5 Employee Benefits

510 Leave

511 General

511.1 Administration Policy

The Postal Service policy is to administer the leave program on an equitable basis for all employees, considering (a) the needs of the Postal Service and (b) the welfare of the individual employee.

511.2 Responsibilities

511.21 Postal Officials

Postal officials:

  1. Administer the leave program.
  2. Inform employees of their leave balance.
  3. Approve or disapprove requests for leave.
  4. Record leave in accordance with Handbook F–21, Time and Attendance, or Handbook F–22, PSDS Time and Attendance.
  5. Control unscheduled absences (see 511.4).
511.22 Eagan Accounting Service Center

The Eagan Accounting Service Center (ASC):

  1. Maintains official leave records.
  2. Provides leave data to installation when employees are being separated.
511.23 Postal Employees

Postal employees:

  1. Request leave by completing PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence.
  2. Obtain approval of PS Form 3971 before taking leave — except in cases of emergencies.
  3. Avoid unnecessary forfeiture of annual leave.

511.3 Eligibility

511.31 Covered

Covered by the leave program are:

  1. Full-time career employees.
  2. Part-time regular career employees.
  3. Part-time flexible career employees.
  4. To the extent provided in the USPS National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) National Agreement, temporary employees assigned to rural carrier duties.

Note: Transitional employees are not covered by the leave program, but do earn leave as specified in their union’s national agreement.

References to A–E Postmasters also apply to Part-Time Postmasters.

511.32 Not Covered

Not covered by the leave program are:

  1. Postmaster relief/leave replacements, noncareer officers in charge, and other temporary employees except as described in 511.31d.
  2. Casual employees.
  3. Individuals who work on a fee or contract basis, such as job cleaners.

511.4 Unscheduled Absence

511.41 Definition

Unscheduled absences are any absences from work that are not requested and approved in advance.

511.42 Management Responsibilities

To control unscheduled absences, postal officials:

  1. Inform employees of leave regulations.
  2. Discuss attendance records with individual employees when warranted.
  3. Maintain and review PS Form 3972, Absence Analysis, and PS Form 3971.
511.43 Employee Responsibilities

Employees are expected to maintain their assigned schedule and must make every effort to avoid unscheduled absences. In addition, employees must provide acceptable evidence for absences when required.