Employees who have been adversely affected by hurricanes may request donated leave under the ELTP. In addition, an employee who has a family member who has been adversely affected by hurricanes and who does not have reasonable access to other forms of assistance may receive donated leave under the ELTP. An employee is considered to be adversely affected by a major disaster or emergency if the disaster or emergency has caused severe hardship to the employee or family member to such a degree that the employee’s absence from work is required. An employee is not required to exhaust other available leave before receiving donated leave under the ELTP.
Emergency Leave Recipient
An employee (or representative on the employee’s behalf) must complete an application to become an emergency leave recipient. OPM Form 1637, Application to Become a Leave Recipient Under the ELTP, available at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/emerg.htm, must be used to request donated leave under the ELTP. Applications must be approved by the local supervisor. Requests for donated leave should be sent to the Labor and Employee Relations Division, Attn: Renee Salmond. The Labor and Employee Relations Division will notify leave recipients of final approval of their applications.
Emergency Leave Donor
Employees must use OPM Form 1638, Application to Become a Leave Donor Under the ELTP, available at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/emerg.htm, to donate annual leave under the ELTP. The emergency leave donor must specify the number of hours of accrued annual leave he or she requests to be transferred from his or her annual leave account to the ELTP. The minimum amount of annual leave an emergency leave donor may contribute in a leave year is 1 hour, and the maximum amount is 104 hours. Requests to Donate Leave must be submitted with employee's most recent Leave and Earnings Statement. An emergency leave donor may not donate annual leave for transfer to a specific emergency leave recipient. Donated annual leave that is not used by emergency leave recipients will be returned to the emergency leave donors.
As part of the ongoing relief efforts, free counseling services are being offered to hurricane victims. These counseling services are being offered to civilian employees and their families.
Types of Counseling Available: Grief, Loss of Home and Possessions, Financial Loss, Children's Reactions, New Life Planning, Change of Schools for Children, Marital Issues, Improving Relationships at Home and at Work, Marital Issues
This counseling is face to face and utilizes a nationwide network of counselors usually within a 30-mile radius of employee's location. All counseling sessions are confidential.
Many of you have inquired about making donations to the Emergency Leave Program. Now and for the foreseeable future, all our employees displaced by this disaster are on excused absence and will be paid. Emergency Leave Donor regulations do not allow donations to specific employees, but do provide for establishing an Emergency Leave Bank. DoD and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service are working on the administrative guidance and as soon as we have this up and running, we will send out information on how to become a recipient and how to donate. Donations to the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program for ill employees and family members should continue. However, we will hold any donations of Emergency Leave for employees displaced by the hurricane until we have established the Emergency Leave Bank. Those of you who want to make donations are asked to hold off until that time.
Some employees have asked if they can be granted excused absence if they volunteer to assist local voluntary organizations in the relief effort. The answer to this is yes if your supervisor authorizes your leave. Employees who have been officially accepted by voluntary relief organizations to assist should make a written request through their supervisory chain to their CMO commander. The request should include specifics as to the tasks they will perform for the particular relief organization, the length of time of the employee's volunteer service, and include a POC and phone number. Commanders/managers/supervisors will make decisions on each case based on whether or not the employee can be spared (no adverse affect on our mission) and for how long. Employees whose requests are approved will be placed on excused absence and will continue to receive their regular pay. Commanders should forward all approvals and disapprovals to the Labor Employee Relations inbox listed in the global email directory.
National Guard Activation
Employees who are members of the National Guard who are activated to assist in the relief effort are not eligible for excused absence and associated continuation of their civilian pay. As with those who are activated for Iraq or similar duties, they receive appropriate military pay and may use any military leave and annual leave to their credit as well as leave without pay.
Below are excerpts from the Handbook on Pay and Leave Benefits for Federal Employees Affected by Severe Weather Conditions or Other Emergency Situations:
"An agency may require employees to perform any work considered necessary or required to be performed during the period of the evacuation without regard to the grades or titles of the employees. Failure or refusal to perform assigned work is a basis for terminating evacuation payments."
"For the period covered by any evacuation payments, the employee must be considered as performing active Federal service in his or her position without a break in service. (See 5 U.S.C. 5523(c).) Employees who do not receive evacuation payments may be granted excused absence."
"Excused absence may be granted to employees who are prevented from reporting for work or faced with a personal emergency because of a severe weather emergency or other emergency situations and its aftermath and who can be spared from their usual responsibilities".
"Agencies have discretionary authority to grant excused absence to employees who are prevented from returning to work due to unique circumstances, such as travel delays, surrounding the events of a severe weather emergency or other emergency situations."
"The Federal personnel system provides agencies with considerable flexibility in scheduling hours of work and paid time off. Agencies are encouraged to make appropriate use of this flexibility in responding to requests for changes in work schedules or paid time off to assist Federal employees affected by severe weather emergencies or other emergency situations. Employees may request annual leave or sick leave, if appropriate; advance annual or sick
leave; or donated leave from the agency’s voluntary leave transfer and/or leave bank program for their own or a family member’s medical emergency."
"Telework (also called telecommuting) is the ability to work at a location other than an employee’s “official duty station.” With portable computers, high-speed telecommunications links, and ever-present pocket communications devices, many employees today can work almost anywhere at least some of the time. Agencies may wish to consider greater use of telework during severe weather emergencies or other emergency situations and for long-range strategic planning."
"In emergency situations, agencies may continue to designate the location of the employee’s reporting office prior to the emergency as the official worksite for location-based pay entitlements, such as locality pay and special rates."