Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Annual leave denial

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Q. I submitted annual leave requests via email to my supervisor on Nov. 18. That was before the start of the “third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year 2012”. The 2012 leave year ended Jan. 12.

My supervisor denied all of my annual leave requests with remarks “request made too late” and did not initiate any action to reschedule annual leave that was denied me. As a result, I lost 94.5 hours over-ceiling annual leave. Does this situation qualify as an administrative error”?

A. Here’s what the Office of Personnel Management has to say on the subject: “Ultimately, supervisors are responsible for the overall planning, coordination, and approving of their employees’ annual leave throughout the leave year so that the agency’s mission and employees’ needs are met, and so that employees do not approach the end of the leave year with a significant amount of annual leave that must be used or forfeited. While the final date to schedule leave applies only to situations involving the possible forfeiture and restoration of annual leave, employees should be sure to schedule and use annual leave throughout the leave year and not wait until the end of the leave year to schedule annual leave. When an employee makes a timely request for leave, the supervisor must either approve the request and schedule the leave at the time requested by the employee, or, if that is not possible because of project related deadlines or the agency’s load, must schedule it at some other time. If the employee forfeits annual leave because the supervisor did not schedule the leave or request a determination that a public exigency exists that would prevent the employee from using the leave, the supervisor’s negligence constitutes administrative error and the employee’s leave must be restored.”

Whether your request to take annual leave was timely is a matter for your agency to decide. Ask your personnel office to show you the dates by which requests must be made. If you made that request before the deadline and there was no subsequent error on your part, you may have a basis for having your forfeited annual leave restored.

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