|Subchapter 4630 - Absence and Leave
|Purpose of this Subchapter||This Subchapter gives managers/supervisors/employees information needed to understand and administer leave benefits within Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP): Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA); and to ensure that leave benefits conform to law and regulation.|
|Related Regulations||This Subchapter supplements the regulations stated in MRP Directive 4630.1.|
The following terms appear throughout the text of this document:
Accrued leave - Leave earned by an employee during the current leave year that is unused at any given time in that year.
Accumulated leave - The unused leave remaining to the credit of an employee at the beginning of the leave year.
Administrative leave - An authorized absence, without loss of pay and without a charge to leave which is charged to Transaction Code (TC) 66 on the Time and Attendance (T&A) report. It is granted for reasons determined to be in the Government's interests. An employee on it is not acting within the employer-employee relationship and is not subject to the control or responsibility of the Department as an employer.
Adjusted home departure policy - Policy permitting employees to leave home later than their normal departure times.
Adjusted work dismissal policy - Policy permitting employees to leave work early, relative to their normal departure times.
Administrative workweek - The period of 7 consecutive calendar days designated by Marketing and Regulatory Programs as Sunday through Saturday.
Adoption - A legal process in which an individual becomes a legal parent of another's child.
Advance leave - Leave requested and granted before it is earned.
Application for leave - SF-71 (Application for Leave) or other acceptable format, e.g., memo from the employee, etc.
Appropriate (or established) channels - Process for reviewing and approving various documents, as determined by the organizational entity.
Basic work requirement - The number of hours, excluding overtime hours, that an employee is required to work or account for by leave or otherwise.
Break in service - "Off the rolls"; a period of interrupted Federal employment beginning with a separation action and continuing for 1 or more workdays before reemployment in the Federal Service.
Calendar year - The period from January 1 through December 31.
Continuous employment - "On the rolls;” a period of Federal service beginning with an appointment and ending with the effective date of a separation action.
Communicable Disease - For which isolation and quarantine are authorized include: Cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and influenza that causes or has the potential to cause a pandemic.
Covered Service Member - Member of the armed forces including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is in an outpatient status, or on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness; or Veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious illness or injury and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
Emergency or disaster - A major disaster or emergency, as declared by the President, that results in severe adverse effects for a substantial number of employees (e.g., loss of life or property, serious injury, or mental illness as a result of a direct threat to life or health).
Emergency leave donor - A current employee whose voluntary written request for transfer of annual leave to an emergency leave transfer program is appropved by MRP Human Resources.
Emergency leave recipient - A current employee for whom MRP has approved an application to receive annual leave from the emergency leave transfer program.
Essential functions - An employee's fundamental duties outlined in the official position description or defined by the supervisor. An employee who must be absent from work to receive medical treatment for a serious health condition is considered to be unable to perform the essential functions of the position during the absence for treatment.
Excused absence - An authorized absence, without loss of pay and without charge to leave which is charged to TC 01 on the T&A. It is granted for reasons determined to be in the Government's interests. It is granted for performing or participating in officially sanctioned government activities that are not within the scope of one's regular duties. It is not the same as administrative leave.
Family member - Under sick leave regulations, family member means the following relatives of the employee: (1) spouse, and parents thereof; (2) Sons and daughters, and spouses thereof; (3) Parents, and spouses thereof; (4) brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; (5) Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof; (6) Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic partners of any individual in (2) through (5) above; and, (7) Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. Items (2) through (5) are further defined below:
Family Member for Military Family Leave - The employee must be the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin (defined as the nearest blood relative) to the service member. A spouse is a partner in any legally recognized marriage, regardless of the employee’s state of residency. The term “spouse” only includes unmarried domestic partners if they meet the requirements of being spouses in a common-law marriage in States where such marriages are recognized. (See: OPM memo, “Family and Medical Leave Act [FMLA] Coverage of Same-Sex Spouses” dtd 10/21/2013.) A same-sex spouse will be considered a "spouse" for FMLA purposes if the marriage was valid where and when it was entered into, i.e., "celebrated," regardless of where the employee resides. This includes in the definition of "spouse" those individuals in legally recognized same-sex marriages, common law marriages, and marriages that were validly entered into outside of the United States. This does not, however, change the supervisor’s ability to require employees who take FMLA leave to provide reasonable documentation confirming the existence of a familial relationship, including a copy of a marriage license or a court document, or a simple statement asserting that the requisite familial relationship exists. (See S. Brammer, Assistant General Counsel, OGC –USDA, email dated March 10, 2015.)
Fiscal year - The period from October 1 through September 30.
Foster care - 24-hour care for children in substitution for, and away from, their parents or guardian. Such placement is made by or with an agreement of the State as a result of a voluntary agreement by the parent or guardian that the child will be removed from the home, or pursuant to a judicial determination of the necessity for foster care and involves agreement between the State and foster family to take the child. Although foster care may be with relatives of the child, State action is involved in the removal of the child from parental custody.
Full-time - A regularly scheduled tour of duty which requires the employee to be in a leave and/or duty status for 80 hours each biweekly pay period.
Home leave - Leave authorized and earned by service abroad for use in the United States, in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or in the territories or possessions of the United States.
Intermittent - Work based on sporadic and unpredictable requirements which prevents advance scheduling of a regular tour of duty. Employees work on an as-needed basis, are paid only for those hours worked, and are not entitled to earn or use leave.
Isolation - The separation of persons who have a specific infectious illness from those who are healthy and the restriction of their movement to stop the spread of that illness.
Leave donor - An employee who voluntarily donates annual leave to an approved leave recipient.
Leave recipient - An employee whose application to receive donated annual leave has been officially approved.
Leave year - The period beginning with the first day of the first complete pay period in a calendar year and ending with the day immediately before the first day of the first complete pay period in the following calendar year.
Lump sum payment - Cash payment for annual leave to an employee's credit upon separation from Government service or change in work schedule to a non-leave earning position.
Maternity leave - An unofficial term used for leave relating to pregnancy and confinement. The leave may be a combination of sick leave, annual leave, and leave without pay, as well as any accumulated hours of (nonreligious) compensatory time or credit time.
Medical certificate - A written statement, signed and dated by a registered practicing physician or other practitioner, certifying to the incapacitation, examination, treatment, or to the period of disability while the patient was receiving professional treatment.
Military furlough - An approved absence from duty without pay granted to an eligible employee while on active duty with the uniformed services.
Military leave - Paid leave provided to reservists and members of the National Guard under 5 U.S.C. 6323.
Military Member - Means a member of the Armed Forces and is included in the definition of “covered active duty.”
Mixed tour of duty - A work schedule which consists of part-time work during a portion of the year and full-time and/or intermittent work during other times.
Part-time - A regularly scheduled tour of duty which generally requires an employee to be on duty no less than 16 hours and no more than 32 hours per week.
Pay period - The 2-week period which begins on a Sunday and ends 14 days later on a Saturday.
Quarantine - The separation and restriction of movement of persons who, while not yet ill, have been exposed to an infectious agent and therefore may become infectious.
Seasonal employment - Identifiable periods of recurring work lasting less than 12 months each year.
Note: For the purposes of using FMLA leave the law also adds conditions existing prior to active duty that were aggravated by active duty and to include provisions related to “serious injury or illness” for veterans. Section 565 [b]  of NDAA for FY2010 expanded this definition in 5 U.S.C. 6381 .
Veteran - Means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. (Section 565 [b]  adds the definition of “veteran” to 5 U.S.C. 6381  as defined under 38 U.S.C. 1010.)
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