512 Annual Leave

512.1 General

512.11 Purpose

Annual leave is provided to employees for rest, for recreation, and for personal and emergency purposes.

512.12 Definitions

The following definitions apply for the purposes of 510:

  1. Leave year — the year beginning with the first day of the first complete pay period in a calendar year and ending on the day before the first day of the first complete pay period in the following calendar year.
  2. Accumulated leave — the total unused leave that remains to the credit of the employee at the beginning of any leave year.
  3. Current leave — leave that an employee earns by biweekly pay periods during the current leave year.
  4. Accrued leave — leave that is earned but is unused by an employee during any period during the current leave year.

512.2 Determining Annual Leave Category

512.21 General Policy

Annual leave category is determined by using the leave policy in effect at the time an employee enters a career appointment or transfers into the Postal Service.

Both active military and civilian service, as outlined in 512.22 and 512.23, are used in computing the years of service that determine an employee’s annual leave category, but leave credit is not allowed for both civilian and military service that cover the same period of time. Other service not counted is listed in 512.24.

512.22 Federal Civilian Service Counted
512.221 Service in the Postal Service

The following prior service in the Postal Service is used in computing the years of service that determine the annual leave category:

  1. Service performed while a career employee of the Postal Service or Post Office Department.
  2. Time on the rolls during which an employee served as a substitute rural carrier (not just the dates on which actual service was performed) if the time is creditable for the federal retirement program applicable to the employee.
  3. If performed before January 1, 1977, time on the rolls as a casual or temporary employee, or time actually worked as a postmaster relief/leave replacement in an office other than first-class.
  4. For postmaster relief/replacement in a first-class office, time actually worked after July 21, 1947, and before January 1, 1977.
512.222 Service in Other Federal Government Organizations, the District of Columbia, or Gallaudet University

The following service in the federal government, the District of Columbia, or Gallaudet University, regardless of breaks in service, is used in computing the years of service that determine the annual leave category:

  1. Career, career conditional, and excepted appointment service (without a “not to exceed” (NTE) date).
  2. Seasonal, on–call, or intermittent employment, even though it may be an “indefinite career appointment,” credited on a “when actually employed” (WAE) basis. For such appointments, no credit for leave is given for leave without pay (LWOP) periods.
  3. Time–limited or temporary appointment service performed prior to January 1, 1977.
  4. VISTA service prior to October 1, 1973.
  5. District of Columbia (D.C.) government service only if (a) the person was employed there prior to October 1, 1987, or, if service in an appointment by the D.C. government to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, on October 1, 1977, and (b) the service is creditable for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) purposes.
512.23 Military Service Counted
512.231 Service of an Employee Not Eligible for Military Retirement Annuity

The following military service is used in computing the years of service that determine the annual leave category:

  1. Periods of active service terminated by honorable discharge or transfer to inactive reserves under honorable conditions. Active service may be in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and/or Coast Guard and their respective academies.
  2. Service performed by employees who are members of the National Guard Service or Air National Guard Service only during periods of active duty with the U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force.
  3. Service performed by Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps students during periods of active duty or training duty as members of the Naval or Marine Corps Reserve.

Note: Veterans Affairs (VA) disability payments for service–connected injuries or illnesses are not retirement annuities. If a VA disability payment is received and the employee is not eligible for a military retirement annuity, 512.231 applies. If the employee is eligible for a military retirement annuity, 512.232 applies.

512.232 Service of an Employee Eligible for Military Retirement Annuity

The following military service is used in computing the years of service that determine the annual leave category:

  1. Full Credit. Full leave accrual credit for all of active military service is granted if a military retiree meets one of the following four conditions:
    1. Retirement was based on disability resulting from injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict.
    2. Retirement was based on disability caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war defined in 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 101 and 301.
    3. On November 30, 1964, the employee was employed in a civilian office to which the Annual and Sick Leave Act of 1951 applied and continues to be employed in a civilian capacity without a break in civilian service of more than 30 days.
    4. Notes:  

      1. A military retiree who as a military reservist or member of the National Guard was called from civilian employment to active military duty before November 30, 1964, and after that date was restored to a civilian position (under 5 U.S.C. 3551) does not meet this condition.
      2. Section 3551 provides only for restoration; therefore, the employee is not considered as having been on military furlough or leave of absence from a civilian position or as having been employed on November 30, 1964, in a civilian position to which section 6303(a), the former Annual and Sick Leave Act, applied.
    5. The individual first becomes eligible for a uniformed services annuity while serving as a career employee. This provision applies to members of the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces (Reserves and National Guard) who (a) qualify for an annuity because of reserve service or (b) are involuntarily recalled to active duty under Title 10, qualify for uniformed services retirement during that period of active duty, and then are restored to federal civilian employment on completion of that period of involuntary military service. This provision applies only to the employee’s current period of civilian employment; if the employee separates and is reemployed later, the provision is no longer applicable.
  2. Partial Credit. Military retirees who do not qualify for full leave accrual credit can qualify for partial credit based on the following:
    1. Service for determining an employee’s leave category is restricted to the actual length of time in active service in the armed forces during any war or in any nonwartime campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized.
    2. Service in a nonwartime campaign or expedition does not entitle the military retiree to credit for the duration of the campaign or expedition but only for the period of service in the campaign or expedition.
    3. Note: Exhibit 512.232 provides data about wars and campaigns and expeditions for which campaign badges were authorized.

