Q. What is the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program?
A. The Voluntary Leave Transfer (VLT) program allows civilian employees to donate unused annual leave to another employee who is on non-pay status because of a personal or family medical emergency.
Q. What is a medical emergency?
A. A medical emergency is defined as a medical condition of an employee or the employee’s family member that is likely to require the employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time (more than three days), resulting in a substantial loss of income because of the unavailability of paid leave.
Q. What is available paid leave?
A. Available paid leave means accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave, and recredited and restored annual or sick leave. Available paid leave does not include advance annual or sick leave.
Q. Who qualifies as a family member?
A. Family member is defined as your spouse; your parents or your spouse’s parents; your children, including adopted children and their spouses; your brothers and sisters and their spouses; or any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association is the equivalent of a family relationship.
Q. How do I become eligible to become a leave recipient?
A. Before approving your application to become a leave recipient, your supervisor and HRO shall determine that you will be or are expected to be without pay during your medical emergency at least three days -- 24 hours. In the case of a part-time employee or an employee with an uncommon tour of duty, the absence from duty will equal at least 30 percent of the average number of hours in the employee's biweekly scheduled tour of duty.
Q. Do I have to provide a doctor’s statement?
A. Yes. You will need to provide certification from one or more physicians, or other appropriate experts.
Q. Is there anything else I have to provide with my application, besides doctor’s certification?
A. Yes. HRO will also ask you to submit a copy of your most current Leave and Earning Statement to verify your current leave balances.
Q. How will I know if my application is approved?
A. If your application is approved or disapproved, you -- or your personal representative who made the application on your behalf -- will be notified within 10 work days after your application is received. If the application is not approved, you will be provided with the reasons for its disapproval.
Q. What is paid leave status?
A. Paid leave status is the administrative status of an employee while the employee is using accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave.
Q. What is shared leave status?
A. Shared leave status is the administrative status of an employee using transferred leave.
Q. Do I earn leave while I am in a shared leave status?
A. While you are in a shared leave status, annual and sick leave shall accrue at the same rate as if you were in a paid leave status.
Q. May I use my accrued leave during my shared leave status?
A. Your accrued leave shall not become available for use and may not otherwise be taken into account until after the medical emergency ends, or if the medical emergency has not yet terminated, once you have exhausted all leave made available to you.
Q. What is the maximum amount of annual leave or sick leave I can earn while I am in a shared leave status?
A. The maximum amount of annual leave or sick leave that you may accrue while in a shared leave status during a medical emergency may not exceed 40 hours respectively (or, in the case of a part-time employee or an employee with an uncommon tour of duty, the average number of hours in the employee's weekly scheduled tour of duty).
Q. Who can become a leave donor?
A. Any civilian employee who submits a Voluntary Leave Transfer request form to donate annual leave to the leave account of a leave recipient approved by the Human Resources Office.
Q. May I donate leave to my supervisor?
A. No. Leave donations cannot be transferred to a leave donor's immediate supervisor.
Q. How much leave may I donate?
A. In any one leave year, you may donate no more than a total of one-half of the amount of annual leave you would be entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made. If you earn 104 hours of annual leave -- four hours each pay period -- you may donate up to 52 hours. If you earn 156 hours of annual leave -- six hours each pay period, you may donate up to 78 hours. If you earn 208 hours of annual leave -- eight hours each pay period -- you may donate 104 hours.
Q. What if I have "Use or Lose" leave?
A. If you are projected to have annual leave that will be subject to forfeiture at the end of the leave year, the maximum amount of annual leave that may be donated during the leave year shall be the lesser of--
One-half of the amount of annual leave you will be entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made.
The number of hours remaining in the leave year (as of the date of the transfer) for which you are scheduled to work and receive pay.
Note: In some cases, the agency may waive the limitations on donating annual leave.
Q. During my medical emergency I received more leave than I needed – may I continue to use the donated leave?
A. You may use annual leave transferred to your account only for the purpose of a medical emergency for which the leave donation was approved.
Q. I received more leave donations that I needed – may I donate this extra leave to someone else?
A. Sorry. Leave donations may not be transferred to another leave recipient.
Q. I borrowed leave during my medical emergency and now I received a leave donation – can I use this donation to pay back my leave debt?
A. Leave donations may be substituted retroactively for periods of leave without pay (LWOP) or used to liquidate an indebtedness for advanced annual or sick leave granted on or after the beginning of the period of medical emergency for which LWOP or advanced annual or sick leave was granted.
Q. I work for the Department of the Navy and my sister works for the Department of Labor – can I donate leave to her?
A. Yes. A leave recipient's employing agency shall accept the transfer of annual leave from leave donors employed by one or more other agencies when—
A family member of a leave recipient is employed by another agency and requests the transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient.
In the judgment of the leave recipient's employing agency, the amount of annual leave transferred from leave donors employed by the leave recipient's employing agency may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the leave recipient.
In the judgment of the leave recipient's employing agency, acceptance of leave transferred from another agency would further the purpose of the voluntary leave transfer program.
Q. Who approves leave donations from one agency to another?
A. The employing agency of a leave donor who wishes to donate annual leave to a leave recipient in another agency shall verify the availability of annual leave in the leave donor's annual leave account. Additionally, they will determine that the amount of annual leave to be donated does not exceed the limitations.
Q. When does a leave recipient’s medical emergency end?
A. HRO will monitor the status of the leave recipient's medical emergency to ensure that the leave recipient continues to be affected by a medical emergency. The medical emergency affecting a leave recipient shall terminate--
When the leave recipient's federal service is terminated.
At the end of the pay period in which the leave recipient's employing agency receives notice from the leave recipient or from a personal representative of the leave recipient that the leave recipient is no longer affected by a medical emergency.
At the end of the pay period in which the leave recipient's employing agency determines, and an opportunity for the leave recipient (or, if appropriate, a personal representative of the leave recipient) to confirm that the leave recipient is no longer affected by a medical emergency.
At the end of the pay period in which the leave recipient's employing agency receives notice that the Office of Personnel Management has approved an application for disability retirement for the leave recipient under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System.
Q. What happens to the unused leave donations?
A. When the medical emergency affecting a leave recipient terminates, no further requests for transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient may be granted, and any unused transferred annual leave remaining to the credit of the leave recipient shall be restored to the leave donors.
Q. What if during my approved medical emergency, I received no leave donations?
A. In certain circumstances management may deem a medical emergency to continue for the purpose of providing a leave recipient an adequate period of time within which to receive donations of annual leave.
Q. How are unused leave donations returned to the donors?
A. Transferred annual leave remaining to the credit of a leave recipient when the medical emergency ends shall be restored, to the extent administratively feasible, by transfer to the annual leave accounts of leave donors who, on the date leave restoration is made, are employed by a Federal agency.
Q. My Workers Compensation claim was approved and I want to buy back my annual leave – what’s going to happen to my donated leave?
A. If you elect to buy back annual leave as a result of a claim for an employment-related injury approved by the Office of Workers Compensation Program, and you received donated leave, the amount of leave bought back shall be restored to the leave donor(s).
Q. My co-worker is sick and I’m feeling pressured about making a donation – do I have to give her leave?
A. An employee may not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other employee for the purpose of interfering with any right such employee may have with respect to donating, receiving, or using annual leave. The term "intimidate, threaten, or coerce" includes promising to confer or conferring any benefit (such as an appointment or promotion or compensation) or effecting or threatening to effect any reprisal (such as deprivation of appointment, promotion, or compensation).