Q & A Session – Requesting Advance Sick Leave


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 recently put in a request for advance sick leave in an attempt to cover myself for 96 hours of leave without pay. I had returned to duty and requested the advance sick leave before the end of the current pay period that I was requesting it in via email. The problem I am facing is that they are trying to figure out if the request for the sick leave can be used retroactively, even though it was in the same pay period of me requesting it. I did a little research and I saw something saying you have up to 48 hours after returning to work to request it.

Can advance sick leave be requested and used retroactively to cover a LWOP status? And do you have a grace period to request it after returning to duty?


The 48-hour rule you refer to is to receive leave without pay under the Family Medical Leave Act. And the rule of making the request within 48-hours from returning to work is only applicable if it is impractical to make the FMLA request in advance. The advance sick leave is different and is subject to agency discretion, practices and procedures.

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

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