  3. Verification. Military service should be verified:
    1. Disability Retirements. Request verification from the records center of the appropriate military branch.
    2. Wartime Service. Verify from discharge certificates (e.g., DD Form 214).
    3. Military Records Center. Addresses and other data necessary to verify service are provided in SF180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, found at the following Web site: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard–form–180.pdf.
    4. Campaign or Expeditionary Service. Verify by sending a completed SF 813, Verification of a Military Retiree’s Service in Nonwartime Campaigns or Expeditions, to the appropriate military records center. SF 813 can be found at the following Web site: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF813.pdf.

Exhibit 512.232 

Wars, Campaigns, and Expenditions of the Armed Forces Since 1937

 

  1. Wars1

War

Inclusive Dates

World War I

April 6, 1917 July 2, 19212

World War II

December 7, 1941 April 28, 19523

  1. Nonwar Campaigns and Expeditions Since 1937 for Which a Campaign or Expeditionary Medal Has Been Awarded.

Campaign or Expedition

Inclusive Dates

American Defense Service

September 8, 1939 December 7, 1941

Army Occupation of Austria

May 9, 1945 July 27, 1955

Army Occupation of Berlin

May 9, 1945 October 2, 1990

Army Occupation of Germany (exclusive of Berlin)

May 9, 1945 May 5, 1955

Army Occupation of Japan

September 3, 1945 April 27, 1952

China Service

July 7, 1937 September 7, 1939

China Service Medal (Extended)

September 2, 1945 April 1, 1957

Korea Defense Service Medal

July 28, 1954 (to be decided)

Korean Service

June 27, 1950 July 27, 1954

Navy Occupation of Austria

May 8, 1945 October 25, 1954

Navy Occupation of Trieste

May 8, 1945 October 25, 1954

Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWASM):

Operation Desert Shield

Operation Desert Storm

August 2, 1990 November 30, 1995

August 2, 1990 November 30, 1995

Units of the Sixth Fleet (Navy)

May 9, 1945 October 25, 1955

Vietnam Service Medal (VSM)

July 4, 1965 March 28, 1973

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)

(A veteran’s DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, showing the award of any Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is acceptable proof. The DD Form 214 does not have to show the name of the theater or country of service for which that medal was awarded.)

Inclusive Dates

Afghanistan:

Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom

September 11, 2001 (to be decided)

March 19, 2003 (to be decided)

Berlin

August 14, 1961 June 1, 1963

Bosnia:

Operation Joint Endeavor

Operation Joint Guard

Operation Joint Forge

November 20, 1995 December 20, 1996

December 20, 1996 June 20, 1998

June 21, 1998 (to be decided)

Cambodia

March 29, 1973 August 15, 1973

Cambodia Evacuation: Operation Eagle Pull

April 11, 1975 April 13, 1975

Congo

July 14, 1960 September 1, 1962, and

November 23 27, 1964

Cuba

October 24, 1962 June 1, 1963

Dominican Republic

April 28, 1965 September 21, 1966

El Salvador

January 1, 1981 February 1, 1992

Global War on Terrorism

September 11, 2001 (to be decided)

Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury

October 23, 1983 November 21, 1983

Haiti: Operation Uphold Democracy

September 16, 1994 March 31, 1995

Indian Ocean/Iran

November 21, 1979 October 20, 1981

Iraq:

Operation Northern Watch4

Operation Desert Spring

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

January 1, 1997 (to be decided)

December 31, 1998 December 31, 2002 (projected)

September 11, 2001 (to be decided)

March 19, 2003 (to be decided)

Korea

October 1, 1966 June 30, 1974

Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM):

Operation Allied Force

Operation Noble Anvil

Task Force Saber

Task Force Hunter

Operation Sustain Hope/Shining Hope

Operation Allied Harbor

Task Force Hawk

Task Force Falcon

March 24, 1999 June 10, 1999

March 24, 1999 July 20, 1999

March 31, 1999 July 8, 1999

April 1, 1999 November 1, 1999

April 4, 1999 July 10, 1999

April 4, 1999 September 1, 1999

April 5, 1999 June 24, 1999

June 11, 1999 (to be decided)

Laos

April 19, 1961 October 7, 1962

Lebanon

July 1, 1958 November 1, 1958, and

June 1, 1983 December 1, 1987

Mayaguez Operation

May 15, 1975

Operations in the Libyan Area:

Operation Eldorado Canyon

April 12, 1986 April 17, 1986

Panama: Operation Just Cause

December 20, 1989 January 31, 1990

Persian Gulf: Intercept Operation4

December 1, 1995 (to be decided)

Persian Gulf Operations:

Operation Earnest Watch

Operation Vigilant Sentinel

Operation Southern Watch4

Operation Desert Thunder

Operation Desert Fox

July 24, 1987 August 1, 1990

December 1, 1995 February 15, 1997

December 1, 1995 (to be decided)

November 11, 1998 December 22, 1998

December 16, 1998 December 22, 1998

Quemoy and Matsu Islands

August 23, 1958 June 1, 1963

Somalia: Operation Restore Hope and United Shield

December 5, 1992 March 31, 1995

Taiwan Straits

August 23, 1958 January 1, 1959

Vietnam (including Thailand)

