Leave benefits – annual (vacation) and sick – are available to all regular full-time (RFT) and (RPT) associates. This article explains how leave benefits are calculated and how to determine how many leave hours you have available.
How many hours of leave do I have?
The amount of leave you receive each pay period is based upon the hours you work during the pay period. Any new leave accumulation is available to use after the end of the pay period. You can view the amount of leave you have and what you accumulated on your paycheck stub on the Friday pay period ending date. Go to Employee Self Service and select PAYCHECK STUBS under Money Matters. Your leave information is on the left-hand side of the stub.
How is leave accumulated?
Policies regarding leave accumulation can be found in EOP 15-10, Managing Human Resources, Chapter 4, Leave. All references are current as of date of publication of this article. It is recommended you review the references in EOP 15-10 to ensure you have current information.
You can view your leave accrual base date, the date used for calculating your annual leave accrual mentioned above, through Employee Self Service, Personal & Work, Employment. If the leave accrual base date is not displayed, you are not eligible for leave benefits.
4-2. Associates appointed to RFT and RPT status accrue annual leave from the date of appointment or conversion to RFT/RPT. RFT and RPT associates earn annual leave based on the following service:
Prior Exchange service as an RFT/RPT associate and TFT/TPT service when the associate is converted to RFT/RPT.
Prior Exchange LN service comparable to U.S. citizen RFT/RPT service.
Prior DoD NAFI service as an RFT and RPT associate, and TFT and TPT service when the associate is converted to RFT/RPT.
Prior APF service when the provisions of the DoD Associate Portability of Benefits Program apply (see Chapter 9).
Certain active military service as described in the section “Annual Accrual for Military Service," later in this chapter.
Active service after 30 June 1960 in the regular corps or reserve corps of the Public Health Service of the United States and after 30 June 1961 as a commissioned officer of the Environmental Science Services Administration (Coast and Geodetic Survey).
Fractional parts of months are included in determining length of service; however, only complete months are counted in the total length of service computation.
How do I use annual leave?
4-3. Local management decides when and to what extent annual leave may be granted, based on operational needs. Supervisors will keep records of disapproved leave in the associate’s supervisory folder to support any later requests for leave carryover.
4-4. Annual leave is granted in 6-minute increments; i.e., in 1/10 of an hour increments, as minutes:
4-5. Annual leave will be granted for those periods within the employee’s regular scheduled workweek not to exceed 40 hours, and will be compensated at the employee’s rate of basic pay. Advanced leave is not authorized. Should an associate exhaust their annual leave, they may be granted LWOP.
4-6. When an Exchange facility is forced to close due to military necessity, weather conditions, an act of God, or other events beyond the control of Exchange management, the associates of the closed facility may, with 24 hours’ notice, be placed on annual leave, with or without the consent of the affected associates. If an affected associate does not have enough accrued leave, he/she may be placed on LWOP. Any regularly scheduled hours that cannot be worked due to the closure during the 24-hour notice period are paid as regular hours.
4-7. Associates continue to accrue annual and sick leave while on annual leave.
Additional information regarding annual leave available in EOP 15-10:
Carrying Annual Leave
Repurchasing Annual Leave
Annual Leave Payoff
Annual Leave Accrual Credit for Military Service
Credit for Prior Non-Federal Work Experience
Voluntary Leave Sharing Program
4-30. RFT and RPT associates assigned in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and all RFT and RPT U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and permanent resident aliens of the United States serving in a country other than their country of nationality in other areas worldwide, earn sick leave at a rate of 5% of total regular hours worked.
4-31. Sick leave is granted to avoid financial hardship due to illness or injury and is earned from the first pay period of appointment or conversion to RFT or RPT status.
4-32. Sick leave credit, including those hours accrued while the associate is on annual or sick leave, is credited to the associate’s account at the end of the pay period in which accrued.
4-33. Sick leave credit is canceled for an RFT or RPT associate changed to any other category; however, should the associate return to RFT or RPT, with AAFES or from a different NAF employer, his/her sick leave will be restored.
4-34. If a former DoD NAF employee returns to DoD NAF employment (regardless of employer) after a separation related to a “Business Based Action (BBA),” his/her sick leave balance at the time of such separation shall be restored. If separation was not related to a BBA, then restoring the balance of the sick leave will follow the same rules as reinstatement.
4-35. Sick leave accrual in the account of an associate entering LWOP to go on active military duty or upon the associate’s request for reasons acceptable to and in the best interest of the Exchange is re-credited on return to pay and duty status.
4-36. Associates absent because of sickness or injury must notify their supervisors as early as possible on the first day they are absent, but not later than one hour after scheduled report time.
