7.2 Authorities. This chapter is issued in accordance with the following authorities:
A. Public Law 103-103, October 8, 1993 - the Federal Employees Leave Sharing Amendments Act of 1993.
B. 5 U.S.C. 63 - Leave
C. 5 CFR Part 630 - Absence and Leave
7.3 Scope. The provisions of this chapter apply to all Service employees except those who do not have a regularly scheduled tour of duty (intermittent employees).
7.4 Policy. This chapter provides guidance for the consistent administration of the program within the Service. The objectives of this program are to provide an orderly process and the opportunity for employees to reach out and lend support, through the donation of annual leave, to those employees who suffer a medical emergency or who are required to care for a family member who suffers a medical emergency.
A. Available Paid Leave. Accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave. Available paid leave does not include annual or sick leave advanced to an employee or any annual or sick leave that has not been transferred to the appropriate leave account under 7.11C, below.
B. Employee. The meaning given in 5 U.S.C. 6301(2). Such definition includes all full-time employees and part-time employees with scheduled tours of duty in all pay systems. Employees with intermittent tours of duty are excluded from participation in this program.
C. Family Member. The following relatives of the employee:
(1) Spouse and parents thereof;
(2) Children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof;
(4) Brothers and sisters and spouses thereof; and
(5) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
D. Leave Donor. An employee whose voluntary written request for transfer of annual leave to the annual leave account of a leave recipient is approved by an appropriate Service official.
E. Leave Recipient. A current employee for whom an appropriate Service official has approved an application to receive annual leave from the annual leave accounts of one or more leave donors.
F. Medical Certificate. A written statement signed by a registered practicing physician or other expert certifying to the incapacitation, examination, or treatment of an employee or qualified family member, or to the period of disability while the employee or qualified family member was receiving professional treatment.
G. Medical Emergency. A medical condition of an employee or an employee's family member that is likely to require an employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and to result in a substantial loss of income to the employee because of the unavailability of paid leave for a minimum of 24 hours.
H. Paid Leave Status. The administrative status of an employee while the employee is using accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave.
I. Shared Leave Status. The administrative status of an employee while the employee is using transferred leave under the Leave Sharing Program.
A. The Director is responsible for the overall administration of the Leave Sharing Program within the Service in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
B. The Assistant Director - Policy, Budget and Administration is responsible for overseeing the Leave Sharing Program and serving as technical advisor to the Director regarding the administration and operation of the program.
C. Regional Directors are responsible for administering a Leave Sharing Program for their respective Regions in accordance with the policy and procedures provided in this chapter and other applicable laws and regulations.
D. The Chief, Division of Personnel Management (DPM), is responsible for developing, implementing, and publicizing Servicewide policy and procedures relating to the administration and operation of the Leave Sharing Program.
E. Regional Personnel Officers and the Chief, Branch of Headquarters Personnel Operations, DPM, are responsible for administering a Leave Sharing Program within the constraints prescribed by applicable policy and regulation in their respective areas of responsibility, providing technical assistance to management and informing employees of entitlements, benefits, and obligations under the program, approving leave recipient applications, publicizing opportunities for leave donations as authorized by approved leave recipients, processing approved leave donations for transfer, and continuously monitoring the status of the medical emergency affecting a leave recipient to ensure that the leave recipient continues to be affected by a medical emergency.
F. Supervisors are responsible for being knowledgeable of the basic concepts governing the Leave Sharing Program, complying with Service policy and procedures relating to the Leave Sharing Program, and recommending approval or disapproval of leave recipient applications.
G. Timekeepers are responsible for accurately annotating Form DI-502G, Time and Attendance Report, to reflect usage of leave under the Leave Sharing Program.
H. Employees are responsible for completing a Leave Recipient Application Under The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, Optional Form 630 (Exhibit 1), informing their timekeeper of their status under the Leave Sharing Program, and informing their servicing personnel office (SPO) of the termination of their participation in the Leave Sharing Program when their medical emergency or that of a family member has ended.
7.7 Application to Become a Leave Recipient.
A. An employee may make written application to become a leave recipient by forwarding a completed Optional Form 630 to his or her SPO. If an employee is not capable of making written application on his or her own behalf, a personal representative of the potential leave recipient may do so.
B. Each application must include the following information concerning the potential leave recipient:
(1) The name and social security number;
(2) The reason(s) transferred leave is needed, including a brief description of the nature, severity, and anticipated duration of the medical emergency, and if it is a recurring one, the approximate frequency of the medical emergency affecting the potential leave recipient. The description must be clearly articulated and provide sufficient information to allow reviewing officials to make a determination concerning the merits of the request; and
(3) Certification from one or more licensed physicians or other appropriate experts with respect to the medical emergency.