July 1, 1958 July 3, 1965

Vietnam Evacuation: Operation Frequent Wind

April 29, 1975 April 30, 1975

Inclusive Dates

Cuba

January 3, 1961 October 23, 1962

Indian Ocean/Iran

November 21, 1979 October 20, 1981

Iranian/Yemen/Indian Ocean

December 8, 1978 June 6, 1979

Lebanon

August 20, 1982 May 31, 1983

Liberia: Operation Sharp Edge

August 5, 1990 February 21, 1991

Libyan Area

January 20, 1986 June 27, 1986

Panama

April 1, 1980 December 19, 1986, and

February 1, 1990 June 13, 1990

Persian Gulf

February 1, 1987 July 23, 1987

Rwanda: Operation Distant Runner

April 7, 1994 April 18, 1994

Thailand

May 16, 1962 August 10, 1962

1 “Wars” include only those armed conflicts for which a declaration of war was issued by Congress. The Title 38, U.S.C., definition of “war,” which is used in determining benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, includes the Vietnam Era and other armed conflicts. That Title 38 definition is not applicable for purposes of granting partial leave credit to military retirees.

2 July 2, 1921, is the date of a Joint Resolution of the U.S. Congress that terminated the war with Germany and AustriaHungary.

3 The effective date of the Treaty of Peace with Japan that officially terminated World War II.

4 Ongoing campaign or operation through August 2000.

512.24 Service Not Counted

Credit is not allowed for:

  1. Service in a nonpay status in excess of 6 months in a calendar year unless the employee is in an LWOP status and is (1) receiving Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) benefits, (2) serving as a full–time officer or employee of an employee or management organization, or (3) on active military service while being carried on postal rolls in an LWOP status.
  2. LWOP periods during indefinite career appointments that are seasonal, on–call, or intermittent employment.
  3. VISTA service after October 1, 1973, Peace Corps, or similar volunteer service.
  4. Tennessee Valley Authority service.
  5. Time–limited or temporary service performed on or after January 1, 1977.
  6. Service in Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), Navy and Coast Guard Exchanges, Army and Air Force Motion Picture Service, and other organizations under the jurisdiction of the armed forces conducted for the comfort, pleasure, contentment, and mental and physical improvement of armed forces personnel.
  7. Foreign national service, that is, service during which the employee worked outside the United States for a federal agency — such as the Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of State, or the U.S. Agency for International Development — as a foreign citizen.

512.3 Accrual and Crediting

512.31 Employee Categories
512.311 Full-Time Employees

The following provisions concern full–time employees:

  1. Accrual Chart. Full-time career employees earn annual leave based on their number of creditable years of service:
  2.  

    Leave Category

    Creditable Service

    Maximum Leave Per Year

    4

    Less than 3 years

    4 hours for each full biweekly pay period; i.e., 104 hours (13 days) per 26–period leave year.

    6

    3 years but less than 15 years

    6 hours for each full biweekly pay period plus 4 hours in last full pay period in calendar year; i.e., 160 hours (20 days) per 26–period leave year.

    8

    15 years or more.

    8 hours for each full biweekly pay period; i.e., 208 hours (26 days) per 26–period leave year.

  3. Credit at Beginning of Leave Year. Full-time career employees are credited at the beginning of the leave year with the total number of annual leave hours that they will earn for that leave year.
  4. Changes in Employee’s Accrual Rate. Leave credit at the beginning of the leave year reflects any change in an employee’s accrual rate for that year.
  5. Change From Part-time to Full-time. An employee who changes from a part-time to a full–time employee after the start of a leave year is credited with the annual leave to be earned for the remainder of the leave year.
  6. Nonpay Status. Leave credit for periods in which an employee is in a nonpay status is reduced during the leave year as follows:
    1. When an employee’s absence in a nonpay status totals the equivalent of 1 pay period of regular service during the leave year (10 days or 80 hours), credit for leave is reduced by the amount of leave earned by the employee in a pay period.
    2. Notes:  

      1. For rural carriers who are required to work 6 days a week, the equivalent of 1 pay period is 12 days or 96 hours.
      2. For J route carriers, the equivalent of 1 pay period is 11 days or 88 hours.
    3. When an employee has one or more periods of LWOP during the leave year, all hours in a nonpay status (during periods in which the employee earned annual leave) are totaled to reduce leave credits.
512.312 Part-Time Employees

The following provisions concern part-time employees:

