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Pay & Leave

Leave can fall under many different categories, the most common being annual leave and sick leave. Leave can be charged in increments of as little as 15 minutes, as permitted by agency policy. Check with your supervisor or timekeeper for your agency’s policy.
Annual Leave:
Annual leave is paid time off at the regular rate of pay. It is intended for any personal use (such as vacation or in the place of sick leave).
Full-time employees accrue annual leave at the following rates:
  • An employee with less than 3 years of service earns 4 hours of annual leave each pay period (104 hours per leave year).
  • An employee with 3 to 15 years of service earns 6 hours each pay period except for the last pay period in the calendar year when 10 hours of annual leave is earned (160 hours per leave year).
  • An employee with 15 years of service or more earns 8 hours each pay period (208 hours per leave year).
For most employees, a maximum of 240 hours of annual leave can be carried over from one calendar year to the next.
Sick Leave:
Sick leave is time off that is paid at the regular rate of pay. Full-time employees earn 4 hours of sick leave each pay period, and there is no limit on the amount that can be carried over from year to year.
Sick leave may be used for absences when the employee:
  1. Is unable to work due to physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth,
  2. Is receiving medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment,
  3. Would jeopardize the health of others by exposing them to a communicable disease (as determined by health authorities or a health care provider),
  4. Must be absent from duty related to the adoption of a child,
  5. Must provide care for a family member due to physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment,* or
  6. Must make arrangements in connection with the death of a family member or attends the funeral of a family member.*
* There are limits on the amount of leave that can be used for family members (see items 5 and 6 above). If you believe you may be eligible for these types of leave, please contact the Pay and Leave Services Branch or talk to your supervisor.
If you are a part-time employee, you will earn annual and sick leave on a pro-rated basis based on your work schedule. (Example: A new part-time employee will earn 1 hour of annual leave and 1 hour of sick leave for each 20 hours worked.)
An employee whose appointment is limited to fewer than 90 calendar days will not earn annual leave but will earn sick leave.
Leave Without Pay (LWOP):
LWOP is an approved leave status, but an employee would not receive pay for the absence. It may be appropriate when an absence is justified, but you do not have sufficient annual or sick leave to cover the absence.
Absense Without Leave (AWOL):
AWOL is charged for absences that are not approved. AWOL absences can result in disciplinary action up to and including removal.
When a full-time employee accumulates 80 hours of unpaid time (e.g., LWOP or AWOL), the employee does not earn annual leave or sick leave during that pay period.
The employee will earn leave in the succeeding pay periods until he or she again accumulates 80 hours of LWOP during a pay period.
Requesting Leave:
You are expected to request your leave in advance of your absence. Your supervisor will tell you the procedure for requesting leave. If you cannot request leave in advance, call your supervisor as soon as possible after your scheduled starting time on the first day of your absence.
Federal Holidays:
The following days are paid Federal Holidays:
New Year’s Day January 1st
Martin Luther King Day Third Monday of January
President’s Day Third Monday of February
Memorial Day Last Monday of May
Independence Day July 4th
Labor Day First Monday of September
Columbus Day Second Monday of October
Veterans’ Day November 11th
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday of November
Christmas Day December 25th
If the holiday falls on a Saturday, the federal holiday is Friday; if a holiday falls on a Sunday, the federal holiday is Monday.
Transferring Employees:
Your annual and sick leave balances will be added to your leave account when we receive your leave records from your previous agency. If you prefer, you can give the Pay and Leave Services Branch a copy of the final Earnings and Leave Statement from your previous agency, which shows your balances at the time of transfer. We will then add those balances to your leave account. Once the official leave record is received from your previous agency, we will compare the balances to those on the Earnings and Leave Statement and make adjustments as needed.
For information on how to obtain an electronic copy of your Statement of Earnings and Leave (SEL), please read this document.