Effective Date: September 01, 2022
Expiration Date: September 01, 2027
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6.1.1 The leave bank is a pooled fund of annual leave established in accordance with 5 CFR pt. 630, which allows employees to donate unused accrued annual leave to an approved leave bank.
6.1.2 Approved leave recipients shall exhaust donated leave from the VLTP prior to using donated leave from the leave bank.
6.1.3 The NSSC shall provide program and administrative support to the Leave Bank Board (the Board), including validating eligibility, assisting with monitoring the status of medical emergencies, and communicating open enrollment periods and related marketing and enrollment activities to support the VLBP.
6.1.4 The VLBP was created to fill a gap for employees during a temporary medical emergency or while awaiting approval for disability retirement. This program is not a replacement for disability retirement. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, approval of VLBP participation should balance an employee’s individual needs with the need to ensure organizational work requirements are fulfilled, and Agency operations are conducted efficiently and effectively. Accordingly, supervisors should consider the following factors when approving or denying an eligible employee’s request:
a. The mission needs of the organization.
b. Whether there are other options better suited to the situation, such as telework, a change in work schedule, etc.
c. The likelihood the employee will return to work. If the medical documentation is unclear about the employee’s ability to return to work, an application for disability retirement should be discussed as an appropriate course of action.
Employees who earn annual leave and contribute at least the minimum amount of annual leave established by the Board are eligible to become a member of the leave bank.
6.3.1 The Board consists of:
a. Senior management official from the OCHCO, who will serve as the Chairperson.
b. Servicing HR Director appointed by the CHCO on an annual rotating basis. The HR Director may further delegate to the Deputy HR Director, the Employee Relations Officer, or a HR supervisor/management official.
c. A Labor representative.
6.3.2 The OCHCO provides administrative support for the operations of the Board.
6.3.3 Board members may be a member of the leave bank; however, board members shall recuse themselves from acting on matters involving their own leave, the leave of family members, or any other matters in which they do not believe they can be impartial. When a board member recuses, the Chair will appoint an alternate.
6.3.4 The Board administers the leave bank program in accordance with regulations. In addition, the Board shall perform the following functions:
a. Establish the open enrollment periods and the minimum amount of leave required for leave bank membership.
b. Approve or disapprove leave recipient requests and notify the NSSC within ten workdays of receipt of request.
c. When the Leave Bank Board denies a request or does not approve the number of hours requested, the Leave Bank Board shall provide a rationale for the denial in writing along with information pertaining to the employee’s right to request reconsideration.
d. Determining the amount of leave granted from the leave bank to each leave recipient.
e. Deciding on individual or blanket waivers of annual leave donation limitations for the leave bank program.
f. Conducting periodic assessments of the program to ensure the needs of the membership are being met.
g. Maintaining records and reports in accordance with regulatory requirements.
6.4.1 To become a member of the leave bank, employees may enroll during an annual open or individual enrollment period through the Agency time and attendance system.
6.4.2 Employees who are new to the Agency or were on an extended absence, defined as an absence of at least 30 calendar days during the open enrollment period, may join the leave bank during the individual enrollment period. This period is a maximum of 60 calendar days starting on the date the employee enters on duty with the Agency or returns from the extended absence.
6.4.3 Only leave bank members can become recipients of the leave bank. Once enrolled, an employee’s membership is automatically extended each year, unless the employee terminates their membership in accordance with this chapter.
6.4.4 Employees enrolled in the leave bank shall deposit the amount of annual leave equal to the amount accrued during one pay period to the leave bank during the first pay period of the leave year, unless the Board has raised or lowered this minimum amount in accordance with paragraph 6.4.6 below.
6.4.5 The annual leave deduction for employees who enroll outside of the open enrollment period will occur the first pay period after enrollment. Thereafter, employees are subject to automatic leave deductions during the first pay period of each leave year.
6.4.6 The Board may raise or lower the minimum amount of leave required for the leave bank membership; however, any changes will be communicated to all employees before the effective date of the change. The Board may also request additional leave on a voluntary basis from members, when needed.
6.4.7 The Board may not return a contribution of annual leave to a leave donor after a deposit to the leave bank under any circumstances, unless the Agency leave bank program is terminated.
Leave bank members and non-members may donate accrued annual leave to the leave bank any time, subject to Agency Leave Bank Board limitations. This blanket waiver is subject to change.
Requests to become a leave recipient or continue enrollment as a leave recipient will be submitted via the Agency time and attendance system in accordance with Agency guidance.
6.7.1 If a request for leave is denied or if the Board does not approve the number of hours requested, the employee will receive notification explaining the reason(s) for the denial or modification to the original request. An employee may request reconsideration of the Board’s determination within 15 business days of notification. Reconsideration requests will be submitted to the Board via the NSSC with the reason(s) why the request should be reconsidered and any additional documentation to further support the request.
6.7.2 The Board will review a reconsideration request and render a written decision within ten workdays of receipt of the request. The Board’s decision is final. The NSSC will notify the employee in writing of the Board’s decision.
6.8.1 An employee may use leave granted from the leave bank for the medical emergency for which the leave recipient was approved. Employees shall submit a separate leave request to their supervisor for approval even though the medical emergency was approved for leave bank participation.
6.8.2 All leave, including accrued annual or sick leave, any advanced sick leave, or leave donated from the VLTP, is to be exhausted prior to using leave granted by the Board. Leave withdrawn from the leave bank may be substituted retroactively for any period of leave without pay or used to liquidate indebtedness for any period of advanced leave that began on or after the date the Board has determined the medical emergency began.
6.9.1 Employees shall provide notice to their supervisor and to the NSSC via the Agency time and attendance system in accordance with Agency guidance when the medical emergency ends.
6.9.2 After 30 days from the date the medical emergency terminated, an employee is not eligible to request or receive leave from the leave bank for the medical emergency for which the leave recipient was approved, and the NSSC shall return any leave not used for the medical emergency to the leave bank.
6.10.1 Employees may only terminate their membership during an open enrollment period. Membership automatically terminates upon separation from the Agency.
6.10.2 Employees who separate in the middle of a leave year are not eligible to be recredited with the annual leave that was donated to the leave bank to become a member, regardless of the duration an employee was on the rolls for the leave year.
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