Q & A Session – Mandatory 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 became aware of a case in which a federal employee had annual leave approved, decided not to take it, but was told by his or her supervisor that he or she would be required to take it. After getting the leave approved, the employee decided to retire before the end of the leave year, and therefore wanted to let the leave accrue, so he or she could get paid for it. The leave in question was use-or-lose leave. Is this a violation of federal regulations?


If an employee has leave approved and then decides to work instead, the employee should not be charged with leave. Annual leave is taken at the option of the employee, subject to supervisory approval.


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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