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MSU expands sick leave donation policy

BOZEMAN (AP) — Montana State University officials have approved a new policy expanding the ability of employees to donate unused sick leave to include women who miss work due to pregnancy.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports ( that the 40 or so Montana State leaders who make up the University Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the new policy.

The previous policy said sick leave could be donated to colleagues with longer illnesses or a colleague caring for immediate family members, but not for pregnancy.

University President Waded Cruzado says the new policy reflects the school's efforts to respond to the needs of employees.

"It's a good step forward," said Dennis Defa, MSU's chief human resources officer. "It clearly indicates the level of support the university has for its employees."

The University Council also increased the number of sick-leave hours employees can receive from 160 to 240.

Susan Alt, classified employee relations manager, said another change is that donated sick leave hours will only be taken from the donor as needed, as opposed to the previous policy where all donated sick leave was gone for good. She also said a five-day waiting period, a hardship for lower-paid employees, has been eliminated.

Alt said another proposal during a public comment period to expand the policy to include adoption or work-comp injuries weren't included because they needed additional study and cost analysis.


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