Description: Description: U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service226 FW 2, Absence and Leave
NOTE:  THIS CHAPTER was amended on 06/20/2007, see AMENDMENT 1.


FWM#:         079 (new)
Date:            April 7, 1993, as amended 06/20/07
Series:          Personnel
Part 226:      Attendance and Leave
Originating Office: Division of Personnel Management


2.1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to set forth U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) leave policies and other instructions based upon leave laws, regulations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and decisions of the Comptroller General and to provide uniformity in leave administration throughout the Service.

2.2 Authorities. This chapter is issued in accordance with the following authorities:

A. 5 U.S.C., Chapter 63, Leave

B. 5 CFR, Part 630, Absence and Leave

C. Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) 630, Absence and Leave

D. FPM Supplement 990-2, Book 630, Absence and Leave

E. 370 Departmental Manual 630, Absence and Leave

2.3 Scope. The provisions of this chapter apply to all Service employees except those specifically excluded in whole or in part from a specific provision or section as indicated herein.

2.4 Policy. It is the policy of the Service to administer leave in accordance with governing regulations and Departmental and Service policies. This includes ensuring the propriety of leave approvals and usage and conformance to administrative procedures essential to the continuity of a uniform and effective leave administration program.

2.5 Definitions.

A. Accrued Leave. Leave earned by an employee during the current leave year that is unused at any given time in that leave year.

B. Accumulated Leave. Unused leave remaining to the credit of an employee at the beginning of a leave year.

C. Contagious Disease. A disease which is ruled as subject to quarantine, requires isolation of the patient, or requires restriction of movement by the patient for a specified period as prescribed by health authorities having jurisdiction.

D. Leave Year. The period beginning with the first day of the first complete pay period in a calendar year and ending with the day immediately before the first day of the first complete pay period in the following calendar year.

E. Medical Certificate. A written statement signed by a registered practicing physician or other practitioner certifying to the incapacitation, examination, or treatment of an employee, or to the period of disability while the employee was receiving professional treatment.

2.6 Responsibilities.

A. The Director is responsible for the overall establishment and proper administration of an effective leave program within the Service and for maintaining an account of leave for each employee in the Service in accordance with the methods prescribed by the General Accounting Office.

B. The Assistant Director - Policy, Budget and Administration is responsible for providing technical assistance and direction to the Director in the development of a leave administration program that delineates Service policy and incorporates uniform procedures for administering the program in accordance with regulatory mandates and Departmental policy. The Assistant Director ensures that management and employees are apprised of established policy, current trends, and their roles in leave administration in order to promote an efficient, effective, and successful program.

C. Regional and Assistant Directors are responsible for directing the overall administration of an effective absence and leave program that is tailored to Regional/program needs, as necessary, within the limits of regulation and prescribed Service policy.

D. The Chief, Division of Personnel Management (DPM), is responsible for developing, implementing, and reviewing Servicewide personnel management policy, programs, systems, and procedures for leave administration for efficiency and effectiveness and for providing technical assistance and counsel to managers, supervisors, and employees in Headquarters on matters of concern. The Chief, DPM, provides technical advice and guidance to Regional personnel offices on unusual leave administration issues.

E. Regional Personnel Officers and the Chief, Branch of Headquarters Operations, DPM, are responsible for administering a leave program within the constraints prescribed by applicable policy and regulation in their respective areas of responsibility. They are also responsible for providing technical assistance to management and informing employees of entitlements, benefits, and obligations under the program.

F. Supervisors are responsible for being knowledgeable of the basic concepts governing the scheduling, granting, advancing, and use of leave and for verifying leave accruals and usages to ensure the propriety of annotations on the Form DI-502G, Time and Attendance Report, prior to certification. They are also responsible for complying with Service policy and procedures relating to the approval, use, and restoration of forfeited annual leave and for ensuring that the administration of leave within their organizations is legal, justifiable, equitable, and in accordance with appropriate regulations. Supervisors have a joint responsibility with their employees to ensure that annual leave is used before the end of the leave year in order to avoid forfeiture.

G. Timekeepers are responsible for accurately annotating Form DI-502G, Time and Attendance Report, to reflect hours of work and leave usage, for ensuring that all required documents that support entries on the Time and Attendance Report are properly processed and approved, and for apprising supervisors of any related problem, irregularity, or questionable situation concerning entries on the Time and Attendance Report. Timekeepers may also maintain informal leave records, as necessary, for purposes of internal control; however, informal leave records merely supplement the official Time and Attendance Reports and do not take the place of those documents.

H. Employees are responsible for recognizing that the accrual and accumulation of leave are mandated by statute, the use of accrued and accumulated leave is contingent upon management's right to fix the time when such leave may be used, and that leave may not always be approved for the time requested. They are also responsible for requesting leave in advance, except in the case of an emergency. Employees are also responsible, along with their supervisor, for ensuring that annual leave subject to forfeiture is properly scheduled and used before the end of the leave year.

2.7 Approval of Leave.

A. The Director approves the following:

(1) Requests for leave for Regional and Assistant Directors and members of his/her immediate staff; and

(2) Requests for leave without pay (LWOP) or extensions thereof in excess of 1 year.

B. Regional and Assistant Directors may approve leave for subordinate supervisors and employees as follows:

(1) Accrued and accumulated annual leave without limitation;

(2) Advance of annual leave not to exceed the amount of such leave that will be earned during the current leave year;

(3) All accrued and accumulated sick leave;

(4) Advance of sick leave not to exceed 30 workdays (240 hours);

(5) LWOP and extensions thereof not to exceed a total of 1 year in accordance with the provisions of 2.18, below;

(6) Excused absence in accordance with 2.17, below, and to observe State and local holidays when Federal work cannot be properly performed;

(7) Military leave; and

(8) Court leave.

Regional and Assistant Directors may assign responsibility in writing for all or part of the above authorities to subordinate managers and supervisors who are at least one administrative level above the immediate supervisor.

C. Immediate supervisors may approve the use of leave for subordinates as follows:

(1) Accrued and accumulated annual leave that does not exceed 15 workdays at one time;

(2) All accrued and accumulated sick leave that does not exceed 15 workdays at one time;

(3) LWOP not to exceed 10 workdays;

(4) A combination of LWOP and accrued and accumulated sick and annual leave needed to cover a period of absence due to pregnancy and confinement or to cover other illness for which medical certification has been provided;

(5) Military leave;

(6) Court leave; and

(7) Excused absences in accordance with 2.17, below, and to observe State and local holidays when Federal work cannot be properly performed.

