Some Members of Congress are asking the Office of Personnel Management to give federal employees administrative leave for any time they spend getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
The letter was sent to OPM by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), David Trone (D-MD), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA). They state in the letter that mandating that federal agencies provide administrative leave to federal employees is necessary to fight the pandemic. “…it is imperative that the federal government take every possible step to encourage federal employees to receive the vaccine, including providing them with the administrative time to do so,” reads the letter.
So does this mean federal employees get paid time off when administrative leave is used? OPM defines administrative leave as “an administratively authorized absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to leave.” While it is not technically paid leave, it would mean that federal employees do not have to use their earned leave or incur any lost wages.
OPM adds, “Administrative leave is not an entitlement, and agencies are not required to grant it.” In this case, however, the lawmakers are asking in this instance that it be made mandatory for federal agencies to provide administrative leave for any federal employees who leave work to get a vaccination.