Issue Briefs

Following is a checklist OPM has produced for employees planning time off for childbirth, adoption or foster care reasons, as part of a publication bringing together policies on annual leave, sick leave, leave without pay, advanced leave and other policies for those purposes.

The following checklist should be used as an organizational tool before meeting with your manager or servicing human resource office. (Note: Check with your servicing human resource office to confirm what flexibilities are available at your agency.)

Things to Do:

* Read the OPM Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care

* Review relevant OPM fact sheets using the links in the Handbook

* Know your internal agency policies and guidelines for requesting and using leave and workplace flexibilities

* Determine the amount of time off you would like to take
Hours needed:_______

* Determine your projected leave/paid time off balances at the time leave will be needed
Available sick leave hours: _______
Available annual leave hours:_______
Other available paid time off (compensatory time, credit hours): ____
Amount of unpaid time off (LWOP) you wish to take: _____

* Determine the gap, if any, between the amount of leave/paid time off you would like to take, versus the amount of leave/paid time off you will have available at the time leave will be needed

Hours of leave/paid time off hours wanted minus hours of leave/paid time off accrued: _______

* Ask questions of your coworkers
How much time did you take off and how did you structure that time off?
How did you transition back to work afterward?
Is there anything you would have done differently?

Know Your Options:

* Advanced Sick Leave and Advanced Annual leave –
What options does my agency provide to repay advanced leave?

How will I repay the advanced leave?
Can I apply for donated annual leave to repay advanced leave?
How long will it take to repay my advanced leave?

* Voluntary Leave Transfer or Voluntary Leave Bank Programs – familiarize yourself with your agency’s policies and rules for participation well in advance of needing donated/transferred annual leave
Will I be eligible to become a leave recipient? If so, how/when should I apply?

If your agency has a leave bank, when is the open enrollment period? Will you use donated annual leave to repay any potential advanced leave indebtedness?
* Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave –

Are you eligible for FMLA? If so, when will you be invoking it?
Will you be substituting paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave? If so, what type and how much?
Do you want to use your FMLA leave intermittently? If so, speak with your manager about your work schedule.

* Telework
Is situational telework an option? Discuss with your HR office and your manager.

* Work Schedules
Is an alternative work schedule (AWS) an option?
If your agency offers AWS, what type of schedule do they offer (flexible work schedules versus compressed work schedules)?
Does your agency allow part-time employment or job sharing