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Use of Sick Leave for Family Care or Bereavement Purposes

Friday, December 5, 1997
CPM 97-13
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Other Stakeholders
From: 
Donald J. Winstead, Assistant Director for Compensation Policy
Subject: 
Use of Sick Leave for Family Care or Bereavement Purposes

In the Administration's continuing commitment to assist Federal employees in balancing their work and family responsibilities, the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) regulations permitting the use of sick leave for family care or bereavement purposes remain in effect following the expiration of the Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act on December 21, 1997.

The Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act (Public Law 103-388, October 22, 1994) (the Act) amended the law for a 3-year trial period to expand the purposes for which sick leave may be used to include family care and bereavement. Prior to the effective date of the Act, OPM issued final regulations under its permanent regulatory authority (5 U.S.C. 6311) to permit covered full-time employees to use a total of up to 40 hours (5 workdays) of sick leave each year to (1) care for a family member who is incapacitated as a result of physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth; (2) assist a family member who receives medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment; or (3) make arrangements for or attend the funeral of a family member. In addition, the regulations allow a covered full-time employee who maintains a balance of at least 80 hours of sick leave to use an additional 64 hours (8 workdays) of sick leave per year for these purposes, bringing the total amount of sick leave available for family care or bereavement purposes to a maximum of 104 hours (13 workdays) per year. (The regulations are found at 5 CFR part 630, subpart D.)

Federal employees and agencies have expressed full support for the use of sick leave for family care or bereavement purposes because the program fosters goodwill and creates a more compassionate family friendly workplace, resulting in a more productive workforce that enables agencies to accomplish their missions.

Questions about OPM's regulations on the use of sick leave for family care or bereavement purposes may to directed to OPM's Pay and Leave Administration Division at (202) 606-2858 or email at payleave@opm.gov.