Q: I am 48 with 18 years of government service in Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service. I am on a two-week leave of absence due to stress and would like to resign without filing action so that I may find other government employment. I have never been in negative leave status and have successful evaluations. 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. If you didn’t report to work as ordered, your agency could begin the process of separating you by adverse action. On the other hand, if you requested leave-without-pay, 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, he could begin adverse action proceedings to separate you.