Q & A Session – AWOL for Arriving Late to Work


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 have been employed with the federal government for over 30 years. I was informed upon entry that whenever I intended to either be late for work or not come into work due to illness, I was to notify my supervisor of such as early as possible, but that I would be designated absent without leave if the notification was not within two hours of my established reporting time. Does this direction come from an actual regulation and, if so, where is it located in the CFR? My daughter is also a civilian employee and her agency has charged her AWOL whenever she is late despite the fact that she calls in.


Agencies have broad discretion in setting leave policies. If a union represents employees in a bargaining unit, leave policies are usually subject to collective bargaining. Both examples you use are within an agency’s discretion.


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


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