2.8 Minimum Leave Charge. The minimum charge for annual leave, sick leave, and LWOP is 15 minutes, and additional charges are in multiples thereof. The minimum charge for home leave, military leave, and shore leave is 1 day, and additional charges are in multiples thereof.

2.9 Annual Leave. The taking of annual leave is a right of the employee, subject to the right of the supervisor to fix the time at which the leave may be taken. The taking of leave is based on cooperative arrangements between supervisors and employees. The personal wishes of employees are granted when consistent with the Service's interests. Operational requirements make it advisable that granting annual leave during periods of peak workloads be restricted to cases of urgent personal emergencies. Except in emergency situations, employees are required to obtain prior approval for annual leave.

A. Qualifying for Leave Accrual. Employees accrue leave under the following conditions:

(1) Permanent full-time and part-time employees with regularly scheduled tours of duty are entitled to annual leave earning upon completion of the first biweekly pay period. Leave may be used as soon as it is earned and credited to the employee's account.

(2) Temporary full-time and part-time employees with regularly scheduled tours of duty and current appointments for periods of 90 days or more begin to earn annual leave upon completion of the first biweekly pay period. Annual leave may be used when earned and credited.

(3) If an appointment is for less than 90 days, employees are not entitled to annual leave until after being employed for a continuous period of 90 days under successive appointments without a break in service. A break in service is 1 workday or more when the employee is not on the Government's employment rolls. If employees are initially appointed for less than 90 days and the appointment is subsequently converted to more than 90 days; e.g., temporary appointment not-to-exceed 30 days, converted to career-conditional appointment on the 29th day, they are entitled to leave credit from the beginning date of the initial appointment and may begin using the leave immediately upon conversion to the unlimited appointment. Employees may use any annual leave earned under previous appointments that has been recredited to their account.

B. Earning Rates for Full-Time Employees.

(1) Full-time employees with less than 3 years of service earn 4 hours of annual leave for each pay period.

(2) Those with 3 but less than 15 years of service earn 6 hours of annual leave for each pay period except for the last full pay period of the calendar year when they earn 10 hours of annual leave;

(3) Those with 15 or more years of service earn 8 hours of annual leave for each full pay period.

C. Earning Rates for Part-Time Employees.

(1) To earn annual leave, part-time employees must have a regularly scheduled tour of duty on at least one day of each week in the pay period.

(2) Part-time employees with less than 3 years of service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 20 hours in a pay status.

(3) Those with 3 but less than 15 years of service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 13 hours in a pay status.

(4) Those with 15 or more years of service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 10 hours in a pay status.

D. Advancing Annual Leave. An employee may be permitted to take annual leave to his/her credit plus the leave that will accrue during the current leave year at any time during that leave year. Annual leave may be advanced only when there are no reasons known to the approving official why the employee will not be able to earn the leave advanced. Requests will be submitted by way of memorandum or use of SF-71, Application for Leave, with appropriate rationale attached in support of the request. Annual leave may not be advanced during the qualifying period described in 2.9A(3), above.

E. Annual Leave in Lieu of Sick Leave. Approved absence otherwise chargeable to sick leave may be charged to annual leave if requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor before the Time and Attendance Report for that pay period has been certified by the supervisor. Substitution of annual leave for sick leave previously granted may not be made retroactively, except for the liquidation of advanced sick leave, and even then only when the substitution is made before the time the annual leave would otherwise have been forfeited and the supervisor, if requested, would have granted time off for leave purposes.

F. Creditable Service for Leave Accrual Purposes. (Amendment 1, 06/20/07, amended section 2.9F on 6/20/07).

(1) The service computation date for leave accrual purposes is the date shown on the SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, in block 31. We use it to determine the rate at which an employee accrues annual leave.

(2) As a recruitment tool, Service management officials may choose to grant service credit for the purpose of annual leave accrual based on prior experience in non-Federal positions or as a retired member of the uniformed services. (See section 2.22 for more information.)

G. Granting Annual Leave. Annual leave is provided and used for two general purposes that are:

(1) To allow every employee an annual vacation period of extended leave for rest and recreation; and

(2) To provide periods of time off for personal and emergency purposes. These absences involve such matters as a death in the employee's family, religious observances, obtaining a driver's permit, or other personal business that can be disposed of only during the time in which the employee would ordinarily be working. (These situations are not all-inclusive, but are examples of the purposes or the kinds of absences for which annual leave is approved.)

H. Maximum Accumulation of Annual Leave.

(1) The majority of Federal employees may carry over from one leave year to the next a maximum of 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave.

(2) In accordance with FPM Chapter 630, 3-5, most employees serving outside the United States may carry over a maximum of 45 days of annual leave.

(3) There is no maximum limitation on annual leave accumulated while serving in a position in the Senior Executive Service (SES). Only the annual leave that accumulates while serving in the SES is protected from forfeiture. Accordingly, annual leave in excess of the employee's maximum accumulation level that accrues prior to his/her entry into the SES and that has not been used by the beginning of the leave year immediately following entry into the SES is subject to forfeiture and possible restoration. Entry into the SES does not change the time limit during which restored leave must be used in order to avoid forfeiture. Annual leave that is not subject to forfeiture and annual leave that accrues while serving in the SES are carried forward into subsequent years without limitation or forfeiture as long as the employee remains in the SES.

I. Restoration of Forfeited Annual Leave. It is the mutual responsibility of supervisors and employees to plan and schedule the use of annual leave to avoid forfeiture. A summary of the requirements and procedures governing the scheduling and restoration of annual leave follows:

(1) Scheduling Annual Leave Subject to Forfeiture. Employees who have annual leave subject to forfeiture must request in writing the scheduling of that annual leave at least three pay periods prior to the end of the leave year. Requests to schedule the leave may be in the form of a memorandum or, preferably, by use of SF-71, Application for Leave. Failure of an employee to request leave in a timely manner does not relieve the supervisor of his/her responsibility to monitor the employee's annual leave balance, make the employee aware of the regulatory requirements for scheduling annual leave subject to forfeiture, and encourage the employee to schedule his/her leave that would otherwise be forfeited. In the event the employee fails to request annual leave subject to forfeiture, the supervisor will document the reason(s) leave was not or could not be scheduled.

(2) Conditions for Restoration. An employee may have annual leave restored only under one of the following conditions:

(a) An administrative error caused the loss of annual leave accruing after June 30, 1960.

(b) An unjustified or unwarranted personnel action caused the loss of annual leave.

