E1 (formerly D1) Q: What kind of leave is available for medical care of self/dependents?
A: Civilians: As with any illness, if you become sick or expect that you have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19, use your sick leave or other time off to go home or take care of yourself or seek medical attention. Sick leave may also be used if it has been determined by health authorities or by a health care provider that your presence on the job because of exposure to a communicable disease would jeopardize the health of others. Sick leave may be requested using normal procedures. Up to 30 days (240 hours) of advanced sick leave or leave without pay may be provided. If you are asymptomatic, you may also telework from home, either under a voluntary telework agreement, or under the Department’s order directing employees/military members to work from home pursuant to an evacuation during a pandemic influenza.
- If you need to support a sick family member, you have three primary options. (1) You can use up to 104 hours of sick leave to provide care for a family member due to illness, medical treatment, or whose presence in the community would jeopardize the health of others. (2) You may request unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under FMLA, you are entitled to up to 12 work weeks of leave without pay for a serious health condition or to care for a spouse or dependent with a serious health condition. OPM’s Family and Medical Leave fact sheet provides additional information. (3) You may take Leave Without Pay (LWOP). LWOP is a temporary non-pay status and absence from duty, granted at supervisor discretion. Taking LWOP may affect your health benefits, retirement benefits and health insurance.
- If you don’t have enough leave, you may request donated annual leave. If you have a personal or family medical emergency related to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, and are absent (or expected to be absent) from duty without available paid leave for at least 24 work hours, you may qualify to receive donated annual leave under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program or Voluntary Leave Bank Program. For more information, email USCG-VLTP@uscg.mil, or visit the USCG’s VLTP Program website. Ask your supervisor or servicing HR office (Servicing Assignment Representative) for additional leave options.