Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL)

Absence Without Leave (AWOL) also commonly referred to as "unexcused absence" is an absence from duty that has not been approved by an appropriate management official. Supervisors should ensure their employees are notified of their work schedule, and of expectations for requesting leave approval. Some reasons employees may be charged AWOL are listed below.

  • They are absent from their assigned place of duty, the absence is not authorized, and/or their leave request has been denied.
  • They are absent from their assigned place of duty and fail to request leave in accordance with the organization's policy and procedures.
  • They are absent from their assigned place of duty and are notified to report to work but fail to do so.
  • They are on approved leave but upon returning to work they fail to provide medical documentation that supports their absence, the documentation is insufficient or it is not submitted timely.

When an employee is charged AWOL, the action shall be documented in the time and attendance system. Typically this period of time is charged in 15 minute increments and will result in the employee not receiving pay for this period of time. Supervisors should notify their employees as soon as practical when they code leave as AWOL in the time and attendance system and why it was imposed. Some additional information or tips to consider are as follows.

  • Employees should be provided written notification of their work schedule and changes made to their work schedule. Employees should acknowledge receipt of this information.
  • Employees should be informed of their organization's leave policy and procedures, and acknowledge they were informed of this information.
  • Employees may be considered AWOL for the period of time they are on the premises but not at their specified work location.
  • Under no circumstance can an employee be required to perform work during the period of time for which leave is coded as AWOL.

Recording an absence as AWOL for timekeeping purposes is not a disciplinary action; however, it could be the basis for taking a disciplinary or adverse action. Therefore, supervisors should consult with their servicing CPAC for additional guidance before charging an employee AWOL.

Content last reviewed: 7/29/2014-KRB/BWR