Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Leave of absence

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Q. I am 17-year 1811 and would like to take a personal leave of absence for up to six months. I have also bought back my 11 years of military service. Can I request leave without pay for up to 12 weeks without using my balance of annual and/or sick leave? Is there language where the Office of Personnel Management or my agency, Customs and Border Protection, talks about a leave of absence in lieu of  LWOP? I have looked and cannot find how to start the process.

A. LWOP is the only option. Whether such a request would be approved, and under what terms, is at the sole discretion of your agency. There is no basis for a “leave of absence,” since under the Family and Medical Leave Act, it only applies to such things as the birth or adoption of a child or attending to the serious health conditions of a family member or oneself.

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