  1. Accrual and Crediting Chart. Part-time career employees other than rural carriers earn annual leave based on the number of hours in which they are in pay status (see Exhibit 512.312).
  2. Biweekly Crediting. Leave accrues and is credited in whole hours at the end of each biweekly pay period. All hours in pay status that cannot be credited for leave purposes (see 512.312a) are dropped when:
    1. The leave year ends.
    2. The employee’s status is changed from part-time to full–time.
    3. The employee is removed from the rolls for any cause.
  3. Exceptions. The following are exceptions to the crediting rule in 512.312b.
    1. Part-time regular schedule employees including A–E postmasters are credited with annual leave on a pro rata basis, according to their authorized daily schedules. Employees other than A–E postmasters must wait until they have 1 year or more of career service to be credited at the beginning of the leave year with the annual leave that they will earn during the leave year. A–E postmasters are credited at the beginning of the leave year with the annual leave that they earn during the leave year. Part-time regular employees are entitled to additional leave hours, based on their leave category, for each 20, 13, or 10 hours of work in excess of the schedule (see Exhibit 512.312).
    2. Substitute rural carriers and rural carrier associates (RCAs) earn leave for time serving (a) a vacant route or (b) a route from which the rural carrier is on extended leave in excess of 90 days. RCAs also earn leave based on the number of hours worked serving an auxiliary route for a period in excess of 90 days. The leave category for substitute rural carriers is based on creditable service, and for RCAs it is based on category 4. The first day of the pay period following 90 days, the substitute or RCA is credited with accrued annual leave for the first 90 days.
    3. Auxiliary rural carriers, including substitute rural carriers in dual appointments, are credited with annual leave for actual service performed in accordance with their appropriate leave category. If auxiliary rural carriers are otherwise employed (e.g., as clerks in the Post Office), such additional service is also used in the computation of leave credit; otherwise, they are credited as instructed in 512.312a.

Exhibit 512.312 

Accrual and Crediting Chart for Part-Time Career Employees

 

Leave Category

Years of Creditable Service

Maximum Leave per Year

Rate of Accrual

Hours in Pay Status

Hours of Leave Earned per Period

4

Less than 3 years.

104 hours, or 13 days per 26–period leave year or 4 hours for each biweekly pay period.

1 hour for each unit of 20 hours pay in status.

20
40
60
80

1
2
3
4 (max.)

6

3 years but less than 15 years.

160 hours, or 20 days per 26–period leave year or 6 hours for each full biweekly pay period.1

1 hour for each unit of 13 hours in pay status.

13
26
39
52
65
78

1
2
3
4
5
6 (max.)1

8

15 years or more.

208 hours, or 26 days per 26–period leave year or 8 hours for each full biweekly pay period.

1 hour for each unit of 10 hours in pay status.

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 (max.)

1 Except that the accrual for the last pay period of the calendar year may be 10 hours, provided the employee has the 130 creditable hours or more in a pay status in the leave year for leave purposes.

Recording Hours for Annual and Sick Leave

a. Units of hours in a pay status are converted into annual leave credits at the rate of 1 hour for each unit of 20, 13, or 10 hours in a pay status — up to a maximum of 4, 6, or 8 hours per biweekly pay period, depending on the employee’s leave category.

b. Hours in a pay status in excess of these whole units are accumulated and carried forward as excess workhours. These excess (uncredited) workhours are added to hours in a pay status in the next period.

c. Whole units of creditable hours (20, 13, or 10) are then converted into leave hours at the unit rate — provided no more leave is credited to a part-time employee than could be earned in the same leave year by a full–time employee.

d. The maximum credit allowable for a particular leave category is calculated by multiplying the period number by the number of leave hours allowable per period.

512.313 Appointees

The following provisions concern appointees:

  1. Rate of Leave Accrual. The rate of leave accrual for a new career employee (whether appointed, reinstated, or transferred) is determined promptly as soon as related facts are verified. It is based on creditable service, both civilian and military (see 512.2).
  2. NinetyDay Qualifying Period.
    1. Requirement. New employees are not credited with and may not take annual leave until they complete 90 days of continuous employment under one or more appointments without a break in service.

Exception: This requirement does not apply to (a) career (or career conditional) employees who have had a minimum of 90 days of continuous federal service prior to transferring, without a break in service, to a Postal Service career position (see 512.812 and 512.91) or (b) substitute rural carriers or RCAs who are in a leave–earning status and convert to a Postal Service career position without a break in service.

  1. Break in Service. A break in service of 1 or more workdays breaks the continuity of employment. Any further employment requires beginning a new 90–day period. (For substitute rural carriers and RCAs, see 512.552.)
  2. Active Military Service. Active military service for an employee not entitled to mandatory restoration is a break in civilian service. The employee begins a new 90–day qualifying period for leave purposes.
  3. Full-time Employees and AE Postmasters. After new employees complete the 90–day qualifying period, they are credited with annual leave to be earned during the remainder of the leave year plus the leave earned during the qualifying period.
  4. Part-time Employees Except AE Postmasters. After part-time employees complete the 90–day qualifying period, annual leave that they have accrued is credited to their accounts.
  • Partial Pay Period.
    1. Any employee whose appointment is made effective after the first Monday of a pay period does not receive leave credit for service performed during that pay period. Part-time employees appointed in this manner do not have their service hours brought forward for leave purposes for that pay period.
    2. An employee transferring from an agency having different pay periods may be given credit for the partial period.
    512.32 Maximum Carryover
    512.321 Maximum Carryover Amounts

    The maximum carryover amount, i.e., the maximum amount of previously accumulated annual leave with which an employee may be credited at the beginning of a year, is as follows:

    1. Bargaining Unit Employees. The maximum leave carryover for bargaining unit employees is 55 days (440 hours).
    2. Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) Employees. The maximum carryover amount for EAS employees is 70 days (560 hours).
    3. Employees Affected by Public Law 102. For employees who, on January 1, 1953 (prior to the passage of Public Law 102), (1) had more accumulated leave to their credit than the amounts provided above, and (2) who have maintained balances in excess of those amounts, the maximum carryover amount is the balances they have maintained.
    512.322 Nonbargaining Unit to Bargaining Unit

    When a nonbargaining unit employee is permanently assigned to a bargaining unit position, the employee’s annual leave carryover ceiling is reduced to the carryover ceiling for that bargaining unit. The employee is permitted to use the excess annual leave over the bargaining unit ceiling during the leave year in which the permanent assignment is effective.

