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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

Date: June 22, 1999
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S9802211

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

The claimant, a firefighter currently employed by the [agency], claims additional hours of annual and sick leave. For the reasons discussed herein, the claim is denied.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has reported that at the end of the 1996 leave year, the claimant was employed as a permanent firefighter on an 80-hour, bi-weekly schedule at [agency] in [xxx], and had an annual leave balance of 305.22 hours. Because the claimant's annual leave balance was above the 240 hour statutory limit, he was required to forfeit 65.22 hours. See 5 U.S.C.  6304(a). However, because [agency] was scheduled for closure under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (BRAC), Pub. L. No. 101-510, individuals employed there were subject to special leave carry-over provisions and in accordance with these provisions, the claimant's 65.22 hours of forfeited annual leave were restored to him.

On April 13, 1997, the claimant received a temporary assignment with a 144-hour, bi-weekly tour of duty. Because the claimant had an uncommon tour, it was necessary to convert his leave balances to reflect the accelerated leave accrual rate applicable to employees with 144-hour schedules. See 5 C.F.R.  630.210(b). In accordance with previously approved conversion formulas, the claimant's 65.22 hours of restored annual leave were converted to 117.39 hours; the claimant's 282 hours of regular annual leave were converted to 507.6 hours; and the claimant's 394.01 hours of sick leave were converted to 709.22 hours. [Note: the conversion factor was 144/80.]

On June 8, 1997, when the claimant's temporary appointment ended and he returned to an 80-hour tour, his leave balances should have been reduced. However, DFAS failed to make the necessary adjustments to the claimant's leave balances. One month later, on July 6, 1887, still stationed at [xxx], the claimant resumed a 144-hour, bi-weekly tour, and DFAS erroneously increased his already inflated leave balances without realizing that it had failed to decrease these balances when the claimant had been on an 80-hour tour during the previous month.

One year later, on June 6, 1998, the claimant separated from [xxx] and received his current appointment with a regular, 80-hour bi-weekly tour of duty at the [agency]. In connection with this appointment, an audit of the claimant's leave balances was conducted and the erroneous double conversion was discovered and corrected. There is no support for the claimant's assertions that the corrected leave balances are erroneous. Accordingly, the claimant is not entitled to any additional hours of annual or sick leave and his claim is denied.

This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the claimant's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

Control Panel