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In the event of a major disaster or emergency as declared by the President that results in severe adverse effects for a substantial number of employees, the President may direct the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish an emergency leave transfer program (ELTP). Under an ELTP, a covered employee in an executive agency or the judicial branch, or an agency leave bank, may donate annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who are adversely affected, or have family members who are adversely affected, by the disaster or emergency (e.g., floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, bombings).
When directed by the President, OPM will establish an ELTP for a specific disaster or emergency and notify agencies of the establishment of the program. Once notified, each agency affected by the disaster or emergency is authorized to -
In certain situations, OPM may also delegate to an agency the authority to establish an ELTP.
In order to be approved to receive donated annual leave, an employee must make written application to his or her agency to become an emergency leave recipient. If an employee is not capable of making written application, a personal representative may make written application on behalf of the employee. An employee or the family member is considered to be adversely affected if the disaster or emergency has caused him or her severe hardship to such a degree that his or her absence from work is required. An emergency leave recipient may use donated annual leave to assist an affected family member, provided that the family member has no reasonable access to other forms of assistance.
Note: When an employee applies for the emergency leave transfer program, the agency may require the employee to document his or her relationship to a family member. Agencies should establish consistent rules and follow the same documentation requirements for all relationships, but agencies have authority to request additional information in cases of suspected leave abuse.
The employing agency must review the employee's application and notify the employee of the approval or disapproval of the application within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the date the application is received (or the date established by the agency, if that date is later). If disapproved, the agency must give the reason for its disapproval.
An employee may voluntarily submit a written request to his or her agency that a specified number of hours of his or her accrued annual leave be transferred from his or her annual leave account to the employing agency's ELTP. Emergency leave donors may not donate to a specific emergency leave recipient. An agency leave bank, with the concurrence of the leave bank board, may also donate annual leave to an ELTP administered by the employing agency or, during a Governmentwide transfer of annual leave, by another agency.
A leave donor may not contribute less than 1 hour or more than 104 hours of annual leave in a leave year to an ELTP. Each agency may establish written criteria for waiving the 104-hour limitation on donating annual leave in a leave year. Annual leave donated to an ELTP may not be applied against the limitations on the donation of annual leave under the voluntary leave transfer or leave bank programs.
An emergency leave recipient may receive a maximum of 240 hours of donated annual leave at any one time from an ELTP for each disaster or emergency. An employing agency may allow an employee to receive additional disbursements of donated annual leave based on the employee's continuing need. Each disbursement of transferred annual leave may not exceed 240 hours
If an agency does not receive sufficient amounts of donated annual leave to meet the needs of emergency leave recipients within the agency, the agency may contact OPM for assistance in receiving additional donated annual leave from other agencies. Based on the amount of donated leave needed, OPM will solicit and coordinate the transfer of donated annual leave from other Federal agencies. OPM will notify each affected agency of the cumulative amount of donated annual leave that will be credited to it for transfer to its approved emergency leave recipients. The affected agency will determine the amount of donated annual leave to be transferred to each emergency leave recipient.
An approved emergency leave recipient is not required to exhaust his or her accrued annual and sick leave before receiving donated annual leave under the ELTP. Any donated annual leave an emergency leave recipient receives from an ELTP may be used only for purposes related to the disaster or emergency for which the emergency leave recipient was approved.
Annual leave transferred under the ELTP to a leave recipient may be -
Annual leave transferred under the ELTP to a leave recipient may not be -
An emergency leave recipient using donated annual leave continues to accrue annual and sick leave at the same rate as if the employee were in a paid leave status, and the employee's annual leave will be subject to the annual leave limitations in 5 U.S.C.6304 (a), (b), (c), and (f).
The disaster or emergency affecting the emergency leave recipient terminates at the earliest occurrence of the one of the following conditions -
Upon termination of a disaster or emergency -
The emergency leave donor may choose to have the agency restore unused donated annual leave by crediting the restored annual leave to the leave donor's annual leave account in either the current leave year or on the first pay period of the following leave year.
The following forms for donating and receiving annual leave under the Emergency Leave Transfer Program can be accessed on the forms section of OPM's Website.
The Federal Government offers a wide range of leave options and workplace flexibilities to assist an employee who needs to be away from the workplace. These include annual leave, sick leave, advanced annual or sick leave, leave without pay, alternative work schedules, credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off and telework. Under certain conditions and circumstances, an affected employee may also be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or donated leave under the voluntary leave transfer or leave bank programs.
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