ADMIN LEAVE DURING NON-DUTY TIME
Can an employee receive admin leave on a day in which he/she was off on annual leave? Yes, according to the FLRA.
Back in 2003 the AFGE Social Security Council won a case in which FLRA announced that it saw nothing in federal regulations that barred an arbitrator from granting admin leave to an employee who is otherwise not in a duty status. In this particular case, AFGE, 58 FLRAS 630, management had granted four hours of admin leave to any employee who had come to work on Friday, December 23, the day before the federal Christmas holiday was observed. However, when the union asked if all the employees who were on annual leave on the 23rd would get the time as well, management said they would not. It had the same position regarding those who were off on an AWS day or who worked part-time.
A grievance was filed and the arbitrator agreed with the union’s claim that the contract required the employer to treat all employees alike. He imposed the following as a remedy: “[T]he Agency make those field office and teleservice center employees whole either by granting them four hours of administrative leave, or, if they are part-time employees, granting them administrative leave equal to one-half their part-time tour hours, to be taken at a mutually agreeable time. Alternatively, they may be made whole by restoring an equivalent amount of leave to their leave records.” (It is important to note that the arbitrator found everyone was entitled to the admin leave because management portrayed it as a reward for working hard throughout the year. Whether he would have made the same decision about admin leave granted for inclement weather purposes is unknown.)
The agency filed exceptions claiming that federal regulations barred granting admin leave to employees not scheduled to work and cited 5 CFR 610.210 as the basis for that claim. FLRA ruled that it could find nothing in that regulation, which merely defined the concept of “tour of duty,” that barred granting the leave to those in non-duty status. It went on to remind management that , “The Authority has long recognized that agencies have broad discretion to grant administrative leave to employees for brief periods of time, such as the 4 hours involved in this case.” In other words, nothing in government-wide regulation entitled the non-duty employees to the leave; the parties had negotiated for the entitlement.
We wanted to remind the FEDSMILL.com community about this case because, like so many others, it is easy to lose sight of. As far as we can tell, it has never been cited again. So, tuck this valuable precedent (AFGE, 58 FLRA 630) away in your memory for the next time management grants admin leave.