Negotiating leave accrual rates


Q: Is there any possibility of negotiating a higher level of annual leave accrual when accepting a permanent federal employment position, with no prior military or permanent federal civilian service?

I understand new federal employees normally accrue four hours per pay period. However, I have been a contractor supporting this federal agency for more than 10 years, and I am interested in determining whether there is any precedent for negotiating a higher rate of annual leave accrual based on prior federal contractor employment.

A: No, there isn’t. Leave accrual rates are set by law.


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  1. You are mistaken. There is a federal law allowing first-time hires to the federal government to negotiate higher leave categories based on experience in the private sector. My wife just got hired by DHS and was given 8 hours of annual leave a pay period. Her boss had to write a memo requesting it. But it was approved.

  2. h. Prior non-Federal Service or Active Duty Uniformed Service that otherwise would not be creditable. Section 6303(e) of title 5, United States Code, as amended by section 202(a) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. Law 108-411 dated October 30, 2004), permits a newly appointed or reappointed employee to receive credit for prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable. Credit granted under this provision can only be applied upon appointment or reappointment (following a break in service of as least 90 calendar days from the last period of Federal civilian employment) to a position on or after April 28, 2005. An employee has no entitlement to such credit. The head of the agency or designee must determine that the skills and experience the employee possess were acquired through performance in a non-Federal or active duty uniformed service position having duties which directly relate to the duties of the position to which appointed and are necessary to achieve an important agency mission or performance goal, determine what constitutes acceptable written documentation for non-Federal service (an employee must provide written documentation from the uniformed services to receive credit for honorable active duty uniformed service), and approve such prior to the effective date of the employee’s entry on duty. The amount of service credit that may be granted is at the sole and exclusive discretion of the head of the agency or designee; however, the amount of service credited may not exceed the actual amount of service during which duties directly related to the position for which being appointed were performed. Document such service credit on the SF-144A or an agency equivalent form used in lieu of the SF-144A. Such credit is granted in terms of years and months, and the exact number of years and months of credit granted is recorded in Part I, Column B, of the SF-144A. See Table 6-1 for appropriate remarks.

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