Three years ago, a Wake Forest employee and her husband were awaiting the birth of their son. But at only 28 weeks into her pregnancy, she went into labor and gave birth to their son nearly three months early. After spending two months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, her son was finally able to come home, but he still required round-the-clock care, and her maternity leave and paid time off (PTO) were soon exhausted.
In the spirit of Pro Humanitate, her co-workers offered to donate some of their PTO so she could have more time to take care of her son’s urgent needs. That helped inspire the University’s new Voluntary Shared PTO Leave Policy, which will make it possible for staff members to donate PTO to co-workers in need.
The policy began as a suggestion from the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), which brought the idea to Associate Vice President of Human Resources Mike Tesh. “There was a very positive feeling among SAC members about finding a way to donate PTO,” said Patrick Morton, SAC member and a client architect in Information Systems. “Many of us may never be put in the situation to need this help, but it’s nice to know there is a safety net for staff when something extraordinary happens.”
Employees may contribute PTO, anonymously if they wish, to colleagues in need. Regular full-time or part-time staff members are eligible to receive PTO donations if they have been employed by Wake Forest for at least 90 days and are scheduled to work 1,000 hours or more annually. Full details are available on the Human Resources Web site.
“I think this new policy demonstrates the goodwill and compassion of our campus community for those who find themselves in a difficult health situation and in need of extra time off,” Tesh said. “It contributes to the strong sense of community we have at Wake Forest.”
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