Using Your Leave

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If I have said it once I will say it a million times.  One of the biggest perks we have as federal employees is the flexibility it provides when we need to be away from our post. Our Union has fought hard to make sure this is a standard across the agency.  Our contract explains the available options when it comes to taking leave, and it also explains how to communicate that need to Management.  With our work dynamic changing so much over the last 2 years, it is important that you effectively communicate with your manager when you are not going to be at work or on post.  As a steward, I have seen a trend in AWOL cases simply because the communication was not done to the manager’s standards.  An easy fix is to stick with what our contract outlines. When you need to utilize your leave, no matter what the situation is, employees need contact their managers via phone and leave a voicemail on the managers work line. You may also report your absences via email.  This should be through your work email to ensure your manager receives it. It is not recommended to use your personal email when communicating with managers, as IRS may block those emails from coming through. 

Skype is also not a form of effective communication. 

Your email or phone call can be short and sweet.  All that needs to be stated is:

1. Your Name

2. The type of leave you are using; and

3. the number of hours you are requesting

It is not necessary for you to go into details on your need for the leave. Just always remember, it is your responsibility to ensure your manager knows of your need for leave and that management has timely received any necessary doctors’ notes or documentations. 

Rachel Lovins