4-37. When the situation permits, application for sick leave for medical, dental and optical examinations or treatment will be submitted and approved in advance.
4-38. RFT and RPT associates unable to work due to illness/injury for more than five calendar days must contact Aetna Managed Disability*. This contact is required whether or not the illness/injury is work-related. When an associate is, or expects to be, unable to work for more than five calendar days due to an illness or injury:
In CONUS, the associate contacts Managed Disability as soon as possible, but not later than the sixth day of the illness/injury. The associate will be asked questions about the illness/injury and about his/her job duties. If the associate indicates the illness/injury is work related, he/she will be advised of the need to file a Workers' Compensation claim and that Managed Disability will not handle the claim. When it is appropriate for the case to be handled by Managed Disability, the associate will be contacted by a Managed Disability nurse.
In overseas locations, the associate completes Form 1700-106, Sick Leave/Disability Claim Application – Employee Statement; asks the physician to complete the reverse side of the form, and mails or faxes the completed form to Aetna at the address shown on the form. The physician may send his/her completed portion of the form by separate mail or fax, if necessary. Information from the physician should be translated into English whenever possible.
After the Managed Disability nurse obtains information from the associate, the nurse contacts the associate’s physician to gather clinical information. If needed, the nurse contacts the associate’s supervisor to obtain information about the associate’s duties. This will enable the nurse to certify the length of the disability (the time the associate will be off work).
Upon certification of a disability, the associate receives a certification letter in the mail stating the approved length of the disability. The HRO receives certification of the associate’s absence by electronic mail.
If Managed Disability is unable to obtain clinical information from the associate’s physician, Managed Disability will send a denial of certification to the associate, HQ-FA and the associate’s HRO.
If Managed Disability’s protocols for the illness/injury, considering any other contributing health matters the associate may have, do not support the physician’s opinion regarding the period of disability, the nurse discusses it with the associate’s physician. If the physician disagrees with Managed Disability’s assessment, the nurse forwards the matter to the Managed Disability medical director. At this point, a Managed Disability physician and the associate’s physician discuss the situation to resolve the conflicting opinions. If an agreement cannot be reached on the period of disability, the matter is referred to HQ-HR for review. In most cases where the two physicians cannot reach agreement, the period of disability stated by the associate’s physician will be accepted and the associate’s request for sick leave will be approved through that date.
Exchange management will generally disapprove requests for sick leave after the initial five-day period in the following circumstances:
The associate does not contact Managed Disability or does not seek medical care.
The associate contacts Managed Disability, but the associate’s physician and Managed Disability protocols do not support an absence of more than five days.
The associate contacts Managed Disability, but the nurse is unable to get clinical information from the treating physician.
Within 60 days of receiving a certification notice, the associate may appeal the certification. To do so, the associate or his/her representative submits a written request to Aetna that includes the employer’s name (the Exchange), the associate’s name, SSN, other identifying information shown on the certification notice, the issue and comments or additional medical information the associate wants considered. Associates may also ask for copies of documents pertinent to the appeal request. This information is included in the certification notice.
4-39. TFT, TPT and INT associates absent for three or more consecutive workdays must have a medical certificate from a doctor certifying they were not able to work because they were sick or injured and specifying the period of disability.
4-40. Associates who are absent from work due to work-related injuries must have a medical release from Managed Disability or from their physician, as appropriate, before being returned to duty. (See Light Duty, in Chapter 9, for procedures regarding associates released to work with restrictions.)
4-41. Sick leave is granted for periods within the associate’s regularly scheduled workweek and is compensated at the associate’s base hourly rate. Sick leave is granted in the following circumstances:
When sickness, injury, pregnancy, or confinement prevent the associate from performing assigned duties.
When medical, dental, or optical examination/treatment is required.
When a member of the associate’s household has a contagious disease, ordinarily subject to quarantine, which might endanger the health of coworkers.
4-42. When an associate is absent due to sickness or injury for an extended period and all accrued sick leave is exhausted, the remainder of the absence will be charged to annual leave until exhausted, and then as LWOP.
4-43. Sickness/injury occurring during a period of annual leave may be charged to sick leave, with annual leave reduced accordingly. The associate must contact his/her supervisor as soon as possible to advise the supervisor of the illness/injury so time and attendance records can be annotated appropriately.
4-48. Recurring sick leave. Misuse of sick leave is a proper basis for disciplinary action. Since frequent absences affect an associate’s potential, the frequency of sick leave may be considered in connection with a personnel action. Chronic use of sick leave on an intermittent basis may be considered in determining whether the associate meets the continuing requirement of satisfactory physical condition (see Separation for Disability in Chapter 6).
* Managed Disability Phone Number: 1-800-644-2386.