Working while on LWOP


Q: I am a career federal employee. I still have a couple of years before I can retire. I have a family emergency on the other side of the U.S.  that I must attend to for several months. I have tried for months to find another federal job in that city, but have had no luck. I do have a hardship transfer approval. I have been told by my supervisors that I could use leave without pay. My question is this: Can I hold a nonfederal job while I am taking LWOP? I will need income when I move, and if I cannot find a federal job, I have to work somewhere.

A: There is nothing that would bar you from taking a nonfederal job while you are on leave without pay. However, what you do shouldn’t interfere with the purpose for which the LWOP is granted.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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