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Article 30: Excused Absences/Administrative Leave

Section 1

For purposes of this article, administrative leave is an excused absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to leave.

Section 2

When the Employer grants excused absence (administrative leave) and the period of excused absence is preceded and/or followed by official work time, in order to be excused, the employee must be in an active duty status immediately before or after the period of the excused absence. The Employer will make reasonable efforts to promptly inform all employees of an excused absence. Administrative leave does not apply to personnel designated in writing to report for work during emergency situations.

An employee has no entitlement to excused absence when the employee's duty station is open. However, if an employee is going to be unavoidably delayed or prevented from arriving to work due to an emergency situation, including severe weather conditions, natural disasters, and public emergencies, the Employer may, in its discretion, grant the employee's request for a reasonable amount of excused absence. The Employer may require the employee to submit reasonably acceptable documentation that the employee made reasonable efforts to reach work, but that emergency conditions prevented arrival or timely arrival. An emergency situation is one that is general rather than personal in scope and impact.

The Employer will reasonably consider each employee's request for excused absence, based on factors such as the amount of advance notice of the intervening event that caused the delay, the availability of alternative modes of transportation, and the success of other employees in similar situations.
An employee is obligated to contact his/her supervisor as early as practicable to explain his/her circumstances and provide an estimated time of arrival at work.

Section 3

A. Administrative leave should be used sparingly during an office closure because of weather and safety issues. When an emergency condition results in the closure of an SEC office, any employee with a telework agreement who reports to that same facility, shall be expected to perform work at his/her approved telework location or request leave except as provided, below.

B. If an employee with a telework agreement is unable to perform his or her required duties safely at his/her approved telework location on account of the same emergency condition which resulted in the SEC office closure (e.g., if a snow storm that causes an office closure also causes damage to the employee’s telework location or causes it to lose power to such extent that the employee is unable to telework from his/her approved telework location), the SEC may, at its discretion, grant the employee paid administrative leave.

C. If, in the SEC’s judgment, the emergency condition could not reasonably be anticipated, the SEC may provide paid administrative leave under this subpart to the extent an employee was not able to prepare for telework and is otherwise unable to perform productive work at the telework site.

In making this determination, the SEC must evaluate whether:

(1) the emergency condition could be reasonably anticipated; and

(2) the employee took reasonable steps (within the employee's control) to prepare to perform telework at the approved telework site.

For example, if a significant snowstorm is predicted, the employee may need to prepare by taking home any equipment (e.g., laptop computer) and work needed for teleworking. To the extent that an employee is unable to perform work at a telework site because of failure to make necessary preparations for reasonably anticipated conditions, the SEC may not provide weather and safety leave, and the employee would need to use other appropriate paid leave, paid time off, or leave without pay.

D. Employees who are required to work unscheduled telework will not have their previously scheduled telework days changed or cancelled. Unscheduled telework will not count against the employee’s maximum amount of telework, which was previously approved for the employee.

E. The SEC will not require an employee to use their own leave during an office closure. However, if the SEC cannot grant administrative leave pursuant to Section 3(C) above, the employee may request to use accrued leave; if the employee does not request to use accrued leave, the employee will be in a Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status. Nothing in this Section preempts a telework-ready employee from requesting personal leave, in lieu of required telework, during an SEC office closure (e.g., to care for a child or an elderly parent).

F. When an emergency affects only the Alternative Worksite for a major portion of the workday, the teleworker is expected to report to the Official Duty Station or request supervisory approval of annual leave, compensatory time, credit hours if on a flexible work schedule, or leave without pay.

G. When an employee knows in advance of a situation that would preclude working at the Alternative Worksite, the employee must either come to the Official Duty Station or request leave.

Section 4

A supervisor may approve an employee's request to ad hoc telework for a full day or partial day in the event the government is open with the option of unscheduled leave/unscheduled telework or in the case of late opening or early departure. This may occur when an employee with a current SEC approved telework agreement is able to maintain business continuity but cannot safely commute to and from the Official Duty Station.

Section 5

When the SEC announces an early dismissal of employees for non-emergency conditions such as on the day prior to a Federal holiday, employees who are teleworking will be excused.

Section 6

An emergency employee is an employee who has been designated, in writing, by the head of his/her office to report for work and continue critical operations during early dismissal, delayed opening, and closure days. Designated emergency employees should be notified annually of such designation. If an emergency employee is in an approved leave status during all or part of the closure, that employee will normally be allowed to remain in an approved leave status.

When the Employer determines that an emergency employee will be designated from a pool of qualified bargaining unit employees, volunteers will be solicited from that pool.

If there are an insufficient number of volunteers, selections of employees who are qualified for this assignment will normally be based on their proximity to the office. The Employer also will consider an employee's hardship request for exclusion from designation as an emergency employee

Section 7

An employee may be granted, on a one-time basis, administrative leave up to three (3) days to sit for a professional examination where that examination is job-related. Additionally, administrative leave may be granted up to one day when travel is required to take the examination outside the metropolitan area of the employee's duty station.
Employees granted administrative leave under this Section are not entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses.

Section 8

A. The Employer agrees to approve a leave of absence to one (1) employee elected to a position of national officer of the National Treasury Employees Union for the purpose of serving full-time in the elective position. Such a leave of absence will be for a period concurrent with the term of office of the elected official and will automatically be renewed by the Employer upon notification in writing from the elected official that he or she has been re-elected and wishes to continue in a leave of absence status. The Employer agrees to make every reasonable effort to grant the above referenced leave, consistent with the Employer's workload, staffing or mission requirements. If the request is denied, the Employer will notify the employee in writing of the reasons therefore.

B. The Employer agrees to approve a leave of absence for one (1) employee for the purpose of serving in a full-time appointive position for the Union. The term of absence will not exceed twelve (12) months. The Employer agrees to make every reasonable effort to grant the request, consistent with the Employer's workload, staffing or mission requirements. If the request is not granted, the Employer will notify the employee and the National Office of NTEU, in writing, of the reasons why the request has been denied.

C. The foregoing leave of absence is subject to the following conditions:

1. It is served without pay.

2. Subject to its right to assign work, the Employer will accomplish the following upon expiration of the leave:

a. to the extent possible, place a returning employee in the position (same grade, series, group) he or she held at the time the leave began; or

b. failing the above, the Employer will place the employee in a position for which he or she is qualified at the same grade held by the employee at the time he or she commenced the leave of absence.

Section 9

Employees who return from active military service in support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) are entitled to five (5) days of administrative leave each time they return from active military duty. In order to receive the five (5) days of administrative leave, employees must spend at least forty-two (42) consecutive days on active duty in support of OCO. A returning employee is authorized to use this administrative leave only once during a twelve (12) month period beginning after the first use of the excused absence. This provision must be applied consistent with current published OPM guidance.