Fedweek

Federal agencies “should grant” employees who suffer adverse side-effects of a Coronavirus inoculation up to two workdays of administrative leave, according to a new posting on the www.saferfederalworkforce.gov site.

That applies for each dose of vaccine (two of the three vaccines require two doses, the other just one) and “if an employee requests more than 2 workdays to recover, the agency may make a determination to grant emergency paid leave as created by the American Rescue Plan Act—if available—or other appropriate leave (e.g. sick leave) at that point,” it says.

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That is in addition to the four hours of leave previously authorized for receiving each dose of vaccine, an amount the guidance terms a minimum while adding that “if an employee needs to spend less time getting the vaccine, only the needed amount of administrative leave should be granted.”

Administrative leave, also commonly called excused absence, is paid time off without charge to any other form of leave that agencies can grant at their discretion. Separately, the American Rescue Plan law created a “emergency paid leave” fund from which agencies can draw to provide paid time off for federal employees unable to work due to certain pandemic-related reasons.

Meanwhile, DoD has issued a memo for its own workforce setting similar policies while specifying that the amount of time allowed should only be enough to cover time spent traveling to and from the vaccination provider, the time spent there, and a “reasonable amount of recovery time.” Supervisors may grant additional time in “extenuating circumstances.”

“Employees may not be authorized to perform overtime work for purposes of obtaining a vaccination outside their scheduled tour of duty,” it adds, and compensatory time is not to be granted for those who are vaccinated outside of their working hours. Administrative leave further is not available to take a family member to a vaccination.

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