(c) Sickness of the employee when the annual leave was scheduled and approved in writing and the period of absence due to the sickness occurred too late in the leave year or was of such duration that the annual leave could not be rescheduled for use before the end of the leave year. (When an employee is on extended sick leave late in the year, his/her supervisor should contact the employee to discuss the leave scheduling requirements and the employee's leave plans.)

(d) An exigency of the public service occurred and the annual leave was requested in writing by the employee and approved at least three pay periods before the end of the leave year. Only a bona fide operational emergency of such magnitude or significance that the public business cannot be effectively conducted or accomplished will support the cancellation of an employee's annual leave. Mere inconvenience by the absence of an employee during a peak workload period does not meet the standard of public exigency. Determinations of exigencies of the public business that may require the cancellation of an employee's leave must be approved by the Director/Deputy Director before the scheduled leave is canceled. Failure to obtain approval of the exigency determination before the leave is canceled may result in the denial of an employee's request for restoration of the forfeited leave. In addition to the requirement to obtain advance approval of the exigency determination, there is a requirement that a specific beginning date and ending date of the exigency period be fixed in advance, unless the suddenness or uncertainty of the circumstances prevents advance decision. These dates must establish the specific time period within which employees were prevented from using scheduled leave and thus subsequently forfeited annual leave. Supervisors and employees should note that approval of an exigency determination requiring cancellation of scheduled annual leave does not absolve them of the need to try to reschedule the leave for use before the end of the leave year, if at all possible. Requests for restoration of forfeited leave based on an approved exigency determination may not be approved if sufficient time was available to reschedule and use the canceled leave during the remainder of the leave year.

(3) Requesting Restoration of Forfeited Annual Leave. Requests must be initiated on Form Int. 4727-8, Request for Restoration of Forfeited Annual Leave, after the end of the leave year by the employee or by an appropriate supervisory official and submitted to the servicing personnel office. Requests are to be processed by the servicing personnel office and forwarded to the Headquarters Division of Personnel Management no later than February 15 of each year. To expedite processing, documentation must include copies of the leave request/approval document(s) for all periods of scheduled leave and the employee's Time and Attendance Reports for the last pay period of the old leave year and the first pay period of the new leave year.

(4) Time Limit for Use of Restored Annual Leave. Except as otherwise authorized by regulation, restored annual leave must be scheduled and used not later than the end of the leave year ending two years after:

(a) The date of restoration of the annual leave forfeited because of administrative error;

(b) The date fixed as the termination date of the exigency of the public business that resulted in forfeiture of the annual leave; or

(c) The date the employee is determined to be recovered and able to return to duty if the leave was forfeited because of sickness.

(5) Joint Responsibility of Employees and Supervisors. Employees should monitor their leave balances and timely schedule any annual leave subject to forfeiture. Similarly, supervisors should monitor the leave balances of their employees to ensure that such leave is scheduled and appropriate procedures have been followed in those rare instances where leave subject to forfeiture must be canceled.

J. Disposition of Unused Annual Leave.

(1) Upon Separation. Subchapter VI of chapter 55 of title 5, United States Code, provides for payment in a lump sum for annual leave to the credit of an employee at the time he/she separates from Federal service.

(2) Upon Transfer to Another Federal Agency with the Same Leave System. When an employee transfers to a position outside the Service but under the same leave system, the servicing personnel office will certify his/her annual leave account to the gaining agency for credit or charge.

(3) Upon Transfer to Another Federal Agency with a Different Leave System. When annual leave is transferred between different leave systems under section 6308 of title 5, United States Code, or is recredited under a different leave system as a result of a refund under section 6303 of that title, 7 calendar days of annual leave are deemed equal to 5 workdays of annual leave.

2.10 Sick Leave.

A. Purpose. Sick leave is for use when an employee is physically incapacitated to do his/her job or for related reasons. Such related reasons are:

(1) Exposure to a contagious disease, as defined in 2.5C of this chapter, that would endanger the health of coworkers;

(2) Presence of a contagious disease in an employee's immediate family that requires his/her personal care;

(3) Dental, optical, or medical examination or treatment.

B. Approval of Sick Leave. Prior to the approval of sick leave, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the nature of the employee's illness is/was such as to incapacitate him/her for his/her job or that the other reasons for which sick leave is granted actually exist(ed).

C. Employee Responsibility. The employee who becomes ill is responsible for notifying his/her supervisor around the time the employee is normally expected to report to work or within the first hour of the scheduled tour of duty. Leave for prearranged dental, optical, or medical examination or treatment should always be applied for in advance.

D. Sick Leave Accrual. Full-time employees earn sick leave at the rate of one-half day for each full pay period, or 13 days each year. A part-time employee who has a regularly established tour of duty earns 1 hour of sick leave for each 20 hours in a pay status per pay period.

E. Notice of Illness and Submission of Requests for Leave. Employees must notify their supervisors promptly on the first day of illness or other incapacitation, as stated in 2.10C, above. Employees should notify supervisors on the second and subsequent day(s) of illness as to when they reasonably expect to return to duty. Supervisors may establish internal procedures for continued notification during the course of the illness. Requests for sick leave for dental, optical, or medical examination or treatment must be made and approved prior to taking sick leave. If an employee's sick leave is exhausted, he/she may request an advance of sick leave or that the absence be charged to annual leave or LWOP.

F. Approval in Excess of 3 Work Days. A medical certificate or other appropriate written evidence must support a sick leave absence exceeding 3 consecutive workdays. The certificate is submitted with the Time and Attendance Report. An employee may be required by his/her supervisor to submit a medical certificate for any period of sick leave, including an absence of 3 days or less, when in the supervisor's considered judgment the individual's leave record justifies such a requirement. However, if this is to be an ongoing requirement, the employee will be given advance written notification.

G. Advance of Sick Leave. An advance of sick leave may be granted in cases of serious disability or ailment or when required by exigencies of the situation. Sick leave is advanced for not less than 1 day nor more than 30 days (240 hours) for a full-time permanent employee. When an employee is serving under a limited appointment or one that will be terminated on a specified date, sick leave may only be advanced to him/her up to the total sick leave that he/she would otherwise earn during the term of his/her appointment. For this purpose, an employee serving a probationary or trial period is not serving under a limited appointment. An employee may not have an outstanding balance of more than 30 days of advance sick leave at any time.