    512.4 Authorizing Annual Leave

    512.41 Requests for Annual Leave
    512.411 General

    Except for emergencies, annual leave for all employees except postmasters must be requested on PS Form 3971 and approved in advance by the appropriate supervisor. Leave requests from rural carriers must be approved in accordance with Article 10 of the USPS–NRLCA National Agreement.

    512.412 Emergencies

    An exception to the advance approval requirement is made for emergencies; however, in these situations, the employee must notify appropriate postal authorities of the emergency and the expected duration of the absence as soon as possible.

    When sufficient information is provided to determine that the absence may be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the following Department of Labor forms will be mailed to the employee’s address of record along with a return envelope:

    1. WH 381, FMLA Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities; and
    2. One of the following forms, as appropriate:
      1. WH-380-E, FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition.
      2. WH-380-F, FMLA Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition.
      3. WH-384, FMLA Certification for Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave.
      4. WH-385, FMLA Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember — for Military Family Leave.

    Note: These forms are provided for the employee’s convenience, as they solicit all required information; however, employees may use another format as long as it provides complete and sufficient information as required by the FMLA. The information provided should relate only to the specific reason associated with the request for leave protection.

    PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence, will be provided to the employee upon his or her return to duty.

    When sufficient information to determine that the absence is covered by FMLA is not provided in advance of the absence, the employee must submit PS Form 3971 and applicable medical or other certification upon returning to duty and explain the reason for the emergency to his or her supervisor.

    Supervisors approve or disapprove the leave request. When the request is disapproved, the absence may be recorded as LWOP or absent without leave (AWOL) at the discretion of the supervisor as outlined in 512.422.

    512.42 PS Form 3971 Request for or Notification of Absence
    512.421 Purpose

    Request for annual leave is made in writing, in duplicate, on PS Form 3971.

    512.422 Approval or Disapproval

    The supervisor is responsible for approving or disapproving the request for annual leave by signing PS Form 3971, a copy of which is given to the employee. If a supervisor does not approve a request for leave, the Disapproved block on PS Form 3971 is checked and the reasons given in writing in the space provided. When a request is disapproved, the granting of any alternate type of leave, if any, must be noted along with the reasons for disapproval. AWOL determinations must be similarly noted.

    512.423 Retention and Disposal Period

    Forms 3971 are retained by the installation head for 2 years from the date the leave is taken or disapproved and are then destroyed. (Documents that become a part of a disciplinary file or administrative proceeding will be disposed of with that file.)

    512.43 Insufficient Leave Balance

    If the leave is approved and the employee has an insufficient leave balance, it is changed to LWOP when the employee’s pay is processed.

    512.5 Leave Charge Information

    512.51 Full-Time Employees
    512.511 Minimum Unit Charge

    Minimum unit charges for full–time employees are as follows:

     

    Employee Category

    Minimum Unit Charge

    All full–time nonexempt employees.

    One–hundredth of an hour (0.01 hour).

    Full-time exempt.

    (See 519.7.)

    Regular rural carriers.

    1 day (8 hours).

    Substitute rural carriers and RCAs when in a leave–earning status and serving:

     

    1. Vacant routes.

    1 day (8 hours).

    1. Routes from which rural carriers are on extended leave.

    1 day (8 hours).

    RCAs when in a leave–earning status and serving auxiliary routes.

    1 hour.

    Auxiliary rural carriers.

    1 hour.

    Triweekly rural carriers.

    (See 512.54.)

    512.512 Holidays

    Leave cannot be charged for national legal holidays, days designated as holidays, or absences authorized by administrative order.

    Exception: If an employee shown to be eligible in 434.422 elects to receive annual leave credit in lieu of holiday leave pay (see 512.65), annual leave may be charged to supplement work hours, up to the limit of the employee’s regular work schedule, on the holiday worked.

    512.513 Leave for Postmasters and Installation Heads

    These employees must (a) promptly report emergency or planned absences exceeding 5 working days to their postal managers and (b) maintain accurate records of their leave.

    512.514 Rural Carriers (Regular and Substitute)

    See 512.53 and 512.55.

    512.52 Part-Time Employees
    512.521 Minimum Unit Charge

    Minimum unit charges for part-time employees are as follows:

     

    Employee Category

    Minimum Unit Charge

    All part-time nonexempt employees.

    One–hundredth of an hour (0.01 hour).

    Part-time exempt employees.

    (See 519.)

    512.522 Part-Time Regular

    A part-time regular employee who is granted annual leave and performs service on the same day is not allowed to take more leave hours than would total 8 hours when combined with workhours.

