Facing a hostile work environment


Q: I am a 48-year-old employee with 18 years of government service in the U.S. Postal Service and the Veterans Affairs Department. I am on a two-week leave of absence due to stress from my supervisor and would like to resign without filing action so that I may find other government employment. What is the longest unpaid absence I can take so that I may try another type of employment while on unpaid leave status?

A: If you didn’t report to work, you’d be considered to be absent without leave and your agency could begin the process of separating you by adverse action. On the other hand, if you requested leave without pay (LWOP), you’d be able to do that only for as many days as had been approved by your supervisor. Once again, if you failed to report for work at the end of that time period, your supervisor could begin adverse action proceedings to separate you.


About Author

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


  1. I been employed by the federal Gov for 16 years. I now telework from home. My husband relocated to another state over 200 miles from my POD. I been on a 6 month telework hardship so I can live and work in the same state as my husband. I been on the hardship reassignment program for over 3 years but do to freeze no luck in my new state in finding employment in the gov, My question if I take LWOP, can I apply for unemployment do do hardship.

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