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.

Although annual leave is a benefit to which employees are entitled, it is the supervisor's responsibility to manage leave usage in a way that minimizes the adverse effect of an employee's absence on the work of the organization.


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.

A medical certificate is normally required to support an employee's absence in excess of three consecutive workdays.


The granting of leave without pay is discretionary on the part of the supervisor, except under certain circumstances. The granting of LWOP is mandatory in the following situations:

• 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.

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.