On Saturday, June 10, President Clinton announced that the Federal Government is establishing an expanded sick leave policy for Federal employees. To implement this policy, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will issue final regulations tomorrow, June 13. The final regulations will become effective on June 20, 2000. Under the final regulations, an employee may use a total of up to 12 weeks of sick leave each year to care for a family member with a serious health condition. This benefit broadens the options available for employees to meet their family responsibilities.
The definition of "family member" for sick leave purposes remains unchanged. It includes the following relatives of the employee: (a) spouse and parents thereof; (b) children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof; (c) parents; (d) brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; and (e) any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. "Serious health condition" has the same meaning as found in OPM's regulations at 5 CFR 630.1202 for administering the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
You may view a copy of the regulations on OPM's web site at http://www.opm.gov/fedregis/index.htm. In addition, questions and answers on the administration of this new entitlement are posted at http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/slQ&A.htm. I also encourage you to share with your employees the fact sheet on "Sick Leave for Care of a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition" available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/HTML/12week.htm.
For further information, please contact our Pay and Leave Administration Division by calling (202) 606-2858, sending a FAX to (202) 606-0824, or sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.