Developments at OPM: On July 13, 2017, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register (82 Fed.Reg. 32,263-32,281). The Proposed Rule implements recent legislation modifying the legal structure for administrative leave for federal employees.
The Proposed Rule implements Section 1138 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as previously analyzed in this blog. The Proposed Rule sets down specific procedures for agencies to administer new limits on administrative leave, as well as for implementing the new separate leave categories of "investigative leave," "notice leave" and "weather and safety leave." Notable aspects of the Proposed Rule include the following:
- Eliminating the authority under 5 C.F.R. § 630.206(a) for managers to excuse up to an hour per day of employee tardiness or absence.
- Prohibiting recurring administrative leave for employees' birthdays or for the day after Thanksgiving.
- Prohibiting advanced administrative leave beyond the annual cap.
- Excluding TSA and FAA employees from the investigative leave and notice leave rules.
- Limiting notice leave to Chapter 75 adverse actions.
- Requiring management to consider telework and reassignment options before granting investigative leave or notice leave.
- Barring agencies from forcing employees to expend accrued leave instead of granting investigative leave or notice leave.
- Limiting notice leave to when a final decision is issued on proposed discipline rather than limiting it to a date-certain deadline.
Comments on the Proposed Rule are due August 14, 2017.
If you are federal employee and wish to discuss your rights under the new leave rules, contact Passman & Kaplan, P.C. to request an initial consultation.