A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employee claimed recredit of sick leave incident to his being placed on involuntary leave. After the employee voluntarily took 1 week of sick leave and returned to work, his supervisor ordered him to return to sick leave status, which he remained in for 1 month before returning to reduced duties. Although the employee claimed recredit for 159 hours of sick leave, FAA only restored 104 hours to his account. The employee appealed the FAA determination, contending that: (1) FAA should have permitted him to perform administrative duties after his voluntary leave instead of after the date of medical disqualification; and (2) the FAA report of his sick leave balance was contrary to agency regulations requiring the use of sick leave prior to retirement on disability. GAO held that, where there are no medical findings to support an administrative determination, placing an employee on involuntary leave constitutes an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action. GAO found that FAA failed to follow its regulations since: (1) it did not document the involuntary sick leave; (2) the use of involuntary annual leave is only for emergency situations; and (3) an employee who is eligible for disability retirement is entitled to use his accrued sick leave prior to separation. Accordingly, FAA was required to readjust the employee's separation date and recompute his entitlements to exhaust the full 159 hours of restored leave.
Skip to Highlights