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Article 30: Excused Absences/Administrative Leave
For purposes of this article, administrative leave is an excused absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to leave.
Section 2: Late Arrivals and Early Dismissals
A. The Employer may grant administrative leave to permit employees to begin their workday later than the employee’s scheduled start time (late arrival) or to permit employees to end their workdays earlier than the scheduled departure time (early dismissal). To qualify for administrative leave in the event of an early dismissal or a late arrival, an employee must be in an active duty status immediately before the excused absence, in the case of early dismissals, or immediately after the period of the excused absence, in the case of delayed arrivals. The Employer will make reasonable efforts to promptly inform all employees of a late arrival or an early dismissal. Administrative leave does not apply to employees designated in writing to report for work during emergency situations.
1. In the event of a late arrival, telework-ready employees who were scheduled to report to the office may request unscheduled telework for the entire tour of duty or may arrive at the delayed opening time to complete their tour of duty in the office.
2. Employees who work unscheduled telework hours worked under the circumstances described in Section 2.A.1 above will not have their previously scheduled telework days changed or cancelled, and such unscheduled telework will not count against the maximum amount of telework previously approved for the employee.
B. Employees designated to be on approved leave during a late arrival or early dismissal do not qualify for administrative leave, except in circumstances where the same event that causes the late arrival or early dismissal also causes disruption of the purpose for the employee’s leave—for example, the cancellation of vacation plans due to transportation cancelations or of a doctor appointment due to closure of the doctor’s office.
C. An employee has no entitlement to excused absence when the employee's duty station is open or when the Employer has granted excused absence (administrative leave) and the employee has not met the requirements of Section A, above. However, if an employee is going to be unavoidably delayed or prevented from arriving to work due to an unanticipated emergency situation, including severe weather conditions, natural disasters, and public emergencies (such as a breakdown, medical emergency or police action on a train line or a highway blocking accident to which public safety vehicles respond), 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.
1. 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, if there are any.
2. An employee is obligated to contact their supervisor as early as practicable to explain their circumstances and provide an estimated time of arrival at work.
Section 3: Office Closures
A. Administrative leave should be used sparingly during an office closure due to weather and/or safety conditions. When a weather or safety condition results in the closure of an SEC office, the Employer shall direct any employee with a telework agreement who reports to that same facility to perform work at their approved telework location or request leave except as provided below. Employees who do not have a telework agreement will be granted administrative leave for the duration of the weather or safety-related office closure.
B. If an employee with a telework agreement is unable to perform their required duties safely at their approved telework location on account of the same weather and safety condition that resulted in the SEC office closure (e.g., if a snow storm that causes an office closure also causes structural damage to the employee’s telework location or a loss of electricity; or if the teleworker loses Internet connectivity and cannot perform any meaningful work), the SEC may, at its discretion, grant the employee paid administrative leave for the portion of the day the employee is unable to work.
C. If, in the SEC’s judgment, the weather and safety condition that caused the SEC office closure could not reasonably be anticipated, the SEC may provide paid administrative leave under this subpart when an employee was not able to prepare for telework and SEC management determines that the employee is otherwise unable to perform productive work at the telework site for the duration of the office closure or of the condition that caused the office closure if such continuing condition renders it unsafe or impossible for the employee to report to the office after the office reopens.
D. In determining whether to grant administrative leave, managers must evaluate whether:
1. The weather and safety condition prompting the office closure continues and the situation could not 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 the employee’s Official Duty Station reopens following the emergency condition and management otherwise concludes 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.
Employees who are required to work unscheduled telework due to an office closure will not have their previously scheduled telework days changed or cancelled. Such unscheduled telework will not count against the maximum amount of telework previously approved for the employee.
E. The SEC will not require an employee to use accrued 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 SEC may, at its discretion, grant an employee’s request for Leave Without Pay. Nothing in this Section preempts a telework-ready employee from requesting to use accrued leave during an SEC office closure.
Section 4: Administrative Leave for Teleworkers when Weather or Safety Conditions Affect an Alternative Worksite but do not Result in an SEC Office Closure
A. When a weather or safety condition affects only the Alternative Worksite, the teleworker is expected to contact their supervisor as soon as practicable. The employee must travel to the Official Duty Station to complete their workday, as time permits, provided the employee may safely travel under the circumstances. The SEC may only grant weather and safety administrative leave if the employee’s Alternative Worksite is unsafe, the employee’s Official Duty Station is affected by the same weather or safety issue, and the employee is unable to commute safely to the Official Duty Station.
B. When an employee has advance knowledge of a situation that would preclude working at the Alternative Worksite, the employee must either come to the Official Duty Station (provided the employee may safely travel under the circumstances) or request annual leave, compensatory time, credit hours if on a flexible work schedule, or leave without pay.
In the event the government is open with the option of unscheduled leave/unscheduled telework or in the case of delayed opening, the Employer may direct any employee with a telework agreement who reports to the Official Duty Station subject to the announcement to perform work at their approved telework location or, alternatively, to request accrued leave, except in circumstances when a supervisor determines that the employee’s physical presence is necessary. With respect to employees scheduled to report to an SEC office on a day when the SEC announces a late arrival, an early dismissal, or that the office is open with the option of unscheduled leave or telework, a supervisor may approve an employee's request for unscheduled telework for a full day or for any part of the day. However, employees shall not be required to telework on days when there is a delayed opening, and will receive administrative leave for the delay period if they come into the office on such a day.
When the SEC announces an early dismissal of employees under circumstances not related to weather or safety conditions, such as on the day prior to a Federal holiday, employees who are teleworking will be excused in the same manner as employees working in an SEC office.
A. An emergency employee is an employee who has been designated, in writing, by the head of their office to report for work and continue critical operations during early dismissal, delayed opening, and office closures. 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.
1) For periods anticipated to last less than two consecutive weeks, selections of employees who are qualified for this assignment will 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.
2) For periods anticipated to last more than two consecutive weeks, selections of qualified employees will be based on Agency seniority. If more emergency employees volunteer to perform these duties than are needed, the selection will be based on SEC seniority. If fewer emergency employees volunteer than are needed, the selection will be based on inverse SEC seniority
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.
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 they have been re-elected and wish 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) they held at the time the leave began; or
b. Failing the above, place the employee in a position for which they are qualified at the same grade held by the employee at the time they commenced the leave of absence.
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.