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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

  • A WGI is effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the completion of the required waiting period. (5 U.S.C. 5335 and 5 CFR 531.412.)
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  • A student loan is eligible if it is made, insured, or guaranteed under parts B, D, or E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or is a health education assistance loan made or insured under part A of title VII or part E of title VIII of the Public Health Service Act.
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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.

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  • The intent of OPM's regulations governing the use of sick leave for family care is to allow an employee to provide physical care and other assistance to a family member, as appropriate. This may include, for example, providing transportation and/or accompanying a family member to a health care provider's office or to a hospital or other health care facility, providing assistance during examination and/or treatment, and providing care and assistance during recovery. Under agency policies, managers and supervisors must use their judgment in administering the use of sick leave for family care or bereavement in a fair and equitable manner. It is not possible for OPM to regulate or specify the criteria for every situation that may arise.
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  • Under 5 CFR 537.103, each agency must establish a plan that designates the officials who are authorized to review and approve offers of student loan repayment benefits.  Agencies may use approval delegations similar to those used for other recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives.
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  • There are two conditions under which employees are entitled to an additional 22 days of military leave under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 6323(b). Reservists or National Guard members who perform military duty in support of civil authorities in the protection of life and property are eligible for an additional 22 workdays of military leave. 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).

    * 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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  • 5 U.S.C. 5545(d) provides that if an employee is covered by chapter 51 (Classification) and subchapter III of chapter 53 (General Schedule Pay Rates) of title 5, United States Code, then he or she may be eligible to receive hazardous duty pay. To receive hazardous duty pay, a General Schedule (GS) employee must also meet the requirements in 5 CFR 550.904.

    (Note: Prevailing rate (wage) employees may be eligible to receive environmental differential pay under the separate provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5343(c)(4).)

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  • The types of academic degrees and/or levels covered by the program are not specified in law.  Agencies are encouraged to tailor their plans to recruit highly qualified candidates and/or retain highly qualified employees in their current positions.  Therefore, an agency may specify the types of degrees and levels necessary to attain this goal.
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  • When the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee must give 30 days notice of his or her intent to take FMLA leave. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, an employee must provide notice as soon as is practicable. In addition, an agency may require an employee on leave for a serious health condition to provide initial medical certification and recertification every 30 calendar days. If the health care provider has specified on the initial medical certification a minimum duration of the period of incapacity, the agency may not request recertification until that period has passed unless other conditions arise that permit the agency to require recertification more frequently. (See 5 CFR 630.1207(h)(2)(i).)

    An agency's policies or procedures for notification of FMLA leave or medical certification may not be more stringent than required by OPM's regulations. If an employee who has been placed on leave restriction invokes his or her entitlement to FMLA leave, the agency must follow OPM's rules for notification and medical certification of FMLA leave.

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