H. Prolonged Absence Due to Illness. Supervisors must ensure that grants of sick leave meet regulatory requirements. An employee on prolonged sick leave must furnish the supervisor with periodic certification from his/her attending physician that is acceptable to the supervisor and clearly supports the grant of extended sick leave. It is the employee's responsibility to see that the physician provides periodic reports at intervals specified by the supervisor in order to be assured that additional sick leave will be authorized. If the employee is on extended sick leave for a medical condition that appears to be a permanent disability, he/she should be advised to file a disability retirement application when the sick leave balance reaches 60 days in order to provide the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) time to review the application before the employee's sick leave balance is exhausted. Employees on extended sick leave are not normally relieved of the responsibility to schedule excess annual leave to prevent forfeiture; however, an exception to the scheduling requirement that allows for the restoration of forfeited annual leave is discussed in 2.9I(2)(c), above.

I. Maximum Accumulation. The sick leave provided for in this chapter that is not used by an employee during the year in which it accrues shall accumulate and be available for use in succeeding years. There is no limitation on the amount of sick leave that may be accumulated.

J. Unused Sick Leave. When an employee leaves Federal service for purposes other than retirement, his/her unused sick leave is held to his/her credit for 3 years from the date of separation. If the employee returns to Federal service within the 3-year period, he/she is recredited with the unused balance of sick leave. Normally, if the employee does not return within the prescribed period, the sick leave held to his/her credit is forfeited.

K. Restrictions on Outside Employment During Periods of Sick Leave.

(1) If an employee is unable to perform the duties of his/her job because of illness or injury, he/she is generally too ill or injured to work elsewhere. There are, however, rare situations (generally involving extended periods of illness or confinement) where there may be acceptable justification for outside employment (e.g., an employee confined at home because of pregnancy or recuperation from illness or injury who engages in telephone solicitation work).

(2) An employee who will engage in any outside employment during a period of sick leave must obtain approval from his/her supervisor before doing so.

L. Transfer of Sick Leave. When an employee transfers to another Federal agency with a formal leave system, his/her sick leave is transferred to the new agency.

2.11 Separation of Employees Indebted for Unearned Leave. When separated from Federal employment, an employee indebted for unearned or advanced annual or sick leave must refund the amount paid him/her for the period covering the leave for which indebted. If the employee fails to pay the debt, the amount of indebtedness will be deducted from any pay due the employee. The refund is not required in cases of death, retirement for disability, nor for the inability of an employee to return to duty because of disability. In cases of disability, the employee must provide acceptable medical evidence from the attending physician that fully supports the reason for separation. An employee who enters military service with a right of restoration is not considered separated for purposes of this provision.

2.12 Home Leave. After 24 months of continuous service outside the United States, an employee may be granted leave of absence at a rate not to exceed 1 week for each 4 months of that service without regard to other leave provided for by regulation. Service outside the United States means service on and after September 6, 1960, by an employee at a post of duty outside the 50 United States and outside the employee's place of residence if his/her place of residence is in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the territories or possessions of the United States.

A. Computation of Service Abroad. Service abroad begins on the date of the employee's arrival at a post of duty outside the United States or on the date of his/her entrance on duty when recruited abroad. It ends on the date of the employee's departure from the post for separation or for assignment in the United States or on the date of his/her separation from duty when separated abroad. Service abroad includes absence in a nonpay status up to a maximum of 2 workweeks within each 12 months of service abroad, authorized leave with pay, time spent in the Armed Forces of the United States that interrupts service abroad (but only for eligibility, not leave-earning purposes), and a period of detail. In computing service abroad, full credit is given for the day of arrival and the day of departure.

B. Earning Rates.

(1) For each 12 months of service abroad, an employee earns home leave at the following rate:

(a) An employee who accepts an appointment to or occupies a position that has a prescribed requirement that the incumbent accept assignments anywhere in the world as the needs of the Service dictate - 15 days.

(b) An employee who is serving at a post for which payment of a foreign or nonforeign (but not a tropical) differential of 20 percent or more is authorized by law or regulation - 15 days.

(c) An employee not included in the above who is serving at a post for which payment of a foreign or territorial (but not a tropical) differential of at least 10 percent but less than 20 percent is authorized by law or regulation - 10 days.

(2) Home leave is credited to an employee's leave account, as earned, in multiples of 1 day.

C. Computation. For each month of service abroad, an employee earns home leave under the rates fixed above in the amounts set forth in the Home Leave-Earning Table in Table 1. When an employee moves between different home leave-earning rates during a month of service abroad or when a change in the differential during a month of service abroad results in a different home leave-earning rate, the employee will be credited with the amount of home leave for the month at the rate to which he/she was entitled before the change in the home leave-earning rate.

D. Grant of Home Leave.

(1) Entitlement. Except as otherwise authorized by statute, an employee is entitled to home leave only when he/she has completed a basic service period of 24 months of continuous service abroad and has entered into a written agreement to serve a subsequent prescribed tour of duty abroad. This basic service period is terminated by a break in service of 1 or more workdays or an assignment (other than a detail) to a position in which an employee is no longer subject to earning home leave.

(2) Supervisory Authority. A grant of home leave is at the discretion of management. Home leave may be granted in combination with other leaves of absence.

(3) Limitations.

(a) Home leave may be granted only:

(i) For use in the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or possession of the United States; and

(ii) During an employee's period of service abroad or within a reasonable period after his/her return from service abroad when it is contemplated that he/she will return to service abroad immediately or on completion of an assignment in the United States.

(b) If an employee fails to remain at an overseas post for at least 12 months after the date of arrival at the post following home leave, he/she will be required to reimburse the Government for the travel and leave expenses incurred.

Home leave not granted during a period named in 2.12D(3)(a)(2) may be granted only when the employee has completed a further substantial period of service abroad. This further substantial period of service abroad may not be less than the tour of duty prescribed for the employee's post of assignment, except when it is determined that an earlier grant of home leave is warranted in an individual case.

(4) Charging of Home Leave. The minimum charge for home leave is 1 day and additional charges are in multiples thereof.

(5) Refund for Home Leave. An employee is indebted for the home leave used by him/her when he/she fails to return to service abroad after the period of home leave, or after the completion of an assignment in the United States. However, a refund for this indebtedness is not required when:

(a) The employee has completed not less than 6 months' service in an assignment in the United States following the period of home leave;

(b) The supervisor determines that the employee's failure to return was due to compelling personal reasons of a humanitarian or compassionate nature, such as may involve physical or mental health or circumstances over which the employee has no control; or

(c) A determination is made that it is in the public interest not to return the employee to the overseas assignment.

(6) Transfer and Recredit of Home Leave. An employee is entitled to have his/her home leave account transferred or recredited to his/her account when he/she moves between agencies or is reemployed without a break in service of more than 90 days.