7.8 Approval of an Application to Become a Leave Recipient.
A. The potential leave recipient's SPO will review the leave recipient application for the purpose of determining that the potential leave recipient or a family member is or has been affected by a medical emergency.
B. Before approving such an application, the SPO must determine that the absence from duty without available paid leave because of the medical emergency is (or is expected to be) at least 24 hours (or, in the case of a part-time employee, at least 30 percent of the average number of hours in the employee's biweekly scheduled tour of duty). In making such a determination, the amount of available paid leave is determined disregarding any advanced sick or annual leave available to the potential recipient.
C. If the application is approved, the SPO will notify the leave recipient (or personal representative who made application on behalf of the leave recipient) in writing within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the date the application was received that:
(1) The application has been approved; and
(2) Other Service employees may request the transfer of leave to the account of the leave recipient.
D. If the application is not approved, the SPO will notify the applicant (or the personal representative who made application on behalf of the potential leave recipient) in writing within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the date the application was received:
(1) That the application has not been approved; and
(2) The reasons for its disapproval.
7.9 Donation of Annual Leave.
A. An employee may voluntarily request to donate leave to any other Department of the Interior employee (including a Service employee) by completing a Request To Donate Annual Leave To Leave Recipient (Within Agency) Under the Leave Transfer Program, Optional Form 630-A (Exhibit 2) and forwarding it to his or her SPO.
B. A Service employee may donate leave to an employee outside of the Department of the Interior by completing a Request to Donate Annual Leave to Leave Recipient (Outside Agency) Under the Leave Transfer Program, Optional Form 630-B (Exhibit 3), and forwarding it to his or her SPO. Donations outside the Department of the Interior may only be made when:
(1) The leave recipient is a family member of the donor; and/or
(2) The other agency has determined it will accept donations from outside the agency.
C. Except as provided in 7.9D and subject to the limitations on the amount of annual leave that may be donated by a leave donor under 7.12, all or any portion of the annual leave requested for donation under 7.9A or B may be transferred to the annual leave account of the specified leave recipient.
D. Servicing personnel offices will not transfer annual leave to a leave donor's immediate supervisor.
E. Leave donations from employees outside the Department of the Interior will be accepted when:
(1) A leave recipient's family member is employed by another agency and requests the transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient;
(2) In the judgment of the SPO, the amount of annual leave transferred from leave donors within the Department of the Interior may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the leave recipient; or
(3) In the judgment of the SPO, acceptance of leave from employees from another agency would further the purpose of the Leave Sharing Program.
7.10 Use of Transferred Annual Leave.
A. A leave recipient may use annual leave transferred to his or her annual leave account under the provisions of this chapter only for the purpose of a medical emergency for which the leave recipient received approval.
B. Except as provided in 7.11A, during each pay period that a leave recipient is affected by a medical emergency, he or she will use any accrued annual leave (and sick leave, if applicable) before using transferred leave.
C. Transferred annual leave may accumulate without regard to the limitation imposed by 5 U.S.C. 6304(a).
D. Transferred annual leave may be substituted retroactively for any period of leave without pay or used to liquidate an indebtedness for any period of advanced leave that began on or after the date fixed as the beginning of the medical emergency.
E. Transferred annual leave may not be:
(1) Transferred to another leave recipient under this chapter except as provided in 7.14D(3);
(2) Included in a lump-sum payment under 5 U.S.C. 5551 or 5552; or
(3) Made available for recredit under 5 U.S.C. 6306 upon reemployment by a Federal agency.
7.11 Accrual of Annual and Sick Leave.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, while in a shared leave status, annual and sick leave will accrue to an employee's credit at the same rate as if the employee were in a paid leave status. However, the maximum amount of annual and sick leave that may accrue while in a shared leave status may not exceed 40 hours in each category. For a part-time employee, the maximum accrual in each category is the average number of hours of work in the employee's weekly scheduled tour of duty.
B. Any annual or sick leave accrued by an employee while in a shared leave status will be credited to an annual or sick leave account separate from the employee's regular annual or sick leave account and will not become available for use by the leave recipient until it is transferred to his or her regular annual or sick leave account as provided in 7.11C.
C. Any annual or sick leave accrued by a leave recipient while in a shared leave status will be transferred to his or her appropriate regular leave account and will become available for use at the beginning of the first pay period beginning on or after the date on which the leave recipient's medical emergency terminates or, in the case that the leave recipient's medical emergency has not yet terminated, when all leave transferred to the recipient has been exhausted.
