Organ Donor Leave
Organ donor leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 13 weeks, for
the purpose of undergoing surgery to donate all or part of certain organs
to a person. In some cases, organ donor leave can be extended for an
additional period of up to 13 weeks.
Qualifying for Organ Donor Leave
An employee is entitled to organ donor leave whether he or she is a
full-time, part-time, permanent, or contract employee.
The employee must meet the following criteria to qualify for organ donor
The employee is
covered by the Employment
Standards Act (ESA;
Have been employed by his or her employer for at least 13 weeks;
Undergoes surgery to donate all or part of
one of the following organs to another person:
When an Organ Donor Leave Can Begin
Generally, organ donor leave begins on the date of the surgery. It may
begin on an earlier date, as specified in a certificate issued by a
legally qualified medical practitioner.
Length of an Organ Donor Leave
The employee may take leave for up to 13 weeks. The employee may extend
the leave if a legally qualified medical practitioner issues a certificate
stating that the employee is not yet able to perform the duties of his or
her position because of the organ donation, and will not be able to do so
for a specified period of time. The employee is entitled to extend the
leave for the specified period of time.
The leave may be
extended more than once, but the total period of extension must not be
more than 13 weeks. Therefore, where the leave is extended, the maximum
amount of time allowed for organ donor leave is 26 weeks in total.
Employees may also have the right to personal
Gabriel began an organ donor leave on September 1, the day that he had
surgery to donate part of his liver to his daughter. Upon the
employer’s request, he provided a medical certificate from his doctor
in advance of the surgery. After 13 weeks of organ donor leave,
Gabriel was planning to return to work, but he had complications from
the surgery that has hampered his recovery. His doctor
recommended extending Gabriel’s organ donor leave for another six
weeks. Gabriel provided his employer with a medical certificate from
his doctor stating this and extended his leave for an additional
period of six weeks.
An employee who wishes to take organ donor leave must provide the employer
with at least two weeks’ written notice both before beginning or extending
the leave, if possible. If this is not possible, the employee must provide
written notice as soon as possible after beginning or extending the leave.
However, if the employee does not provide notice to begin the leave,
provided the employee meets the requisite criteria, the employee still has
the right to take the leave.
The employee may end the leave early by giving the employer at least two
weeks’ advance written notice.
The employer may ask the employee to provide a medical certificate for the
Confirming that the employee has undergone or will undergo surgery to
donate an organ;
When the employee is to begin the leave if it is before the day of the
organ donation surgery; and/or
To extend a leave for a period of time because the employee is not yet
able to perform the duties of his or her position.
The employee must provide the certificate to the employer as soon as
possible after the employer’s request.
Rights During Leave
Employees who take organ donor leave
are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or
parental leave. For example, employers cannot threaten, fire or penalize
in any way an employee who takes or plans on taking an organ donor leave.
During Pregnancy and Parental Leaves” in
the Pregnancy and Parental Leave chapter.
The employee’s entitlement to organ donor leave is in addition to the
personal emergency leave entitlement.