ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The federal government offers a wide range of leave options to assist an employee who needs to be away from the workplace.
Some of these leave options include annual leave, sick leave and leave without pay.
Employee requests for leave are made on OPM Form 71, Request for Leave or Approved Absence.
An employee may request and, subject to supervisory approval, use annual leave for such things as vacations, personal business and emergencies.
Employees are responsible for making timely requests for annual leave as far in advance as possible, in order for the supervisor to ensure the agency's mission and their employees' needs are met.
Supervisors may ask employees how they will use the requested annual leave in order to make informed decisions about meeting workload requirements.
Employees are not required to provide the supervisor with specific information, but should understand that if the information is not provided, their request for annual leave may be denied based on meeting those workload requirements.
Although annual leave is a benefit to which employees are entitled, it is the supervisor's responsibility to control leave usage in a way that minimizes the adverse effect of an employee's absence on the work of the organization.
Absent fraud and subterfuge, an employee is entitled to use sick leave for personal medical needs, care of a family member, care of a family member with a serious health condition, adoption-related purposes and bereavement.
The sick leave usage limits per each leave year are: 13 days (104 hours) of sick leave for general family care and bereavement and 12 weeks (480 hours) of sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
Note: An employee is not entitled to more than the combined total of 12 weeks of sick leave each leave year for all family care purposes. Furthermore, there is no limit for an employee's own personal medical needs.
The right of the employee to take sick leave for non-emergency medical, dental or optical examination is subject to the requirement that sick leave be requested as much in advance as possible and the supervisor's authority to approve or disapprove the leave based on the need for the employee's services.
A routine medical appointment will usually not require a complete work day; except in unusual circumstances. An employee may, in certain cases, want to charge part of a day's absence to sick leave and the remainder of the day's absence to annual leave or other appropriate leave category.
Employees not reporting for work because of illness or injury are required to notify their supervisor as soon as possible, normally not later than two hours after the beginning of their scheduled work shift.
Certain factors in sick leave records frequently suggest improper use of sick leave.
In cases where it is suspected that sick leave usage is being abused by an employee, immediate corrective measures, which may include appropriate disciplinary action, may be taken.
A medical certificate is normally required to support an employee's absence in excess of three consecutive workdays.
A medical certificate may also be required for an absence of less than three days if there is evidence of suspected sick leave abuse, contagious disease or the impact of outpatient treatment on an employee's ability to return to work.
LEAVE WITHOUT PAY
The granting of leave without pay is discretionary on the part of the supervisor, except under certain circumstances.
The granting of LWOP is mandatory:
• For a disabled veteran who needs medical treatment for their disabling condition
• To a reservist or National Guardsman/Guardswoman for military training duties when his/her military leave is exhausted and he/she does not have or does not wish to use annual leave
• Under the Family Medical Leave Act an employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of LWOP during any 12-month period to provide care for certain family and medical needs
• To an employee receiving workers' compensation payments from the Department of Labor
In accordance with ANADR 690-28, request for LWOP in excess of 30 days must be made in writing.
In the event of an emergency situation, whereby the employee is unable to come to work, the employee may telephone their supervisor with a verbal request and follow-up with a written request when he/she returns to work.
The employee must also submit their request for LWOP using OPM Form 71, Request for Leave or Approved Absence.
In accordance with ANADR 690-28, as a basic condition for approval of an extended period of LWOP, there must be a reasonable expectation that the employee will return to duty in an active, productive capacity at the end of the period of absence.
LWOP for a period of 31 calendar days or more must be supported by a Request for Personnel Action and ANAD Form 690-2.
The employee completes the employee block on ANAD Form 690-2 and submits it to their immediate supervisor.
ANAD Form 690-2 must contain a complete statement of justification as why extended LWOP is needed and must include a written assurance of return to duty at the end of period of absence.
LWOP affects entitlements or eligibility for certain federal benefits, such as, but not restricted to: career tenure, probationary period, within-grade increases, service computation date for annual and sick leave accruals, reduction in force, retirement benefits and health and life insurance benefits.
The employee's immediate supervisor is the leave-approving authority.
An employee who is absent from duty and not in an approved leave status is absent without leave and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from federal service.
All forms of leave, whether for vacation, illness or a family emergency must be approved by the employee's supervisor.