    512.523 Part-Time Flexible

    The following provisions concern part-time flexible employees:

    1. A part-time flexible employee who has been credited with 40 hours or more of paid service (work, leave, or a combination of work and leave) in a service week is not granted paid annual or sick leave during the remainder of that service week. Absences in such cases are treated as nonduty time, not chargeable to paid leave of any kind. Supervisors should avoid granting leave resulting in the requirement for overtime pay.
    2. Part-time flexible employees who request leave on days that they are scheduled to work, except legal holidays, may be granted leave provided they can be spared. The combination of leave and workhours charged to these employees cannot exceed 8 hours on any one day. The installation head may also consider a request for annual leave on any day a part-time flexible employee is not scheduled to work. The 40 hours paid service in a service week specified in 512.523a may not be exceeded.
    512.524 A–E Postmasters

    The following provisions concern A–E postmasters:

    1. Maximum Leave. Annual leave may not exceed the scheduled service hours for the day on which the leave is taken.
    2. Saturday Absences. A–E postmasters work a 6–day week. Absence on Saturday that occurs within or at the beginning or end of a period of annual leave or sick leave is not charged to such leave, nor is there loss of compensation provided either of the following is true:
      1. There are 5 or more days of annual or sick leave within the period.
      2. There are 4 or more days of annual or sick leave plus a holiday. If the holiday falls on a Saturday that is a scheduled workday, absence on the preceding Friday is not charged to leave. If the leave period is for less than 4 days, absence on Friday is charged to leave.
    512.53 Regular Rural Carriers
    512.531 General

    Annual leave is earned by a regular rural carrier in accordance with 512.311 and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. It is taken in minimum units of 1 day (8 hours) provided a leave replacement is available.

    512.532 Saturday Absences

    Rules for approved absences of regular rural carriers, substitute rural carriers, or RCAs in a leave–earning status are subject to the specific conditions of the USPS–NRLCA National Agreement. Accordingly, the following apply:

    1. Absence on Saturday that occurs within or at the beginning or end of a period of annual leave or sick leave is not charged to such leave, nor is there loss of compensation provided the appropriate leave balance on the PS Form 1223–A, Earnings Statement, reflects at least 6 days of leave and either of the following is true:
      1. There are more than 5 days of annual or sick leave within the period.
      2. There are more than 4 days of annual or sick leave plus a holiday. If the holiday falls on a Saturday that is a scheduled workday, absence on the preceding Friday is not charged to leave. If the leave period is 4 days or less, absence on Friday is charged to leave.
    2. Interruption during the approved period of annual or sick leave by 1 day of court leave due to circumstances beyond the carrier’s control does not disqualify the carrier for coverage as provided above.
    3. Upon request, a rural carrier is granted annual leave or LWOP on Saturday, at the carrier’s option, provided a replacement is available.
    512.54 Triweekly Rural Carriers
    512.541 Week’s Absence

    Carriers who are absent for a week on sick or annual leave are charged with 5 days’ leave.

    512.542 Absences Less Than a Week

    Carriers who are absent for less than a week at a time are charged with 2 days’ leave for each workday of absence.

    512.543 Leave Carryover

    The carrier may end the year with 1 day of unused annual leave. This day may be carried forward into another leave year provided the total carried forward does not exceed 55 days, except as provided in 512.321.

    512.55 Leave Replacements for Rural Carriers
    512.551 General

    After a rural carrier or RCA has been assigned to and served in excess of 90 days in a vacant route or in a route from which a rural carrier is on extended leave, or after an RCA has been assigned to and served in excess of 90 days in an auxiliary route, he or she may take the accrued annual leave. Annual leave is granted in accordance with normal leave requirements and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. It is granted in minimum units of 1 day for regular routes or 1 hour for auxiliary routes provided a leave replacement is available.

    512.552 Ninety–Day Qualifying Period

    Substitute carriers and RCAs qualify for taking leave after being assigned as the primary leave replacement and serving in excess of 90 days in (a) a vacant route or (b) a route from which the rural carrier is on extended leave. RCAs also qualify for taking leave after being assigned to and serving an auxiliary route in excess of 90 days. A break in service of 1 or more workdays breaks continuity of employment, and the substitute carrier or RCA must begin a new 90–day qualifying period. Normally a break in service occurs only when the regular carrier returns or when the vacant route is filled by the appointment of a new regular rural carrier. A break in service does not mean absence from the route on a nonscheduled workday or absence in approved leave status, including LWOP. The first day of the pay period following 90 days of service, the substitute carrier or RCA is credited with annual leave accrued for the 90–day qualifying period. (In determining the employee’s leave category, credit is also given for prior service as a substitute rural carrier or RCA.)

    512.553 Lump Sum Payment

    When regular rural carriers return to duty, substitute replacement carriers who earn leave are given lump sum payments for the annual leave to their credit if they have been in a leave–earning capacity. The lump sum payment is not made if the substitute replacement carrier is converted to a career position without a break in service and continues to earn leave.

    512.56 Auxiliary Rural Carriers

    Auxiliary rural carriers earn leave based on the number of hours worked and in accordance with the appropriate leave category. Leave is credited as earned. These carriers are granted leave in increments of 1 hour.

