Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

Leave-without-pay (LWOP) is a temporary nonpay status and an authorized absence from duty, issued when the employee has insufficient annual leave or sick leave, or compensatory time available to cover an approved absence. An employee does not have to exhaust annual or sick leave before requesting LWOP. By law, the supervisor should grant LWOP to:
  • Disabled veterans (EO5396) for medical treatment for a service-connected disability
  • Members of the Reserves or National Guard for military training duties
  • Employees who are eligible for and invoke the Family Medical Leave Act, unless the employee opts to use accrued leave

By DA policy, supervisors should grant LWOP to:
  • Career and career-conditional employees or excepted employees with competitive status who are relinquishing their positions because the family or the head of household is moving from one area to another and who intend to seek federal employment in the new area may be granted LWOP for a period of up to 90 calendar days and may be extended to a maximum of 1 year.
  • LWOP and extensions, thereof, are at the supervisor's discretion and should be approved only when the interests of the government are best served; thereby based on mission requirements and workload. Positions would not be filled on a permanent basis until LWOP has ended.
  • LWOP in other cases should be granted only when it is apparent that it will result in a benefit to the government and will result in increased job ability, protection or improvement of employee's health, or retention of a desirable employee.
  • LWOP for any reason or any circumstance cannot go beyond a 2 year period. Employees should be separated and re-employed when they become available for duty
  • LWOP of more than 30 consecutive days must be made a matter of record in the employee's Official Personnel Folder. An employee requests LWOP through the immediate supervisor using the Guide to Preparing SF 52, Request for Personnel Action, which is then submitted to the CPAC.

Content last reviewed: 6/19/2006-FMJ

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This page was last revised: 9/14/2010