Q & A Session – LWOP Without Notification from Agency


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.


In October 2010, I submitted an application for medical/disability retirement. On March 11, 2011, my supervisor told me that I had to leave the agency within two hours because I had applied for disability retirement and that I cannot work. I was placed on LWOP on March 7, 2011, and have been until a final decision is made. This has all been done without any notification.

Can I be placed on LWOP while waiting for a determination without any notification?


You may use your sick or annual leave and cannot be forced to take LWOP unless you have no sick or annual leave. If you are able to work, your supervisor may not force you to take LWOP. Being able to work may, however, be inconsistent with your disability retirement application.

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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