Q. In considering leave without pay unrelated to the Family and Medical Leave Act or military duty, is there a requirement that annual and sick leave must be exhausted before granting LWOP? The following from 5 CFR doesn’t completely address this: If an employee has exhausted his or her available annual or sick leave or other forms of paid time off, he or she may request leave without pay. LWOP is a temporary nonpay status and absence from duty that, in most cases, is granted at the employee’s request.
A. Leave without pay is a temporary nonpay status and an authorized absence from duty, usually issued when the employee has insufficient annual leave or sick leave, or compensatory time available to cover an approved absence. However, an employee does not have to exhaust annual or sick leave before requesting LWOP.