The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently issued final regulations concerning the use of sick leave to provide care for a family member or to make arrangements for or attend the funeral of a family member. The final regulations were issued to standardize and simplify leave programs and policies to support consolidating agency human resources and payroll systems and to continue OPM's efforts to provide timely guidance on leave flexibilities available to employees in the event of a pandemic health crisis. The final regulations are available on OPM's Web site at http://www.opm.gov/fedregis/.
The final regulations remove the requirement for an employee to maintain a minimum sick leave balance (e.g., 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). The new rule will assist employees who may be required to care for a family member in the event of a pandemic influenza. In addition, the final regulations clarify that an agency may advance an employee up to 30 days of sick leave for a serious disability or ailment of the employee or a family member or for purposes related to the adoption of a child. Finally, the regulations establish a standardized time period of 15 calendar days within which an employee must provide administratively acceptable evidence as to the reason for his or her use of sick leave.
We have updated the fact sheets on leave programs and policies and Frequently Asked Questions on Leave Policy to reflect the new rules. The fact sheets are available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/HTML/factindx.asp. The questions and answers are available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/HTML/LVQAIND.asp.
OPM also issued interim regulations on providing evacuation payments to an employee who is ordered to evacuate from his or her regular worksite and directed to work from home (or an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee) during a pandemic health crisis. In addition, the interim regulations include a minor clarification of the rules for determining an employee's official worksite when he or she teleworks from an alternative worksite during an emergency situation, such as a pandemic health crisis. The interim regulations are available on OPM's Web site at http://www.opm.gov/fedregis/. A new fact sheet on Evacuation Payments During a Pandemic Health Crisis is available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/html/PandEvac.asp. An updated fact sheet on Official Worksite for Location-Based Pay Purposes is available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/html/Official_Duty_Station.asp.
For further information, you may contact your agency's assigned OPM Human Capital Officer. Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for assistance.