The Office of Personnel Management and The Office of Management and Budget, after consulting with federal agencies to assess the impact on employees adversely affected by Hurricane Irma, have now declared that establishing an emergency leave transfer program (ELTP) is warranted. This program allows employees in executive or judicial branches to donate unused annual leave to other federal employees adversely impacted by a major disaster or emergency. Donations may be made directly or through adversely affected family members. Leave is for those who need additional time off without having to use their own paid leave.
Receiving Additional Leave
Employees who are adversely affected or want to receive extra leave through this program should apply for it in writing to their employing agency. If unable to do that, they can apply through a personal representative.
Employing Agency’s Role
The affected employees’ agency will usually determine whether and how much donated annual leave is needed by their employees and which have been adversely affected. OPM has now authorized agency and department heads to take the following actions regarding this leave program:
- Determine which employees are affected and how much donated annual leave they need.
- Determine the period for which donated annual leave may be accepted.
- Approve leave donors and/or leave recipients in their agencies.
- Facilitate the distribution of donated annual leave form approved leave donors or from the agency leave bank to approved leave recipients within their agencies.
- Notify adversely affected employees that depending on agency policy, they may request advanced annual or sick leave (even if they have available annual and sick leave) or leave without pay, so they aren’t forced to use accrued leave before donated annual leave becomes available. This is because donated annual leave may be substituted retroactively for any period of leave without pay or advanced annual or sick leave used because of the emergency. It may not be retroactively substituted for accrued annual or sick leave used because of that emergency.
The employing agency will administer the ELTP for its affected employees. If you want to donate annual leave, you must contact your own agency to learn if there are affected employees in your agency and how to donate. Agencies can also contact OPM to receive additional donated leave form other agencies, if necessary. OPM will notify each agency of the cumulative amount of donated leave to be credited for transferring to its approved emergency leave recipients. The employing agency will then determine the amount of donated leave to be transferred to each participant.