President Obama has issued a memorandum directing the Office of Personnel Management to establish an emergency leave transfer program that will permit either employees in the executive and judicial branches or an agency leave bank to donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees who were adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy and who need additional time off for recovery.
Employees who are adversely affected will be eligible to become emergency leave recipients. The emergency leave transfer program will be in place to assist approved leave recipients as the need for donated annual leave becomes known.
According to OPM, agencies with employees affected by Hurricane Sandy are in the best position to determine whether, and how much, donated annual leave is needed by their employees and which of their employees have been adversely affected by the emergency within the meaning of OPM regulations.
OPM is authorizing agency and department heads (or their designees) to do the following:
- Determine whether, and how much, donated annual leave is needed by affected employees
- As appropriate, approve leave donors and/or leave recipients in their agencies
- Facilitate the distribution of donated annual leave from approved leave donors to approved leave recipients within their agencies
- Determine the period of time for which donated annual leave may be accepted for distribution to approved leave recipients
If an agency does not receive sufficient amounts of donated annual leave from within the agency to meet the needs of emergency leave recipients within the agency, the agency may contact OPM for assistance in receiving additional donated annual leave from other agencies.
Based on the demand for donated leave, OPM will solicit and coordinate the transfer of donated annual leave among Federal agencies. OPM will notify each agency of the cumulative amount of donated annual leave that will be credited to it for transfer to its approved emergency leave recipients. The agency will determine the amount of donated annual leave to be transferred to each emergency leave recipient.
President Obama’s memo is listed in full below.
Presidential Memorandum — Emergency Leave Transfer Program for Federal Employees Adversely Affected by Hurricane Sandy
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Emergency Leave Transfer Program for Federal Employees Adversely Affected by Hurricane Sandy
I am deeply saddened by the devastating losses caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. The Federal Government has mobilized to respond to this major disaster, and many Federal employees are dealing with overwhelming personal losses.
To further assist Federal employees and their family members adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy, I hereby direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish an emergency leave transfer program, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 6391. The program will permit employees in the executive and judicial branches, or an agency leave bank established under 5 U.S.C. 6363, to donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies (or the judicial branch) who were adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy and who need additional time off for recovery. I further direct OPM to provide additional guidance to agencies on the program’s administration.