A quick guidance on leave....

Now that the shutdown has arrived, there are all sorts of questions floating around the various stations.

First, read this guide that was provided by OPM. It answers the vast majority of questions you might have.

The biggest problem right now is leave. The order that went out to management is that all paid leave is canceled. That's correct, paid leave is canceled. However, that doesn't mean that you can't take a furlough day on the day you had otherwise intended to use paid leave.

For example, if you are sick, you're sick. You can call your supervisor and tell him or her that you are sick and would like to use sick leave. However, since sick leave is not an option. Contrary to what has happened in previous years, you will be allowed to come back to work if you are furloughed. This applies to the essential employees, only. If you are sick for two days, that does not mean that you will be furloughed for the duration of the shutdown. This was a bad rumor started by bad information. Some station managers here in the Laredo Sector seem to be making up some of this information. I spoke with Laredo Sector Managers and they cleared it up. As a matter of fact, the one station corrected their message at the 8:00am muster today.

The same goes for annual leave. If you have planned a vacation and have already made all the flight and hotel arrangements, you can certainly go on that trip, but you will be furloughed for the duration of the trip. The paid leave portion of that trip is canceled, but you can still go.

Some stations are telling agents that they must go on LWOP if you would have otherwise used sick leave or annual leave. LWOP is something you must volunteer for. Request that you be furloughed and not placed on LWOP. That way, if Congress decides to fund people that were furloughed, you will hopefully be compensated. That is not an option if you go on LWOP.

Anyone currently on some form of paid leave will be furloughed for the remainder of the time they are away from work, regardless of the type of paid leave. For example, if I was on AL for this entire pay period and expected to come back to work on Monday, Oct 7, I would be considered furloughed Oct 1-4 and receive a furlough letter.

Hope this helps. We will continue to update as soon as we get more information