to the federal disaster or emergency for which the emergency leave recipient was approved.

PTO leave donated under the EPDP to a leave recipient will be:

  • Paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay;
  • Used to substitute leave without pay because of the federal emergency or disaster
  • Used only for the purposes related to the federal emergency or disaster

PTO leave donated to the EPDP for a leave recipient may not be:

  • Paid as a lump-sum payment
  • Converted into cash in lieu of using the donated leave
  • Used to supplement OJI pay
  • Used when on military leave, sabbatical, educational or personal leave of absence

Income Tax Considerations for Participation in the EPDP

PTO leave donated to the EPDP will not be included in taxable income of the donor and will not be tax deductible to the donor. The amounts paid to recipient employees under the program are includable in gross income of the recipient and subject to payroll and withholding taxes.

Accrual of PTO While Using Donated PTO

A federal disaster or emergency PTO leave recipient using donated PTO leave will continue to accrue PTO leave at the same rate as if the employee were in a paid leave status, and the 3 employee’s PTO will be subject to the annual PTO maximums. PTO accrued while using emergency donated PTO leave will be paid first each pay period and will then be supplemented by donated leave.

Termination of the Emergency PTO Donation Program

The federal disaster or emergency affecting the emergency PTO leave recipient terminates at the earliest occurrence of one of the following conditions:

  • When the University determines that the federal disaster or emergency has terminated (for COVID-19: December 31, 2020).
  • The EPDP will terminate for new application requests effective December 31, 2020, unless extended.
  • When the employee terminates employment.
  • At the end of the pay period in which Human Resources receives notification that the employee/recipient has been approved for long-term disability benefits. Restoration of Unused Donated PTO Leave Upon termination of the federal disaster or emergency (or after December 31, 2020):
  • Any unused PTO leave donated to the EPDP must be returned to the PTO donors.
  • USA Human Resources must determine the amount of PTO leave to be restored to PTO donors who, on the date PTO leave restoration is made, are in an active employment status.
  • The amount of unused PTO leave to be restored to each PTO donor must be proportional to the amount of PTO leave donated by the donor to the EPDP for the federal disaster or emergency.
  • Any unused PTO leave remaining after the distribution/restoration will be subject to forfeiture.
  • PTO leave donated to the EPDP for a specific federal disaster or emergency may not be transferred to another EPDP established for a different federal disaster or emergency.