LWOP and promotion


Q. 1. Does management have a right to use leave without pay as a basis of a “black eye” and keep an employee from being promoted even though the employee has exceptional rating for more than three years?

2. Can management require a probationary period of one year prior to promotion if the employee is qualified and filling a GS-5,6,7 position as a GS-5 where the employee was promised to be promoted once accepting the position in front of witnesses?

The employee needed to be on LWOP due to excessive use of leave taking care of a family member’s medical issues, and the family member eventually died following treatments.

The agency never offered advanced annual leave or advanced sick leave or Family Medical Leave Act to this employee.

A. While there is no prohibition against an agency promoting an employee who has used excessive leave and LWOP, there is no requirement that it do so. While you have argued your side of the matter, you haven’t considered theirs. While you have received high ratings in the past, it sounds as if you were absent for much of the current rating period. Your agency may not have had enough current evidence of your ability to perform at a higher level to justify an immediate promotion. Now that you are back on the job full time, you’ll be able to show them that you’re ready for that promotion.


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.

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