Forced leave without pay


Q. Is it legal for an employee to be forced to take leave without pay before using his or her annual or sick leave for being late for work? Supervisors are not allowing the use of sick or annual hours for being late.

A. While the granting LWOP is at the supervisor’s discretion, it can also be used as a disciplinary measure if, for example, an employee has a pattern of being late or unexcused absences.


About Author

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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