Federal employees can now donate unused leave to fellow workers impacted by the Colorado wildfires or an outbreak of tornadoes in midwest and southern states in 2021.

In consultation with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has authorized the use of the emergency leave transfer program, which allows federal employees of the executive and judicial branches to transfer their leave to other federal employees severely affected by an emergency or a major disaster. Agencies can also donate time from their leave banks, if they have established them. Recipient employees who need additional time off to recover from the emergency can then use the donated time off instead of using their own paid leave.

Issued Jan. 14, the OPM authorization covers federal employees in affected locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. It also covers federal employees effected by wildfires in Boulder County, Colorado.

The Office said agencies will be responsible for administering the emergency leave transfer program, noting that “agencies with employees adversely affected by these events are in the best position to determine whether, and how much, donated annual leave is needed by their employees and which of their employees have been adversely affected by the emergency[.]”

Employees interested in taking advantage of the program or donating leave time should reach out to their agency’s human resources office for more information on the program.

Nathan Strout covers space, unmanned and intelligence systems for C4ISRNET.

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