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Pandemic FAQ

Question
May I take sick leave if exposed to the pandemic influenza even though I am not sick?
Answer
In most cases, being exposed to the pandemic influenza will not jeopardize the health of others, therefore an employee should not be granted sick leave for mere exposure to the flu. Should the flu become a serious communicable disease, the CDC would issue guidance on the procedures to be followed to stay safe. Based on that information, OPM would issue appropriate guidance to keep Federal employees safe. Once the CDC and OPM have determined the use of sick leave for exposure to a communicable disease is appropriate, a health authority or health care provider can then advise that an employee or his or her family member has been exposed to a serious communicable disease that would jeopardize the health of others. Only under this limited circumstance would an employee be entitled to use sick leave if exposed to the flu. Depending on the particular circumstances, an employee may also request annual leave, advanced annual leave, advanced sick leave, or other paid time off such as earned compensatory time off, earned compensatory time off for travel, or earned credit hours. An employee may also request leave without pay. Employees should consult with their agency human resources office to determine how their agency policy applies to their situation.


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