Leave and Work Schedules
Types of Leave
Annual leave is a benefit that accrues to employees automatically. This type of leave is designed to give employees vacation periods for rest and relaxation and to provide time off for personal, business or family needs which cannot be taken care of during normal working hours. As a general rule, annual leave should be scheduled and approved in advance. Absences on annual leave are documented by completing a leave request electronically in WebTADS and forwarded for supervisory approval. In situations where an employee unexpectedly needs to be away from the workplace or is unable to report for duty, emergency annual leave may be requested for use that same day; generally by calling into the supervisor no later than two (2) hours after the start of the employees’ scheduled work day. Annual leave may also be used to cover brief absences from the office, e.g. when an employee needs to leave work 10-15 minutes earlier than normal on any given day.
Annual leave, as with most other leave, may be used in 30 minute increments, and is accrued based on years of government service. The earning rate for full-time employees is:
Years of Service Hours Accrued Less than 3 4 hours per pay period 3 – 15 6 hours per pay period, 10 hours
the last PP of the calendar year
15 or more 8 hours per pay period
Part-time employees earn annual leave at a rate of one hour for each 20 hours worked (less than 3 years of service), one hour for each 13 hours worked (3-15 years of service), and 1 hour for each 10 hours worked for employees with 15 or more years of service.
The maximum amount of annual leave that can be carried over to the next calendar year is 240 hours, or six weeks.
Employees are entitled to use accrued and accumulated annual leave subject to management approval. When warranted by the circumstances, supervisors may also grant advanced annual leave, up to 80 hours, provided that (a) the employee is able to repay the advanced leave prior to the end of the leave year and (b) it is anticipated that the employee will remain with Goddard until the advance is repaid.
Regular sick leave is identified as “Sick Leave (SL)” in WebTADS. This category may be used for:
An employee who needs to be absent from work because of illness should generally notify the supervisor not later than two hours after the start of the workday. If an absence on sick leave can be anticipated (e.g., for a dental appointment), an employee should request advance permission via WebTADS. In instances of total incapacitation, the employee should have another person call into work on his/her behalf. Normally, an employee’s certification will be sufficient to support a request for sick leave for absences of up to three workdays. Absences extending beyond three workdays must normally be supported by a medical certificate.
- medical, dental or optical examinations or treatment for the employee;
- incapacitation by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy or childbirth;
- exposure to a communicable disease, which may jeopardize the health of others in the workplace, or to care for a family member with a contagious disease, and
- absence from work for adoption-related activities.
Full-time employees accrue sick leave at a rate of four hours per pay period, or 104 hours (13 days) per year. Part-time employees with a fixed tour of duty earn sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 20 hours worked. There is no limitation on the maximum accumulation and carry-over of sick leave.
For further information, see OPM’s Sick Leave Information
This category of sick leave, identified in WebTADS as “Sick Leave – Family (FFSL),” allows employees to use their sick leave to care for family members and for certain other purposes not covered by regular sick leave.
Under the Family-Friendly Leave policy, employees may use accrued sick leave to care for an ill family member and/or to make preparations for, or to attend a family member’s funeral. Employees may use up to 40 hours (5 days) of their earned sick leave each year for these purposes. Employees may use an additional 64 hours (8 days) of earned sick leave in a year for such purposes, as long as they maintain a balance of at least 80 hours of sick leave to their credit. According to the definitions of the Family Friendly Leave Policy, a “family member” includes any person in the immediate family, as well anyone who is similarly related to the employee by “blood or affinity.”
For further information, see OPM’s Family Friendly Leave Information
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are entitled to use up to a maximum of 12 weeks of paid and/or unpaid leave per year for the following reasons:
Paid and/or unpaid leave invoked under the FMLA cannot normally be denied if there is a qualifying event. Upon return from an approved absence, the employee must be placed in his/her same or an equivalent position.
- Birth or adoption of a child and newborn care;
- Placement of a child under foster care; and
- To personally receive care or to care for a family member in connection with a serious, long-term health issue
There are four WebTADS categories for recording leave taken under the FMLA:
For further information, see OPM’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Information.
