Final Regulations Regarding Absence and Leave; Creditable Service

U.S. Department of Justice
Justice Management Division
 Personnel Staff                       

 

Washington, D.C. 20530

October 17, 2006

MEMORANDUM FOR BUREAU HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICERS

FROM:            Raymond A. Pagliarini, Jr.
                         Director, Human Resources

SUBJECT:      Final Regulations Regarding Absence and Leave; Creditable Service

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued final regulations to provide Federal agencies with the authority to grant a newly appointed or employees reappointed after a break in service of 90 days or more credit for prior work experience that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining the employee's annual leave accrual rate.

An agency may grant service credit for prior non-Federal work experience or for active duty uniformed service for an employee who received an honorable discharge. An employee may receive credit if the experience was obtained in a position having duties that directly relate to the duties of the position to which the employee is being appointed. Additionally, an agency may use this authority to recruit an individual with the skills and experience necessary to achieve an important agency mission or performance goal. The regulations are effective on October 18, 2006.

The Federal Register document is attached for your review. You may also review the document at the following web link: http://www.opm.gov/fedregis/2006/71-091806-54570-a.pdf.

The following officials (or their designees) are authorized to grant service credits: (1) Component heads designated in 28 C.F.R. § 0.138 with personnel authority over non-attorney personnel grades GS-1 through GS-15 and wage board employees in their jurisdictions, the Inspector General with respect to such employees in his office, and the Assistant Attorney General for Administration with respect to such employees in all other components; (2) the Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management with respect to attorneys in grades GS-15 and below, Assistant United States Trustees, Assistant United States Attorneys, special attorneys and special assistants to the Attorney General appointed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 515(b), and attorneys appointed to assist the United Sates Attorney; and (3) the Deputy Attorney General with respect to employees in the Senior Executive Service, Senior Level positions, grades GS-16 through GS-18, and Immigration Judges. The Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management has delegated his authority to grant service credits to newly hired attorneys to the Heads of the Offices, Boards, and Divisions. See ARM 2005-15 (http://dojnet.doj.gov/oarm/0515.pdf) dated December 1, 2005 for details.

Where an authorized official determines (1) that the skills and experience of a selectee are essential to a new position, and (2) these skills and experience were acquired through the performance of duties in a non-Federal position or an active duty uniform position that directly relates to the duties of the position for which the individual has been selected, an authorized official may grant a selectee (who is entering a position covered by the Federal annual and sick leave programs established under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 63) credit for this prior service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual rate.

The authorized official may grant a selectee credit only if the experience was obtained in a position having duties that directly relate to the duties of the position to which the selectee is being appointed, and the authorized official determines that the use of this authority is necessary to achieve an important agency mission or performance goal. Credit for non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service is granted to the employee upon the effective date of his or her initial appointment or reappointment to Federal service. The authorized official may determine the amount of service to be credited for leave purposes, but this amount may not exceed the actual amount of service during which the employee performed duties directly related to the position to which he or she is being appointed. An employee has no entitlement to credit for non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual rate.

An authorized official shall justify and document his or her reasons for the granting of credit. Such documentation shall include: (1) a copy of the position description for the position being filled and the vacancy announcement for the position (if applicable); (2) the selectee's application, which in the case of non-Federal personnel, must clearly document the length and nature of the service to be credited or be supplemented by supporting documentation to this effect; (3) for each period of service for which credit is requested, an explanation of how the duties relate to the position to which the selectee will be appointed; and (4) in the case of active duty uniformed service credited, a form DD-214 documenting the service. For each granting of credit, an authorized official shall submit a copy of the justification and documentation to the Justice Management Division's Personnel Staff upon entrance of the employee on duty.

In order to retain this service credit beyond his or her initial appointment, an employee must complete one full year of continuous service with the Department. If an employee separates from Federal service or transfers to another Federal agency prior to completing one full year of continuous service with the Department, the employee is not entitled to retain service credit for prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service. The appointing office must subtract the additional service credit from the employee's total creditable service, and a new service computation date for leave must be established before the employee separates or transfers to the new agency. However, all unused annual leave accrued and accumulated by an employee as a result of receiving credit for non-Federal or uniformed service remains to the credit of the employee and must be transferred to the new agency under 5 C.F.R. § 630.501or liquidated by a lump sum payment under 5 C.F.R. § 550.1205.

OPM has established a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on its website. To view the FAQ section, please click on the following link: http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2005/2005-07_QA.asp.

If you have any questions regarding these final regulations, please contact Rachel Villare, of my HR Policy staff, on (202) 616-3707 or via e-mail at Rachel.Villare@usdoj.gov.

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