Woman Fights For Paid Leave After Organ Donation

Postal Service Gave Her 14 Days, Instead Of Full 30

An Indianapolis postal worker persevered after she was initially denied her full paid leave following a kidney transplant.

Faith McKinney said she knew she had to give back when she learned she was a perfect match for her cousin, the deacon of her childhood church, who had been on dialysis for nearly two years.

"I said, 'I'm the one. That's my mission. I can do that,'” she told 6News' Rafael Sanchez.

Following a successful transplant at Methodist Hospital in October 2009, McKinney said she was expecting to take 30 days off from her job as a maintenance employee at the Eastgate postal branch.

But the postal service would only agree to 14 days, even though her union contract with the American Postal Workers Union allowed for up to six weeks.

McKinney fought back with letters and calls. 6News also contacted the postal service on her behalf.

Eventually, her employer admitted to making an error and paid her full time off.

A postal service spokesman said the mistake occurred because requests for leave time for organ donations are rare.

"No matter what, I was determined to do this,” McKinney said. “I was determined to see this through, no matter what. "

6News found that about 20 states, not including Indiana, offer tax deductions or work-leave incentives for organ donors.

Dr. Tim Tabor with the Indiana University Organ Transplant Center in Indianapolis said he believes donors should get job-related accommodations but is critical of any other incentives to promote donation.

"Anything we can do to help make that decision is a wonderful thing, but they shouldn't do it because of something they might get,” he said.

McKinney said she is particularly passionate about the issue of organ and tissue donation because she received a cornea donation from a 15-year-old killed in a car crash 12 years ago.

"For the parents of this young man to give me a gift like that, it blew me away," McKinney said. "I've gotten my gift. I want others to do the same."

More Information:

  • Register As An Organ Donor