Blood Donation Leave Policy

Columbia University (“The University”) provides reasonable unpaid time away from work for eligible employees who wish to donate blood at an off-premise blood donation. 

Any University employee who works for the University for an average of twenty (20) or more hours per week during a fiscal year (July 1-June 30).

This policy does not apply to individuals excluded by the law, such as employees who work fewer than twenty (20) hours per week during a fiscal year.

“Off-premise blood donation” means a blood donation, which is not made in connection with a blood drive at the University or in connection with some other convenient time and place set by the University. 

The University complies with the New York State Labor Law Section 202-j by providing three (3) hours of unpaid leave per fiscal year to eligible employees who wish to donate blood at an off-premise location during the employee’s  regular work schedule.  Requests from non-eligible employees for blood donation purposes is subject to supervisory approval.

Use of Accruals

Eligible employees may use accrued paid vacation or personal time for leave taken for an off-premise blood donation.  If an employee elects to use their accruals for the purpose of donating blood, such leave will run concurrently with the leave provided under this Policy.  Unused Blood Donation leave does not carry over from fiscal year to fiscal year.

Notice of Requests for Leave

Eligible employees are required to provide reasonable notice to their supervisor of requests to take blood donation leave.  Reasonable notice consists of notice provided at least three (3) working days prior to the day on which blood donation leave will be taken.  In cases, where the employee fills an essential role or where necessary to comply with legal requirements, and three (3) days’ notice is insufficient to allow the employee’s position to be filled during the donation, these employees are expected to give ten (10) working days’ notice.  Should an eligible employee experience an emergency requiring that he/she donate blood for his or her own surgery or that of a family member, reasonable accommodations will be provided for a shorter notice period. 

Record Keeping

Eligible employees are expected to provide confirmation of their attendance at the off-premise donation site by showing notice of blood donation, or a good faith effort at blood donation from the blood bank, or other proof sufficient to this purpose.


The University does not retaliate against employees requesting or obtaining leave under this Policy.