- FMLA Sick Leave – Self (FMSS): To use the employee’s accrued sick leave when the employee has invoked the FMLA due to his or her own medical needs
- FMLA Sick Leave – Family (FMSF): To use the employee’s accrued sick leave when the employee has invoked the FMLA to care for a family member
- FMLA Annual Leave (FMAL): To use the employee’s accrued annual leave when the employee has invoked the FMLA
- Leave Without Pay – Family (FMLLW): To take leave without pay when the employee has invoked the FMLA
Absence without leave is an absence from duty that is not authorized or approved. An employee receives no pay for the period of AWOL. Additionally, disciplinary action up to and including removal may be taken as a result of AWOL. If it is later determined that the absence without prior authorization was excusable, the charge of AWOL may be changed to annual or sick leave, depending on the reason for the absence.
Leave without pay is a temporary non-pay and non-duty status. Leave without pay is granted at an employees’ request, subject to supervisory discretion, when an employee is required to be away from the workplace and either does not have the necessary amount of paid leave to cover the absence, or chooses not to use his/her accrued leave. In most cases, employees request LWOP because they do not have enough annual, sick or military leave to cover all or part of a requested absence, but employees are not required to exhaust all of their paid leave before they may be granted LWOP.
For periods in excess of 30 consecutive days, employees must complete a LWOP request form GSFC 17-90 and forward to the Office of Human Capital Management with management’s recommendation. The Office of Human Capital Management will approve or disapprove the request and return the original GSFC 17-90, through appropriate supervisory channels, to the employee. Supervisors may individually approve LWOP request that does not exceed 30 calendar days.
Since extended absences of leave without pay also affect employees leave accrual, time counting toward within-grade increases and other benefits, please contact the Leave Program Manager for the specific details pertinent to your request for LWOP.
Military leave is available to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, including members of the National Guard, and is used either for annual active duty training, for active military duty during national disasters or other emergencies, and/or in providing military support to law enforcement activities. A full-time employee working a 40-hour workweek will accrue 120 hours (15 days x 8 hours) of military leave in a fiscal year, and may carry over a maximum of 15 days of unused military leave from one fiscal year to the next. Part-time employees using military leave are prorated. Request for military leave must be submitted electronically through WebTADS, at least 2 weeks in advance. The request should be supported by a copy of the order calling the employee to military duty. Upon return to duty, the employee must submit to his/her supervisor a certificate of attendance from the commanding officer. Where the employee’s absence from duty extends beyond the maximum 240 hours of military leave available for use, a combination of annual leave and/or leave without pay may also be used.
Court leave is used to cover absences from work for employees who are called to jury duty, or to serve as a witness where the Federal, state or local government is a party (excluding those instances where the employee is officially testifying as a GSFC employee). When requesting court leave, employees should submit a request electronically in WebTADS, supported by a copy of their summons to jury duty. An employee serving on jury duty is entitled to court leave for the entire period of service, from the date on which he/she must report through the date the employee is discharged.
Upon returning to duty from court leave, employees must furnish the following document to the supervisor/timekeeper:
- Written evidence of the attendance at court, showing the dates and approximate hours of court service. Such evidence generally may be obtained from the Clerk of the Court. The supervisor will forward a copy of this document to the Payroll Office.
Excused absences and administrative leave are both authorized or approved absences from duty without charge to leave or loss of pay. They are granted for a number of reasons, which include blood donations, necessary visits to the Federal Health Unit for treatment or annual diagnostic tests, relocation in connection with employment, participation in Federal Executive Board (FEB) activities such as the Employee of the Year luncheon, etc. The specific circumstances of individual events will determine when an absence is determined to be excused (covered under normal hours of duty) or officially recorded on the employee’s time card as administrative leave. As an example, time spent participating in officially-sponsored activities (such as FEB events or government-sponsored training) is carried under hours of duty, while time off for packing and unpacking household goods in connection with an approved relocation is officially recorded on the employee timecard as “administrative leave.” As another example, all supervisors have the right to grant their employees 59 minutes of administrative leave on any given day, which is not recorded on the employee’s timecard. Please consult the Leave Program Manager with other specific issues or questions.
Leave Restriction is a status that results from suspected leave abuse. Employees are generally placed in this status for 90 days. They are notified of specific leave-requesting procedures, which must be followed during this status. Any violation of such procedure will result in an AWOL charge.