Leave Options Offered to Federal Employees to Get Vaccinated

According to revised guidance, federal employees can take administrative leave to encourage getting the COVID vaccine.

Federal employees are allowed to take administrative leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine or spend time recovering from any adverse reactions to it according to new guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

In an update to one of its frequently asked questions about leave policies related to the pandemic, the Task Force said that federal employees are allowed to take up to 4 hours of administrative leave to get a vaccination and to take up to 2 days of administrative leave for dealing with adverse reactions to any COVID-19 vaccination dose.

The broader leave options are intended to facilitate an “expeditious vaccination of the federal workforce.”

The full Q & A reads:

Q: Would it be appropriate for an agency to grant administrative leave to cover the period of time it takes an employee to receive a COVD-19 vaccination shot?

A: Yes. To facilitate expeditious vaccination of the federal workforce, agencies must offer leave-eligible employees a minimum of four hours of administrative leave per dose to use as needed—for example, a minimum total of twelve hours of leave for employees receiving three doses. (If an employee needs to spend less time getting the vaccine, only the needed amount of administrative leave should be granted.) Agencies should also recognize that some employees may face extenuating circumstances warranting additional administrative leave as appropriate (e.g., they may need to travel long distances to get the vaccine). Teleworking employees should normally obtain advance approval from their supervisor before being permitted to use administrative leave for COVID-19 vaccination purposes. Employees may not be credited with administrative leave or overtime work for time spent getting a vaccination outside their tour of duty.

Under new guidelines announced by President Biden last month, federal employees are required to either be fully vaccinated or be subjected to more stringent COVID safety protocols in the workplace.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.