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New Sick Leave Regulations

September 22, 2006


To: All Employees, U.S. Geological Survey
From: S. Kaye Cook, Chief, Office of Human Resources
Subject: New Sick Leave Regulations

In an effort to standardize and simplify sick leave policies across the Federal government, the Office of Personnel Management issued the following changes to sick leave regulations:

  • Employees are no longer required to maintain a minimum sick leave balance (80 hours) in order to use the maximum amount of sick leave available for family care and bereavement (up to 13 days for general medical care of a family member or bereavement or up to 12 weeks for a serious health condition of a family member).

  • An employee may be advanced 30 days of sick leave for a serious disability or ailment of the employee, for a family member's serious disability or ailment, or for purposes related to the adoption of a child or a proportional amount for an employee on a part-time schedule or uncommon tour of duty.

  • If medical certification is requested by a supervisor or manager to support an employee's use of sick leave, the employee is required to provide administratively acceptable evidence no later than 15 calendar days after the date such documentation is requested. If this is not practicable despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts, the employee must provide such certification within a reasonable period of time, but no later than 30 calendar days.

These regulations are effective September 18, 2006, and are available on OPM's Web site at The changes supersede the current guidance in the U.S. Geological Survey Attendance and Leave Handbook, Chapter 4, Section 7 and Chapter 7, Sections 3, 5, and 7.

If you have any questions, please contact your servicing human resources office.

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