    512.6 Vacation Planning and Special Programs

    512.61 Bargaining Unit Employees Vacation Planning

    For these employees, leave is subject to specific vacation planning provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements. Note also:

    1. For all regular employees, both full–time and part-time, vacation leave is granted when requested to the extent practicable.
    2. For part-time flexible employees, vacation planning is limited to accumulated and accrued leave.
    512.62 Nonbargaining Unit Employees Vacation Planning

    Vacation leave is granted to these employees when their services can best be spared. Postmasters and other responsible officials must schedule leave so that (a) employees do not forfeit leave and (b) postal operations are not impaired.

    512.63 Annual Leave Exchange
    512.631 General

    The annual leave exchange program provides eligible employees with the opportunity to receive cash in exchange for leave that they will earn during the next leave year. Accumulated leave and leave accrued during the current leave year cannot be exchanged under this program. The terms and conditions for exchanging leave vary for bargaining unit and nonbargaining unit employees and are explained in the instructions mailed to eligible employees before the open season November 15 through December 15 each year.

    512.632 Bargaining Unit Annual Leave Exchange

    Certain national collective bargaining agreements provide a leave exchange option for covered employees. Eligibility and the other terms and conditions for this option are set forth in the applicable collective bargaining agreements and information related to administering the program.

    512.633 Nonbargaining Unit Annual Leave Exchange

    Career employees permanently assigned to a nonbargaining unit position are provided the option at the end of the calendar year to exchange for cash a given number of hours of the annual leave they would otherwise earn during the next leave year. The minimum and maximum number of hours allowed each year, as well as the leave balance the employee must have at the end of the leave year in which the election is made, and any other requirements, are determined by consultation with Postal Service management associations and specified in information related to administering the program.

    512.634 Processing Annual Leave Exchange Options

    Open season for the annual leave exchange program runs from November 15 to December 15 each year. Eligible employees are notified of the election before the open season. The exchange is effective the first full pay period of the new leave year.

    Note: Postal employees may not exchange leave already earned that exceeds the Postal Service leave carryover limit due to Internal Revenue Service “constructive receipt” regulations.

    512.64 Annual Leave Sharing

    The annual leave–sharing program provides employees the opportunity to receive and use donated annual leave and to donate their annual leave to another employee under certain conditions. The program is limited to career nonbargaining unit and bargaining unit employees and to noncareer employees designated as transitional employees (TEs) under certain collective bargaining agreements. The terms and conditions for this program are set forth in applicable collective bargaining unit agreements and memorandums of understanding. Instructions for administration of the terms and conditions are found in Management Instruction EL–510–2003–2, Annual Leave Sharing Program.

    512.65 Annual Leave Credit in Lieu of Holiday Leave Pay

    Employees shown to be eligible in 434.422 who work a holiday may elect to receive annual leave credit in lieu of holiday leave pay. If they do so and then work only a partial day, they may use LWOP, annual leave, or sick leave (if they become ill during their scheduled tour) to supplement work hours, up to the limit of their regular work schedule, on the holiday worked.

    512.7 Separation Adjustments

    512.71 Terminal Leave Worksheet

    If an employee is not transferring to another federal agency and is separating from the Postal Service, the Eagan ASC furnishes the separating installation with PS Form 2246, Terminal Leave Worksheet, for filing in the employee’s official personnel folder. (For transfers to other federal agencies, see 512.8.)

    512.72 Collection for Unearned Leave
    512.721 Refund

    Separating employees who are indebted for unearned annual leave or sick leave must refund the amount paid to them for such unearned leave. If employees do not make refunds, deductions are made from any funds that are due them.

    512.722 Exception

    Collection is not required in cases of death or in the case of separation due to a disability that prevents an employee from returning to duty or continuing in the Postal Service.

    512.73 Lump Sum Terminal Leave Payment
    512.731 General

    Separating employees may receive lump sum terminal leave payments subject to the following conditions:

    1. Completion of Qualifying Period. Except for those employees identified under 512.812, employees who separate before completing the 90–day qualifying period forfeit terminal leave payment for accrued leave. Employees who complete the 90–day qualifying period, even if separated at the close of business on day 90, may be entitled to terminal leave payment for accrued leave.
    2. Completion of Pay Period. Employees whose separation is effective before the last Friday of a pay period do not receive leave credit or terminal leave payment for the leave that would have accrued during that pay period.
    512.732 Entitlement Amounts

    Separating employees may receive lump sum terminal leave payments as follows:

    1. Nonbargaining Unit Employees. Nonbargaining unit employees may receive a lump sum leave payment for accumulated annual leave carried over from the previous year; accrued annual leave for the year in which they separate, including amounts over the carryover maximum; any unused donated leave; and for full–time and part-time regular employees, holidays that fall within the terminal leave period.
    2. Bargaining Unit Employee. Bargaining unit employees may receive a lump sum leave payment:
      1. If separating other than under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA), for accumulated annual leave carried over from the previous year; accrued annual leave for the year in which they separate, up to the carryover maximum for their bargaining unit (see 512.32); any unused donated leave; and for full–time and part-time regular employees, holidays that fall within the terminal leave period. Any part of the unused annual leave earned during the leave year of separation that is in excess of the maximum carryover amount is granted prior to separation rather than paid out in the form of a lump sum payment. No payment is made for unused leave that the employee would have been required to forfeit at the end of the leave year.
      2. If separating under VERA, for accumulated annual leave carried over from the previous year; accrued annual leave for the year in which they separate, including amounts over the carryover maximum for their bargaining unit; any unused donated leave; and for full–time and part-time regular employees, holidays that fall within the terminal leave period.

