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Leave Without Pay

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary nonpay status and absence from duty that, in most cases, is granted at the employee’s request. In most instances, granting LWOP is a matter of supervisory discretion and may be limited by agency internal policy. Employees, however, have an entitlement to LWOP in the following situations:

  1. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) (Public Law 103-3, February 5, 1993), provides covered employees with an entitlement to a total of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (LWOP) during any 12-month period for certain family and medical needs. (See 5 CFR part 630, subpart L.)
  2. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (Pub.L. 103-353) provides employees with an entitlement to LWOP when employment with an employer is interrupted by a period of service in the uniformed service. (See 5 CFR 353.106.)
  3. Executive Order 5396, July 17, 1930, provides that disabled veterans are entitled to LWOP for necessary medical treatment.
  4. Employees may not be in a pay status while receiving workers’ compensation payments from the Department of Labor.

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