Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Leave without pay

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Q. I am a military spouse. My spouse received official orders for a permanent change of station outside our state.

I submitted a request for leave without pay due to my spouse’s official orders.

My organization at the time, the Defense Logistics Agency, did not grant me LWOP but instead submitted an SF-52 stating that the member “resigned no reason given.”

I sent several messages to the local human resources office about the error.

The response from the HR office was that LWOP would not be granted because the organization could not afford to have my old position vacant for any time.

Can the Defense Logistics Agency deny LWOP due to spouse official orders? The characterization of my SF-50 caused me to have a break in federal service. This was the third time I have used the LWOP with the Army and Air Force without any problem.

A: Yes, an agency can refuse to grant an employee’s request to take leave without pay if, for example, it would interfere with a unit’s ability to efficiently carry out its mission. The fact that the employee’s spouse has official orders to relocate doesn’t alter the agency’s right to do so.

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