2.13 Shore Leave. Employees covered are those employees who are regularly assigned to duties aboard an oceangoing vessel. An oceangoing vessel is a vessel in use on the high seas or the Great Lakes; but does not include a vessel which operates primarily on rivers, other lakes, bays, sounds, or within the 3-nautical-mile limit of the coastal area of the 48 contiguous States, except when used in mapping, charting, or surveying operations, or when in or sailing to or from foreign, territorial, Hawaiian, or Alaskan waters, or waters outside its normal area of operations or outside the 3-nautical-mile limit. An employee is considered to be regularly assigned when his/her continuing duties are such that all or a significant part of them require that he/she serve aboard an oceangoing vessel. Temporary assignments of a shore-based employee, such as for limited work projects or for training, do not constitute a regular assignment. A voyage is the sailing of an oceangoing vessel from one port and its return to that port or the final port of discharge. An extended voyage is a voyage of not less than 7 consecutive calendar days duration.

A. Computation of Shore Leave.

(1) Earning Rates. An eligible employee earns shore leave at the rate of 1 day of shore leave for each 15 calendar days of absence on one or more extended voyages.

(2) Duration of a Voyage.

(a) For an employee who is an officer or crewmember, a voyage begins either on the date he/she assumes his/her duties aboard an oceangoing vessel to begin preparation for a voyage or on the date he/she comes aboard when a voyage is in progress. The voyage terminates on the date he/she ceases to be an officer or crewmember of the oceangoing vessel or on the date on which he/she is released from assignment of his/her duties relating to that voyage aboard the oceangoing vessel at the port of origin or port of final discharge, whichever is earlier.

(b) For an employee other than an officer or crewmember, a voyage begins on the date of sailing and terminates on the date the oceangoing vessel returns to a port at which the employee will disembark in completion of his/her assignment aboard the vessel or on the date he/she is released from his/her assignment aboard the vessel, whichever is earlier.

(3) Computation. In computing days of absence on a voyage, the following days are included as days of absence:

(a) The beginning date of a voyage and the termination date of a voyage;

(b) The days or parts thereof an employee spends traveling to join an oceangoing vessel to which assigned when the vessel is at a place other than the port of origin;

(c) The days or parts thereof an employee spends traveling between oceangoing vessels when the employee is assigned from one vessel to another;

(d) The period representing the number of days within which an employee is reasonably expected to return to the port of origin when his/her oceangoing vessel's voyage is terminated, or his/her employment as an officer or crewmember is terminated, at a port other than the port of origin;

(e) For an employee who is an officer or crewmember, the days on which he/she is on sick leave when he/she becomes sick during a voyage (whether or not continued as a member of the crew) but not beyond the termination date of the voyage of the oceangoing vessel or his/her repatriation to the port of origin, whichever is earlier;

(f) For an employee other than an officer or crewmember, the days on which he/she is carried on sick leave but not beyond the date on which he/she returns to the port of origin or the termination date of the voyage, whichever is earlier; and

(g) The days of approved leave from a vessel (paid or unpaid) during a voyage.

B. Granting Shore Leave. An employee has a right to use shore leave, subject to the right of the supervisor to fix the time at which shore leave may be used. Shore leave may be granted during a voyage only when requested by the employee. An employee must submit his/her request for shore leave in writing by memorandum or, preferably use of SF-71, and whenever the employee's request for shore leave is denied, the denial will be in writing.

(1) Accumulation. Shore leave is in addition to annual leave and may be accumulated for future use without limitation.

(2) Charge for Shore Leave. The minimum charge for shore leave is 1 day, and additional charges are in multiples thereof.

(3) Lump-Sum Payment. Shore leave may not be the basis for lump-sum payment on separation from the Federal service.

(4) Terminal Leave. Except when an employee's inability to use shore leave was due to circumstances beyond his/her control and not due to his/her own act or omission, shore leave will not be granted to an employee as terminal leave. For the purpose of this paragraph, terminal leave is approved absence before an employee's separation when the supervisor knows the employee will not return to duty before the date of his/her separation.

(5) Forfeiture of Shore Leave. Shore leave not granted before separation from the Federal service or official assignment (other than by temporary detail) to a position in which the employee does not earn shore leave is forfeited. When an official assignment will result in forfeiture of shore leave, the supervisor, to the extent administratively practicable, will give an employee an opportunity to use the shore leave he/she has to his/her credit either before the reassignment, or not later than 6 months after the date of his/her reassignment when the supervisor is unable to grant the shore leave before the reassignment.

2.14 Funeral Leave. Funeral leave is granted for up to 3 workdays for an employee to make arrangements for or to attend the funeral of or memorial service for an immediate relative who died as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred as a member of the Armed Forces while serving in a combat zone. Immediate relative means the spouse and parents thereof; children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof; parents; brothers and sisters and spouses thereof; and any person related by blood or affinity whose close association with the deceased was such as to have been the equivalent of a family relationship.

2.15 Military Leave.

A. Entitlement. Each member of a Reserve component of the Armed Forces or the National Guard who is an officer or employee of the United States serving under a permanent, term, or temporary indefinite appointment (appointment is for 1 year or longer), is entitled to leave of absence from his/her duties, without loss of pay, for not more than 30 calendar days in any fiscal year, for active duty or active duty training. Military leave is not authorized for periods of inactive duty training (usually weekend drills).

B. Accrual. A full-time employee accrues 15 days of military leave each fiscal year. For an employee on a part-time career appointment, the rate at which military leave accrues is a percentage of the prescribed rate for full-time employees that is determined by dividing 40 into the number of hours in the regularly scheduled workweek of that employee during that fiscal year. However, there is no provision for charging military leave in increments of less than 1 day or for rounding off a half day to a whole day. A partial day may be credited to the employee and carried forward into the succeeding fiscal year, except that it must not cause the amount carried forward to exceed 15 days.

C. Granting Military Leave.

(1) Computation. Nonworkdays falling within a period of absence on military training duty are charged against the days of military leave allowed during the year but not nonworkdays occurring at the beginning or end of the military leave period. The military leave authorized for part-time employees is charged on a calendar-day basis, just as it is for full-time employees. Military leave is charged for intervening nonworkdays and holidays but not for nonworkdays occurring at the start and close of the military leave period.

(2) Use of Annual Leave. Absence that is not chargeable to military leave can be charged to annual leave. Employees who are reservists and are called to duty for a period beyond the maximum period chargeable to military leave can use annual leave for the excess period. The annual leave must be scheduled and approved in advance.

