Q & A Session – Regaining Lost 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 am a law enforcement veteran who sustained an injury while in the performance of duty. I was placed on workers’ comp. Due to reporting errors by the agency, I had to use leave instead of COP. Is it possible, that due to the agency erroneously controverting the original claim, that I have the right to regain lost leave?


According to the DOL website, an employee may use annual or sick leave to cover all or part of an absence due to injury. If an employee elects to use leave, each full or partial day for which leave is taken will be counted against the 45 days of entitlement to COP.

An election of sick or annual leave during the 45-day period is not irrevocable. If an employee who has elected leave later wishes to elect COP, the supervisor must make such a change on a prospective basis from the date of the employee’s request. Where the employee wishes to have leave restored retroactively, the supervisor must honor the request provided he or she receives prima facie medical evidence of injury-related disability for the period in question. A request to elect COP retroactively in lieu of leave must be made within one year of the date the leave was used or the date of written approval of the claim by OWCP, whichever is later.

Visit the DOL/OWCP website for more information: http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/regs/compliance/DFECfolio/CA-810.pdf

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

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