Emergency Leave Transfer Program Set Up for Hurricane Dorian

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By on September 27, 2019 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
United States weather radar map showing Hurricane Dorian hitting the Bahamas as a category 5 storm and its projected path up the east coast of the United States

The Office of Personnel Management announced today that it has established an emergency leave transfer program (ELTP) for federal employees who were impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

OPM director Dale Cabaniss made the announcement in a memo sent to agencies.

Regarding the mechanics of the program, OPM said this in the memo:

Agencies with employees adversely affected by Hurricane Dorian 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. They are also in the best position to quickly facilitate the transfer of donated annual leave within their agencies. Therefore, OPM is authorizing agency and department heads (or their designees) to do the following: 

  1. Determine which employees are affected and whether, and how much, donated annual leave they need;
  2. Determine the period of time for which donated annual leave may be accepted for distribution to approved leave recipients;
  3. As appropriate, approve leave donors and/or leave recipients in their agencies;
  4. Facilitate the distribution of donated annual leave from approved leave donors or (with the concurrence of an agency leave bank board) from an agency leave bank to approved leave recipients within their agencies; and
  5. Educate adversely affected employees that, dependent on agency policy, they may request advanced annual or sick leave, as appropriate (even if they have available annual and sick leave) or leave without pay, so that they are not forced to use accrued leave before donated annual leave becomes available.  This is necessary since donated annual leave may only be substituted retroactively for any period of leave without pay or advanced annual or sick leave used because of the emergency; it may not be retroactively substituted for accrued annual or sick leave used because of the emergency. 

Employees who wish to donate leave should contact their agencies for guidance as opposed to contacting OPM since each agency will administer its own ELTP.

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.

What is an ELTP?

An emergency leave transfer program allows employees in the executive and judicial branches, or agency leave bank, to donate unused annual leave for transfer to other federal employees adversely impacted by a major disaster or emergency. The donations can be made directly or through adversely affected family members. The leave will be for employees who need additional time off from work without having to use their own paid leave.

How to Receive the Donated Leave

Employees in need of the additional leave that is donated must apply in writing to their agencies. An employee who is unable to do so on his or her own may apply through a personal representative (5 CFR 630.1105).

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.