(3) When Granted. Military leave may be used during one or more periods of military duty during the fiscal year. The full 15 days of military leave may be taken immediately at the beginning of a fiscal year even if up to a maximum of 30 days had been taken during the prior fiscal year and even if the military duty is continuous. There is no requirement for an employee to return from military duty to a civilian position before additional military leave, earned during a new fiscal year, may be used. Employee reservists have the potential for using up to a maximum of 45 days of military leave during an extended period of military duty that crosses fiscal years. For part-time employees eligible for military leave, the maximums are based on the percentage described in 2.15B, above.

D. Pay Status Requirement. Generally, a pay status either immediately prior to the beginning of military duty or a return to a pay status immediately afterwards is a requisite to entitlement to military leave with pay since, otherwise, no civilian pay would have been lost. The determination of the appropriateness of granting military leave should be whether, but for the active duty, the employee would have been in a civilian pay status.

E. Documentation. Upon applying for military leave, the employee must indicate the Armed Forces reserve organization of which he/she is a member. Upon returning to duty, the employee must furnish a copy of the orders, certified accurate by an appropriate military officer, indicating the days on which the employee was on active military duty.

2.16 Court Leave. Court leave is the authorized absence, without charge to leave or loss of pay, of an employee from work status for jury duty, or for attending judicial proceedings in a nonofficial capacity as a witness on behalf of a State or local government or on behalf of a private party when a party in the proceeding is the U.S., District of Columbia, State, or local government. The court or judicial proceeding may be located in the District of Columbia, a State, territory, or possession of the United States including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. There has to be an official documented call for the employee's services that must be provided with the request for approval of court leave. Appendix 1 is a quick reference guide to the type of absence to be charged for employee absences for court or court-related services.

A. Jury Duty.

(1) Employee Eligibility for Court Leave. Court leave for jury duty is granted to permanent and temporary employees, both full-time and part-time, except for those employed on an intermittent or when-actually-employed basis.

(2) Use of Annual Leave. When an employee who is otherwise eligible for court leave is called for jury duty during a period of absence on annual leave, court leave is substituted for the amount of annual leave that is affected by the jury service.

(3) Payment of Fees for Jury Duty. An employee may be entitled to accept payment of fees for jury duty under certain circumstances that are detailed in FPM Chapter 630, Subchapter 10-2g, and 370 DM 630, 10.1(A)(3).

B. Service as a Witness.

(1) Witness in an Official Capacity. An employee who testifies in an official capacity or on behalf of the United States Government is considered to be in an official duty status and is not charged court leave. Witness fees will not be accepted for service as a witness in an official capacity. Fees may be accepted for witness service performed while on LWOP. (More complete details regarding the acceptance of fees for service as a witness are contained in FPM Chapter 630, Subchapter 10-3f.)

(2) Witness in an Unofficial Capacity. An employee who testifies in an unofficial capacity when a party is the United States Government, the government of the District of Columbia, or a State or local government will be granted court leave.

2.17 Excused Absence. Within the Service, excused absence will be granted in very limited circumstances that must be directly related to the Service's mission; enhance the professional development or skills of the employee in his/her current position; or be officially sponsored or sanctioned by the Director, the Secretary of the Interior, or the Office of Personnel Management. Employees are expected to observe fully all requirements with respect to established hours of duty. Excused absence will not be used in situations for which other types of leave are specified, for example, military leave, court leave, annual leave, et cetera. The granting of excused absence is not an employee right but a discretionary exercise of management's authority.

A. Registration and/or Voting. An employee who wishes to vote or register in an election or in a referendum on a civic matter in his/her community may be granted excused absence as follows:

(1) Where the polls are not open at least three hours either before or after an employee's regular hours of work, an employee may be granted an amount of excused absence which will permit him/her to report for work 3 hours after the polls open or leave work 3 hours before the polls close, whichever requires the lesser amount of time off. For employees who work a Flexible Work Schedule, supervisors will determine the amount of excused absence to be granted as follows:

(a) Use of the former fixed work hours as the point of reference;

(b) Since the majority of employees tend to arrive within 5 to 10 minutes of the same time each day, once a pattern has been established, it should be used as a reference point;

(c) If an employee maintains a schedule in which one particular arrival time predominates, this arrival time should be used to determine the amount of excused absence to be granted; or

(d) Where there is such variation in an employee's arrival time that there is no discernible pattern, the mathematical average of the employee's arrival time for the previous 2-week period should be computed and the average arrival time used as a reference for determining excused absence.

(2) An employee may be excused for such additional time as may be needed to enable him/her to vote, depending upon the particular circumstances in his/her individual case, but not to exceed a full day.

(3) If an employee's voting place is beyond normal commuting distance and vote by absentee ballot is not permitted, the employee may be granted sufficient time off to make the trip to the voting place to cast his/her ballot. Where more than 1 day is required to make the trip to the voting place, a liberal policy in granting the necessary leave for this purpose will be observed. Time off in excess of 1 day will be charged to annual leave or LWOP.

(4) An employee who votes in a jurisdiction that requires registration in person may be granted time off to register on substantially the same basis as for voting, except that no such time will be granted if registration can be accomplished on a nonworkday and the place of registration is within reasonable 1-day, round-trip travel distance of the employee's place of residence.

B. Military Funerals. Employees who are veterans of declared wars or who served in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or who are members of an honor or ceremonial group of those veterans may be granted excused absence for up to 4 hours in any 1 day to participate as an active pallbearer or as a member of a firing squad or guard of honor in a funeral ceremony for a member of the armed services whose remains are returned from abroad for final interment in the United States (5 U.S.C. 6321).

C. Other Uses. The following are some examples of situations in which excused absence may be granted. Within the Service, excused absences will be kept to very short periods of time.

(1) Blood Donation. Employees who make blood donations may be granted excused absence during the period when they are donating blood. No more than 4 hours may be granted for this purpose, and this includes time for recovery when determined necessary by the officials drawing the blood.

(2) Examinations. Employees who take examinations required by their present positions, including reexaminations, may be granted excused absence.

(3) Tardiness and Brief Absences. Absence from duty and tardiness of less than 15 minutes may be excused by the supervisor when reasons appear to be adequate to him/her. Otherwise, the absence may be compensated for by additional work time or may be charged against any earned compensatory time, annual leave, or LWOP with the employee's consent, or absence without leave, as appropriate. If charged to an approved type of leave, the charge is in increments of 15 minutes, whereas charges for absence without leave are exact minutes and/or hours.

(4) Conferences or Conventions. Employees may be granted excused absence to attend conferences or conventions when attendance will serve the best interests of the Federal service. Excused absence may be restricted to those situations in which the employee is an official representative of the Service or the Department or is a contributor on the agenda.

