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Employees who are called to active duty in support of the ongoing national emergency are entitled to military leave under two separate provisions.
A Federal employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves is entitled to 15 days (120 hours) of paid military leave under 5 U.S.C. 6323(a) each fiscal year for active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training. An employee on military leave under section 6323(a) receives his or her full civilian salary, as well as military pay. This leave accrues at the beginning of each fiscal year, and all Guard or Reserve members, including those on extended active duty, should be credited with 15 days of paid military leave on October 1 of each year.
An agency now may charge military leave under 6323 (a) only for hours the employee otherwise would have worked. An employee no longer "loses leave" on weekends and other nonworkdays and will be paid his or her full civilian pay for all 120 hours. (See fact sheet on Military Leave at http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/HTML/military.asp. This guidance does not apply to employees of the U.S. Postal Service.)
In addition, effective November 24, 2003, employees who perform full-time military service as a result of a call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation* as defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code, are entitled to 22 days of military leave under 5 U.S.C. 6323(b). Under this provision the employee is entitled to the greater of his military or civilian pay. (See Question 6.)
Employees also are entitled to use any accrued or accumulated annual leave for periods of active military duty. Employees using annual leave will receive their full civilian pay, as well as compensation for their military service.
Agencies do not need to process any personnel actions (SF 50s) for periods of annual leave, military leave, earned compensatory time off for travel, or sick leave since the payroll system documents an employee's use of paid leave. Agencies should document an employee's use of leave without pay (LWOP) to perform duty with the uniformed services by processing a personnel action (SF 50) using nature of action "LWOP-US" (nature of action code 473). The effective date is the first day the employee begins to use leave without pay for duty with the uniformed services.
Employees may use annual leave, military leave, compensatory time off for travel, or sick leave (consistent with the statutory and regulatory criteria for using sick leave), intermittently with leave without pay while performing duty with the uniformed services. OPM does not require that agencies process return-to-duty actions for each period of paid leave. Periods of "LWOP-US" may be interrupted by periods of annual leave or military leave without the need to process any additional personnel actions.
* The term "contingency operation" means a military operation that -
(a) is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing military force; or
(b) results in the call or order to, or retention on, active duty of members of the uniformed services under section 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, or 12406 of title 10, United States Code, chapter 15 of title 10, United States Code, or any other provision of law during a war or during a national emergency declared by the President or Congress.
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