Leave taken under special circumstances like weather events is known as unscheduled leave. This was once referred to as, “liberal leave;” however, that term is no longer used, as stated in Policy and Guidance - Office of Personnel Management -- Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures (December 2014), “As a part of OPM's role to prepare all Federal employees for emergency situations, OPM would like all agencies to provide consistent terminology across the Federal Government. During the past year, OPM has become aware that a number of Federal agencies outside of the Washington, DC, area continue to use the term "liberal leave" in their operating status announcements. OPM strongly encourages all agencies to use the term "unscheduled leave."”
Government agencies may announce unscheduled leave in response to any large-scale disruptive event. Typically, bad weather events like a snowstorm, dangerous icy conditions, or very high winds can result in such an announcement from OPM and from individual agencies.
Examples of these announcements may be:
AGENCY IS OPEN WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK
Employees have the option to use unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. Employees must notify their supervisor of their request to use unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework (if the employee is a telework program participant).
AGENCY IS OPEN—DELAYED ARRIVAL—EMPLOYEES MUST REPORT TO THEIR OFFICE NO LATER THAN XX:XX—WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK
Employees should plan their commutes to arrive at the worksite by no later than the final reporting time in the announcement. Employees who report to the worksite are granted weather and safety leave for the hours between the employee’s typical arrival time and the final reporting time, except that such leave is reduced if the employee arrives at work before the final reporting time. (See Example below.)
Employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) must be prepared to telework, take unscheduled leave or other paid time off, or a combination—thereby accounting for the entire workday. They will not receive weather and safety leave for the delayed arrival period since they would not be affected by the conditions under which the announcement was made. In this scenario, weather and safety leave is provided only to those employees who report to the regular office location.
If employee requests and was approved for the use of unscheduled leave versus reporting to the worksite, they will not receive weather and safety leave for the delayed arrival period since they would not be affected by the conditions under which the announcement was made. In this scenario, weather and safety leave is provided only to those employees who report to the regular office location.
Currently, there is not a Fort Knox Policy that addresses the use of unscheduled leave. Commands may have an internal policy, which addresses the use of unscheduled leave under certain circumstances, please see examples:
XXXX Command delays opening by XX hours. Unscheduled leave policy maybe in effect.
Guidance: An unscheduled leave policy is in effect for training holidays associated with Federal holidays. During these training holidays, XXXX Command, endorses the usage and approval of annual leave, leave without pay, or other authorized leave status for DAC personnel.
Supervisors, senior leaders, and approving officials of annual leave will be cognitive of mission requirements, workforce coverage, and workloads prior to approving leave. All Garrison organizations will ensure that adequate support personnel are in place for all services, and no customer service operations will be interrupted or closed during these periods, with the exception of Federal holidays.
Army Civilian employees may not be forced to use annual leave on training holidays. Employees who do not wish to use annual leave, or lack sufficient annual leave, are required to report for duty. In the event of office closure, employees will be assigned to another directorate or unit at the discretion of their supervisor, senior leader, or approving official. Supervisors, senior leaders, and approving officials will ensure Civilian time and attendance records are properly annotated to reflect annual leave usage in accordance with AR 690-990-2, and that all Soldiers comply with AR 600-8-10 guidelines with regard to chargeable/non-chargeable leave and pass requirements.
Military Training Holiday/Army Civilian Unscheduled Leave Day - Supervisors/leaders may grant the use of annual leave, leave without pay, or other authorized leave status to DAC employees, unless organizational mission requirements indicate otherwise. Garrison organizations will ensure adequate support personnel are in place for all services, and that no customer service is interrupted or closed during this period.
3) Unscheduled Leave:
On December 23, 2016, Congress enacted the Act, which provides OPM with the authority to regulate certain types of leave, including a new type of leave called “weather and safety leave,” previously granted as administrative leave or excused absence.
An agency has discretionary authority to determine when it is appropriate to grant a reasonable amount of excused absence, “weather and safety leave,” to employees who are unavoidably delayed in arriving for work. Factors such as distance, availability of transportation, and the success of other employees in similar situations should be considered in determining the amount of excused absence to grant. Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisors of their situation.
OPM Government wide Dismissal and Closure Procedures, November 2018
Army Regulation (AR) 690-990-2, Hours of Duty, Pay and Leave, 20 May 1989. (Under revision)
Garrison Policy Memo 09 - Management of Leave and Overtime Requests (Hours of Work), 8 February 2019
The Administrative Leave Act of 2016