(5) Physical Fitness. The Service's policy for granting excused absence for participation in health and fitness activities is as follows:

(a) The activity will be officially sponsored and administered, such as a Federal Fitness Day event or a Service-sponsored health screening;

(b) The amount of excused absence in each instance will be a short period, and the activity for which excused absence is granted will be of a specific, fixed duration, such as a fitness center orientation or a smoking cessation program that might consist of several brief class sessions;

(c) An excused absence will not be granted for participation in an activity over an extended or indefinite period;

(d) The official approving the excused absence will make the determination that participation in the activity will benefit the Service;

(e) The official approving the excused absence will ensure that the employee's absence will not interfere with the timely and effective performance of Service work and service to the public; and

(f) Excused absences will not be granted for physical exercise. Employees are responsible for using nonduty time, including lunch periods, when participating in such health and fitness activities. Service-sponsored health and fitness activities will, to the extent possible, be scheduled before and after duty hours and/or during the lunch period.

(g) In instances in which a mandatory physical fitness program is established for employees serving in positions in which they must meet certain job-related medical standards or physical requirements (e.g., firefighters), physical exercise is a required part of the employees' job, and it is not necessary to grant excused absence (administrative leave) to allow those employees to participate in such a program; official time will be used. The activity must be conducted in a Service-sponsored program.

2.18 Leave Without Pay. Leave without pay is a temporary nonpay status and absence from duty that may be granted upon an employee's request. LWOP may be granted only for those hours of duty that comprise an employee's basic workweek. The permissive nature of LWOP distinguishes it from absence without leave (AWOL), which is an absence from duty that is not authorized or approved (including leave not approved until required documentation is submitted), or for which a leave request has been denied.

A. Requesting LWOP. A request for LWOP is submitted in writing in advance of the period it will be used. It must specifically state the period covered by the requested absence and must fully outline the purpose for the request. If the request is for medical purposes such as impending surgery, a physician's certificate must accompany the request.

B. Granting LWOP. Generally, LWOP is granted in the amounts prescribed below, and only when the employee is reasonably expected to return to duty after expiration of the LWOP. Requests for approval of LWOP or extensions thereof that result in a total LWOP in excess of 1 year must be approved by the Director. If LWOP is requested beyond the periods indicated below, the benefits derived must result in the employee's fulfillment of parental or family responsibilities, increased job ability, protection or improvement of the employee's health, retention of a desirable employee, or furtherance of a program of interest to the Government (e.g., Peace Corps volunteers). Extensions of LWOP will be carefully scrutinized. Other matters to consider are the Service's obligation to continue payments for benefits, the difficulty in locating a replacement for a limited period and the obligation to provide employment upon the employee's return to duty. If LWOP is approved, the servicing personnel office will notify the employee of the effect of the nonpay status on his/her health insurance, life insurance, and creditable service for retirement. LWOP will not be granted for the purpose of private employment. The following list includes examples of instances in which approval of extended LWOP would be proper, all other factors being favorable, and their maximum time standards:

(1) One year for illness or disability;

(2) One year for educational purposes for any employee who wishes to undertake career-related education when it is in the interest of the Service and he/she expects to return to the Service at the end of the period of leave;

(3) One year for an employee elected or appointed to a union office that occupies all or part of his/her work time to transact union business that is directly concerned with the functions of the Service;

(4) Six months for service with a non-Federal public or quasi public organization; and

(5) Three months, depending on the merits of the case, to attend to parental or family responsibilities, as outlined in 2.20, below.

C. Limit on Duration. Unless unusual circumstances exist or the reason for the LWOP is to further a program of interest to the Government, LWOP will not be authorized initially for any period in excess of 1 year.

2.19 Absence Without Leave. Absence without leave is an absence from duty that is not authorized or for which a request for leave has been denied. The employee receives no pay for the period of the absence. Disciplinary action may also be taken when considered appropriate. If the absence is later excused because the circumstances surrounding the absence are such that the absence would have been approved, the charge to absence without leave may be changed to the appropriate approved leave account. Absence without leave is charged in exact minutes and/or hours.

2.20 Leave for Parental and Family Responsibilities.

A. Policy. Appropriate forms of leave will be granted to the extent possible to reinforce parental and family obligations. Consistent with mission priorities, supervisors will extend consideration to granting leave in personally tailored and flexible ways when necessary to fulfill these purposes. Supervisors and managers will administer leave policy equitably and reasonably.

B. Coverage. Childbirth and care, adoption and foster care, and absence to attend to a myriad of family demands as described in FPM Chapter 630 are contemplated by the above policy. Annual or sick leave, LWOP, advance leave, or combinations of the same and/or flexible work schedules may be appropriate depending on need, regardless of the gender of an employee.

C. Employee Responsibility. An employee should request leave as far in advance as possible, particularly if the absence is to be prolonged, as is usually the case in leave for childbirth, for the care of a newborn child, or adoption of a child.

D. Childbirth. Female employees are encouraged to promptly advise supervisors of pregnancy in order that their health may be protected and plans made for a replacement during the period of absence. If there is any question as to the physical ability of a pregnant employee to perform her work, a medical certificate may be required. If the employee's duties require activity that may be injurious to her health, an effort should be made to modify her assignment or to reassign her temporarily to other work for which she is qualified. The same policy that is applicable for advancing sick leave in other situations will apply to advancing sick leave for pregnancy and periods of absence due to the pregnancy. Furthermore, the Pregnancy Disability Amendment (P.L. 95-552) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides that pregnancy must be treated in the same manner as any other short-term disability and supervisors may not set an arbitrary date at which maternity leave must begin. Sick leave is appropriate for the period of incapacitation for delivery and recuperation. The employee should discuss the date of her return to work with her supervisor based on her doctor's recommendation. Periods of recuperation will vary due to the physical condition of the mother, the physician's instructions, and the type of delivery.

E. Continued Employment after Childbirth.

(1) Employees Who Plan to Return to Work. Management is obligated to assure continued employment for an employee for whom extended leave has been approved unless termination is otherwise required by expiration of appointment, by reduction in force, for cause, or for other reasons unrelated to the absence. The employee must be allowed to return to the position formerly occupied or to a position within the same commuting area of like seniority, status, and pay.

(2) Employees Who Do Not Plan to Return to Work. An employee who has given birth and does not plan to return to work should submit her resignation at the expiration of her period of incapacitation. She may, however, be separated earlier for other reasons, such as expiration of appointment, reduction in force, cause, or other reasons not related to the maternity absence.

