Furloughed Feds Will Get Credit for Lost Leave
Furloughed employees will receive full credit for any annual and sick leave they accrued during the government shutdown, according to guidance from the Office of Personnel Management.
All agencies must adjust the accounts of furloughed employees “for proper recredit of any lost accrual of annual and sick leave due to being in a nonpay status,” stated the guidance. Congress last week approved retroactive pay for federal workers furloughed during the 16-day government shutdown.
Excepted federal employees required to work during the shutdown are guaranteed back pay by statute, although for many workers that pay was delayed. Congress, however, must approve retroactive pay for furloughed federal employees during a lapse in appropriations. During this shutdown, Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act, which President Obama signed into law in early October. That law mandated that all active-duty and reserve members of the armed forces, as well as any civilians and contractors working in support of those forces, be paid on time regardless of the shutdown’s duration.
The OPM guidance, released on Thursday, said furloughed workers also will be paid for the Columbus Day holiday, which fell on Monday, Oct. 14, during the shutdown. Employees who worked on the holiday will receive premium pay plus overtime pay. Workers who were regularly scheduled to work but were furloughed also are entitled to holiday premium pay. That applies to any furloughed worker scheduled to work overtime, at night or during any other period in which they’d typically receive premium pay.
The guidance also said that any General Schedule within-grade pay increases delayed because of the shutdown are retroactive to the day they were originally due. As for using annual leave before the end of the year, agencies and employees should try to reschedule any “use or lose” annual leave that was canceled during the shutdown. If the employee is unable to reschedule the leave before the end of the year and loses it, agencies can consider restoring it under Title 5, Section 630.308 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
For OPM’s full guidance on how the October 2013 shutdown affects pay and leave benefits, click here.