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.
A federal employee with use or lose annual leave and 1200 hours of sick leave was out sick for two weeks and then four days at two separate times during a calendar year, both supported by medical documentation stating “this patient is under my care” with appropriate dates. However, they were placed on a letter of requirement even though they hadn’t been charged AWOL, had a negative leave balance and had used advanced leave. Is this correct?
Yes. This is allowed if someone has a pattern of unscheduled absence and their presence at work is needed. A pattern is as few as two and any federal employee with a current job should be needed at work. The letter of requirement does not mean you are an abuser. It just means you have to have medical documentation for an unscheduled absence. “This patient is under my care” is inadequate medical documentation to show the level of incapacitation required to justify the approval of an unscheduled sick leave absence.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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