F. Infant Care. A new mother and/or father may need time to adjust to a new family member and develop a close relationship with the infant. In addition, a father may be needed at home during and after a mother's hospitalization to help with household duties or to care for the newborn and/or other children. Annual leave and LWOP are the authorized forms of leave to meet these needs.

G. Leave for Adoption and Foster Care.

(1) The Adoption Process. Adoption is often a long and arduous process for a prospective parent, and there are many arrangements that adoptive parents must make. Leave for adoption may be annual leave or LWOP. The use of sick leave for this purpose is not authorized.

(2) Foster Care. Annual leave and LWOP are authorized for employees who must take care of the needs of foster children.

H. Leave for Child Care. For periodic well-baby check-ups and routine illnesses, annual leave and LWOP are the appropriate forms of leave. In some rare instances, children get highly contagious diseases for which public health officials require the child to be quarantined, isolated, and restricted. Employees who must stay home to care for a child with such a disease, or who have been exposed to such a disease, should be granted sick leave.

I. Leave for Other Parental and Family Responsibilities. For the many circumstances under which a parent must remain at home or participate in activities with a child, annual leave or LWOP is the appropriate form of leave. Employees should request leave as far in advance as possible to allow supervisors to plan for their absence. There will also be times when employees will need time off to attend to the medical and personal needs of elderly and infirm family members. Annual leave and LWOP are used for this purpose.

J. Supervisory Determinations. Leave requests to take care of parental or other family responsibilities may not always permit adequate advance notification to the supervisor because of unanticipated emergencies or events that are beyond the employee's control. The supervisor must balance what is a reasonable and manageable request with the workload to arrive at a determination.

2.21 Leave management.

A. Generally, employees request the use of leave on Standard Form 71, Application for Leave, in advance of the time it is to be used, unless an emergency or illness precludes a formal request. A request for leave may be denied and all or part of leave previously requested and approved by the supervisor may be canceled if the supervisor determines the employee's services are required. Leave may also be denied if the employee failed to follow the prescribed procedures for requesting and/or documenting leave. If leave must be denied or canceled, the action taken must be based on the necessity for the employee's services, for other work exigencies, or for reasons that are not arbitrary or capricious in nature. Because a denial or cancellation of leave is not disciplinary in character, it must not be used to punish an employee.

B. When it is necessary to deny a request for or cancel scheduled leave, the supervisor must inform the employee of the reason(s). The notification should be in writing inasmuch as it exemplifies a sound management practice that benefits both the employee and management. It serves to provide the employee tangible documentation of the reason(s) prompting the decision and a measure of assurance that the request was carefully considered before any action was taken. It protects management by providing a documented record of the occurrence in the event the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome and elects another recourse to address his/her dissatisfaction. In addition, a documented cancellation of leave is consistent with procedures governing the restoration of annual leave.

C. Generally, a supervisor may not place an employee on sick or annual leave or LWOP without his/her consent. For this reason, the supervisor, as well as the employee, must know whether the employee has sufficient accrued leave for the category of leave (sick or annual) requested. However, an employee may be placed on LWOP if he/she does not have sufficient sick or annual leave to cover an absence approved for illness or an emergency.

D. It is incumbent upon supervisors to communicate to their employees the procedures for leave administration in their organizations within the limits of Service policy. A written policy is the best means for communicating leave administration policy and procedures to employees inasmuch as it provides employees a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and it gives management an unequivocal point of reference. Such policy may be reinforced at staff meetings, in orientation sessions, or by other means that provide effective results.

E. When there are indications that an employee is abusing leave or appears to be engaged in leave activities of a fraudulent nature, supervisors should seek technical assistance from the servicing personnel office to ensure the appropriateness and propriety of any proposed corrective action before it is taken.

F. Supervisors are advised to monitor instances of excessive and/or repeated tardiness and to take action necessary to reduce or eliminate such abuse before it becomes a problem. Arrivals and departures of employees should be monitored, especially when the employees participate in flexible work schedule programs, to ensure that the employees are satisfying their basic work requirement or otherwise account for time away from work by a proper leave charge or an excused absence.

G. Authorization of Annual Leave in Conjunction with Retirement or Resignation. Administrative authority to grant an employee annual leave prior to separation from the service, when it is known in advance that the employee is to be separated, is limited to cases where the exigencies of the public service require such action.

(Amendment 1, 06/20/07, added section 2.22 below on 6/20/07).

2.22 Does the Service ever credit experience in prior positions to calculate the annual leave accrual rate for a newly appointed or reappointed employee? Yes, our policy is the same as the Department of the Interior policy established in Personnel Bulletin No. 05-05, dated August 18, 2005. Following are the requirements and procedures:

 

A. When to Use the Option:

 

(1) We must follow the specific guidelines in the Departmentís Personnel Bulletin No. 05-05 to determine if a person qualifies to receive credit toward annual leave accrual rates.

 

(2) We may credit employees for annual leave accrual based on a written determination that explains how:

 

(a) The skills and experience the employee possesses are essential to the new position;

 

(b) The employee has acquired the experience in a non-Federal position;

 

(c) The experience is directly related to the duties of the Service position to which we are appointing the employee; and

 

(d) Appointing the employee to the position is necessary to achieve an important Service mission or performance goal.

 

(3) We may also grant credit to a retired member of a uniformed service for any period of active military service during which he or she performed duties directly related to his or her new Service position.

 

B. How to Use the Option:

 

(1) A selecting official who wants to provide this benefit to a selectee must prepare a memorandum requesting credit for annual leave. The memorandum must:

 

(a) Include all of the required documentation described in paragraph 3.b. of Personnel Bulletin No. 05-05, and

 

(b) State the amount of credit the requester wants the eligible employee to receive in number of years and months. 

 

(2) The selecting official sends the memorandum for approval through appropriate channels to the approving official (see section 2.22C below).

 

(3) After signature, the approving official or designee sends the request to the servicing human resources office for review to ensure its compliance with regulations and policy and to enter the information into the Federal Personnel and Payroll System. (Human resources offices may be audited to ensure regulatory compliance and appropriate documentation for each case in which such credit is granted.)

 

C. Who Approves the Credit:  Service Regional Directors, Assistant Directors, or the Chief, Office of Law Enforcement are authorized to approve requests for granting service credit for annual leave. This authority may not be further delegated.

 

D. When the Service May Start Applying Credit:

 

(1) This amendment applies only to employees we appoint or reappoint after the Director approves the amendment.

 

(2) Former Federal employees who we are appointing or reappointing may receive credit for qualifying experience on the date of their initial appointments or reappointments following a break of at least 90-calendar days from the date of the last period of civilian Federal employment.


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