Q & A Session – Forced to Take Leave or Credit Hours


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I am a GS-11 on a flex schedule. My schedule varies but I am supposed to work 80 hours per paid period. I have been told that if I do not perform 80 hours of work, I should use credit hours or leave to complete the 80 hours. Sometimes the way my schedule works out, I’m left with less than 80 hours. Is this legal?


If you are a full-time employee, you are supposed to be given 80 hours of work in a pay period. There are ways around this using furlough authority, but it does not sound like that was done in your case. Credit hours might be permissible depending on your credit hours system. Your agency cannot force you to take leave, but you can agree to it.


Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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