      Note: Transitional employees receive payment for accrued annual leave at the end of their appointment.

    512.733 Separation for Military Service

    Employees who separate to enter active U.S. military duty may choose to receive a lump sum leave payment or to have their accrued annual leave balance held for credit until they return to Postal Service duty.

    512.734 Separation Followed by Reemployment

    Employees who receive a lump sum leave payment on separation from a Postal Service position (or a federal position under the federal leave system) and who are reemployed or reinstated to a leave–earning status before the period covered by the payment expires must refund to the Postal Service in full the payment for the overlapping period. These employees may then be recredited (see 512.9) with leave.

    512.735 Absence of Relationship to Annuity Payment

    Lump sum payment for annual leave at the time of retirement does not affect the amount or commencement date of annuity payments.

    512.736 Payment to Beneficiaries or Estates of Employees Who Die in Service

    If employees die in service, terminal leave payments are made as follows:

    1. The beneficiaries or estates of nonbargaining unit employees receive terminal leave payments that are the same as the payments to which the employees would have been entitled if they had separated while living (see 512.732a).
    2. The beneficiaries or estates of bargaining unit employees receive terminal leave payments that are the same as the payments to which the employees would have been entitled if they had separated while living (see 512.732b1) with the provision that the amount includes payment for accrued annual leave in excess of the maximum carryover amount that the employees could have taken if they had lived to the end of the leave year, but not for accrued annual leave that the employees would have been required to forfeit.

    512.8 Transfers

    512.81 Transfer Without a Break in Service
    512.811 From the Postal Service to a Federal Agency

    The Eagan ASC furnishes the agency gaining the employee with SF 1150. (A copy of SF 1150 is not sent to the losing installation.) When necessary, the Postal Service collects for used but unearned leave (see 512.721). When the receiving agency is unable to transfer a leave balance in excess of its leave carryover limit, the employee receives a lump sum payment for earned annual leave that cannot be transferred. The lump sum is calculated by multiplying the person’s postal hourly rate times the number of earned annual leave hours that cannot be transferred.

    512.812 From a Federal Agency to the Postal Service

    Leave credit must be transferred to the employee’s leave account. However, leave that may be transferred is limited to the leave carryover limit applicable to the Postal Service position to be filled. The employee should not have to take LWOP because of delay in transferring leave:

    1. If the SF 1150 does not reach the Eagan ASC before the employee has to take leave, the Eagan ASC may contact the losing agency to request the employee’s leave balance.
    2. If LWOP cannot be avoided, the record can be adjusted when the SF 1150 is received to show paid leave unless the employee requests that the LWOP remain unchanged.
    512.82 Transfer With a Break in Service

    An employee who moves from the Postal Service to another federal agency after a break in service is separated (see 512.7) and later reemployed (see 512.9). Any accumulated leave is not transferred, but is paid for in a lump sum.

    512.9 Recrediting Annual Leave

    512.91 Policy

    Annual leave that may be recredited consists of leave earned under any of the leave systems merged under the Annual and Sick Leave Act of 1951. However, annual leave that is already forfeited cannot be recredited.

    Annual leave is recredited under the act for:

    1. Employees who are reemployed before the period covered by the lump sum payment expires.
    2. Employees who transferred to a position that is not under an annual leave system and transferred back to the Postal Service without a break in Postal Service service of more than 52 continuous calendar weeks.
    3. Employees who return to pay and duty status following a period of suspension or involuntary separation (i.e., cases of retroactive reversals of disciplinary action).
    512.92 Procedures
    512.921 Leave Earned in Prior Service in the Postal Service

    See 512.734.

    512.922 Leave Earned at Another Agency

    When an employee makes application for recredit of leave earned in another agency, the Postal Service contacts the other agency to determine if leave was forfeited at the time of separation. If not, the agency is asked to certify the leave account. The following applies:

    1. If the agency cannot find the leave record, the Postal Service will accept a statement or other evidence of leave credits. The statement should include an estimate of leave credit and reflect the factors forming the basis of the estimate.
    2. If the leave record or statement justifies it, the amount of leave shown is recredited.
    512.923 Leave Buy–Back — OWCP

    The following provisions concern leave buy–back:

    1. Under the provisions of the Injury Compensation Program, current employees may be permitted to buy back sick and annual leave they used while awaiting adjudication of their cases by OWCP. In traumatic injury cases, employees may be permitted to buy back only the leave that is used after the end of the 45–day continuation–of–pay period.
    2. When the employee buys back annual leave for a previous year that exceeds the applicable maximum (see 512.32), the excessive leave is automatically forfeited. Employees are allowed to buy back only those hours that can be carried forward.
    3. Some loss of leave may occur when the period of absence is changed to an LWOP status as a result of leave buy–back. For every 80 hours of paid leave bought back and changed to LWOP, both annual and sick leave are adjusted by the amount earned in 1 pay period. The employee must be informed of this so there will be no misunderstanding.

    See Exhibit 514.4, item e, for further information.