D. If leave has been advanced to an employee, 40 hours of annual leave are placed in a separate leave account and made available for use by the employee as described in 7.11C, and the leave recipient will continue to accrue annual leave while in a shared leave status to the extent necessary for the purpose of reducing an indebtedness caused by the use of annual leave advanced at the beginning of the leave year.
E. If the leave recipient's medical emergency terminates as a result of termination from Federal service, no leave will be credited to him or her under this provision.
7.12 Limitations on Donation of Annual Leave.
A. In any leave year, a leave donor may donate no more than a total of one-half of the amount of annual leave he or she is entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made.
B. In the case of a leave donor who is projected to have annual leave that otherwise would be subject to forfeiture at the end of the leave year, the maximum amount of annual leave that may be donated during the leave year is the lesser of:
(1) One-half of the amount of annual leave he or she is entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made; or
(2) The number of hours remaining in the leave year (as of the date of the transfer) for which the leave donor is scheduled to work and receive pay. The SPO may waive this restriction in the case of donations to a leave recipient who has not received sufficient donations to carry him or her through the period of his or her medical emergency.
7.13 Termination of Medical Emergency.
A. The medical emergency affecting a leave recipient terminates:
(1) When the leave recipient's Federal service is terminated;
(2) At the end of the pay period in which a leave recipient provides written notice to the SPO that he or she is no longer affected by a medical emergency;
(3) At the end of the pay period in which the SPO determines, after having provided written notice and an opportunity for the leave recipient (or, if appropriate, a personal representative of the leave recipient) to answer orally or in writing, that the leave recipient is no longer affected by a medical emergency; or
(4) At the end of the pay period in which the SPO receives notice that the Office of Personnel Management has approved an application for disability retirement for the leave recipient under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System.
B. When the medical emergency affecting a leave recipient terminates, no further requests for transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient may be granted, and any unused transferred annual leave remaining to the credit of the leave recipient will be restored to the leave donors under 7.14.
C. The SPO may deem a medical emergency to continue for the purpose of providing a leave recipient an adequate period of time within which to receive donations of annual leave. For example, in the case of an employee who was approved as a leave recipient during the last few days of his or her medical emergency, the SPO may determine that the medical emergency continues for a 2-week period in order to solicit and obtain donations for the leave recipient.
7.14 Disposition of Transferred Annual Leave.
A. Any transferred annual leave remaining to the credit of a leave recipient when the medical emergency terminates will be restored to the extent administratively feasible by transfer to the annual leave accounts of leave donors, who, on the date leave restoration is made, are employed by a Federal agency and earn leave under the provisions of chapter 63, title 5, United States Code.
B. If the total number of eligible leave donors exceeds the total number of hours of annual leave to be restored, no unused transferred annual leave will be restored. In no case will the amount of annual leave restored to a leave donor exceed the amount transferred to the leave recipient by the leave donor.
C. If the leave donor retires, dies, or is otherwise separated from Federal service before the date unused transferred annual leave can be restored, the unused transferred annual leave is not restored.
D. At the election of the leave donor, unused transferred annual leave under paragraph 7.14A of this chapter may be:
(1) Credited to the leave donor's annual leave account in the current leave year;
(2) Credited to the leave donor's annual leave account effective as of the first day of the first leave year beginning after the date of election to donate; or
(3) Donated in whole or part to another leave recipient.
E. In the event a leave donor elects to donate only part of his or her restored leave to another leave recipient under paragraph 7.14D(3), the donor may elect to have the remaining leave credited to his or her annual leave account.
F. Transferred annual leave restored to the account of a leave donor under paragraph 7.14D(1) or 7.14D(2) is subject to the limitation imposed by 5 U.S.C. 6304 at the end of the leave year in which the restored leave is credited to the leave donor's annual leave account.
7.15 Prohibition of Coercion.
A. An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other employee for the purpose of interfering with any right such employee may have with respect to donating, receiving, or using annual leave under this chapter.
B. For the purpose of paragraph A, the term "intimidate, threaten, or coerce" includes promising to confer or conferring any benefit (such as an appointment, promotion, or compensation) or effecting or threatening to effect any reprisal (such as deprivation of appointment, promotion, or compensation).
7.16 Records and Reports.
The SPOs are required to maintain records concerning the administration of the voluntary leave transfer program to report any information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Such records will contain the following:
(1) The number of applications approved for medical emergencies affecting the employee and the number of applications approved for medical emergencies affecting an employee's family member; and
(2) The grade or pay level of each leave recipient and leave donor, the gender of each leave recipient, and the total amount of transferred annual leave used by each leave recipient.