3 FAM 3500 
UNPAID LEAVE

3 FAM 3510 

LEAVE WITHOUT PAY (LWOP)

(CT:PER-822;   06-17-2016)
(Office of Origin:  HR/ER/WLD)

3 FAM 3511  GENERAL

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps - USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. Leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary, non-pay status and absence from duty, granted with administrative discretion, upon an employee's written request.

b. The permissive nature of LWOP distinguishes it from absence without official 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.

c.  An employee may request LWOP without invoking the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1933 (FMLA), even if he or she has available paid leave.

3 FAM 3512  Authorities

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps - USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. 5 U.S.C. 6381 - 87, the FMLA, provides covered employees within an entitlement to a total of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (LWOP) during any 12-month period for certain family and medical needs.

b. 38 U.S.C. 4301 - 33, The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, provides employees with an entitlement to LWOP when employment with an employer is interrupted by a period of service in the uniformed service.

c.  Executive Order 5396 provides that disabled veterans are entitled to LWOP for necessary medical treatment.

d. 5 U.S.C. 8101 - 8150 prohibits employees from remaining in a pay status while receiving workers’ compensation payments from the Department of Labor.

3 FAM 3513  GRANTING AUTHORITY

3 FAM 3513.1  Foreign Service Employees Serving Overseas

3 FAM 3513.1-1  Requests Which Must Be Referred to Headquarters

(CT:PER-822;   06-17-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees Only)

a. The following requests must be referred:

(1)  All requests for LWOP in excess of 90 calendar days;

(2)  Requests for LWOP in the United States on leave, detail, or consultation;

(3)  Requests for LWOP for higher education;

(4)  Military training or service;

(5)  Temporary employment with a non-Federal public or private enterprise; and

(6)  Requests for LWOP immediately before separation.

b. Requests must be referred to:

State

HR/CDA

USAID

M/HR/POD or M/HR/EM and OIG/M/PS and IG/RM for BS-08 employees

Commerce

OFSHC

USDA

FSA/HRD

    All requests for LWOP at Agriculture are handled in accordance with agency directives.

3 FAM 3513.1-2  Requests Handled at Post

(CT:PER-822;   06-17-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees Only)

a. An officer in charge of a State, BBG, or USDA post may grant principal officers at subordinate posts under his or her supervision, LWOP other than as provided in section 3 FAM 3513.1-1.

b. The approving officers at post may grant LWOP to all other employees, except as provided in 3 FAM 3513.1-1, and 3 FAM 3513.1-2 a.

c.  For USAID, see ADS 480.3.11a.

3 FAM 3513.2  Foreign Service (FS) Employees Serving in the United States

(CT:PER-822;   06-17-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees Only)

Hours Requested

Approval Officer

80 hours or less

Heads of offices and divisions and other comparable officials, and supervisors designed by them

For Commerce: Immediate Supervisor

More than 80 hours but        not to exceed 90 calendar days

Executive Directors or Administrative Officers of - employing bureau

For Commerce: Immediate Supervisor, Regional Director and Final Approval by Director, Office of Foreign Service Human Capital

More than 90 calendar days 

State: HR/CDA

Commerce: Immediate Supervisor, Regional Director and Final Approval by Director, Office of Foreign Service Human Capital

USDA:  FSA/HRD

More than 80 hours but not to exceed 30 calendar days

For Commerce: Immediate Supervisor, Regional Director and Final Approval by Director, Office of Foreign Service Human Capital

3 FAM 3513.3  Civil Service Employees of State

(CT:PER-643;   06-23-2011)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Civil Service Employees Only)

Hours requested

Approving Officer

80 hours

Heads of offices and divisions and other comparable officers, and supervisors designated by them.

More than 80 hours but not to exceed one year

Executive Directors or Administrative Officers

More than one year

Office of Civil Service Human Resource Management (HR/CSHRM)

3 FAM 3513.4  Senior Executive Service Employees of State

(CT:PER-578;   10-17-2005)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees Only)

Hours requested

Approving Officer

80 hours or less

Officials who normally approve an executive’s leave

More than 80 hours

Executive Resources Board

3 FAM 3514  PROCEDURES

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. Procedures for requesting and approving LWOP are found in 3 FAH-1 H-3510.  For Foreign Service (FS) employees, refer to the Office of Career Development and Assignments (HR/CDA) Standard Operating Procedures A-12 to obtain information regarding FS LWOP request procedures.  Reservists returning to active duty should refer to SOP A-12a.

b. For USAID:  See ADS 480.3.11a.

c.  For USDA:  Refer to Handbook 17-PM, Exhibit 11.

3 FAM 3515  LIMITATIONS ON USE

(CT:PER-822;   06-17-2016)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. LWOP may not be imposed as a penalty.

b. The authorization of LWOP is a matter of administrative discretion.  An employee cannot demand leave without pay as a matter of right except as provided by 3 FAM 3530, 3 FAM 3512, 3 FAH-1 H-3513, and 3 FAH-1 H-3514.

c.  Eligibility for LWOP is not dependent on a specific length of service and may be authorized whether or not the employee has an annual leave credit.

d. An employee on LWOP remains in an active appointment and subject to government standards of conduct.  Such an employee may not be offered or accept a contract with the U.S. Government either directly or indirectly for government services, coinciding in time with an appointment.  The only condition under which a contract and an appointment may be held simultaneously is if there is a most compelling reason to allow it, such as when the government’s needs cannot be otherwise met (48 CFR 3.6).  See 3 FAH-1 H-3510 for further information and procedures.

e. Various employee entitlements are affected by LWOP status, including the accrual of annual and sick leave.  For example, when a full-time employee with an 80-hour biweekly tour of duty accumulates a total of 80 hours of nonpay status (either in one pay period, or over the course of several pay periods), the employee will not earn annual and sick leave in a pay period.  If the employee again accumulates 80 hours of nonpay status, the employee will again not earn leave in the pay period in which that new 80-hour total is reached.

3 FAM 3516  PURPOSE FOR WHICH GRANTED

3 FAM 3516.1  LWOP Requests

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

An employee may request LWOP to be absent from work for any reason including for purposes related to pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, or foster care , or to bond with or care for a child.

3 FAM 3516.2  30 Calendar Days or Less

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

LWOP may be granted for periods of 30 calendar days or less for any reasonable purpose.

3 FAM 3516.3  Extended LWOP

(CT:PER-775;   07-02-2015)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. LWOP in excess of 30 calendar days may be granted for specific reasons and for definite periods of time.  Examples of acceptable reasons may be found in 3 FAH-1 H-3514.

b. Supervisors are encouraged to offer LWOP for a longer period than what is provided for under FMLA, to the maximum extent practicable for pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, or foster care.

3 FAM 3517  RETURN TO DUTY

(CT:PER-578;   10-17-2005)
(Uniform State/USAID/BBG/Commerce/Foreign Service Corps/USDA)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

Since LWOP is a voluntary absence from duty and pay status for a specific period, an employee may not demand to be restored to duty before the authorized absence expires.  However, an employee who wishes to return to duty before the expiration of authorized LWOP should so inform the appropriate official at the post or at headquarters and such employee will be restored to duty as soon as administratively possible.

3 FAM 3518  AND 3519  UNASSIGNED