Extended Leave Without Pay

Four of the most common uses of leave-without-pay (LWOP) are:

  • LWOP pending an initial decision by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on a disability retirement package

  • LWOP pending action by the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWCP) on a claim resulting from a work-related injury or illness

  • LWOP to accompany a military or civilian sponsor PCS

  • LWOP of a civilian employee who relocates and in all likelihood will be hired by another Federal agency

  • LWOP for up to three months for a civilian employee entering on active military duty for training.

  • Employees who are eligible for and invoke the Family Medical Leave Act

In the first two instances that involve pending actions, the employee could conceivably return to the position, therefore it is recommended the position remain vacant pending final decision. Review of these types of actions by OPM or OWCP normally takes many weeks to complete.

In situation 3 and 4, a career or career conditional employee or an excepted employee with competitive status will be granted 90 days of LWOP. This initial grant may be extended upon the request of the employee in a timely manner and based on the merits of the request.

If the position can not remain vacant for any length of time, it may be filled on a temporary basis. Once the disability retirement is approved, or a decision is made that the employee is permanently unable to return to the position, action may be taken to fill the position on a permanent basis.

In situation 5, confer with the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center if the active military duty for training will extend beyond three months.

Content last reviewed: 6/8/2006-ALM

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This page was last revised: 6/8/2006