If an employee is incapacitated for duty and has sick leave balance, the agency must grant the sick leave because it is an entitlement. A supervisor is not required to grant an annual leave request because there is no entitlement to that type of leave; however, the denial of an annual leave request must be reasonable and based on workplace needs. A supervisor who unilaterally puts an employee on LWOP without the employee’s approval has, if effect, suspended the employee without procedures. On appeal, the employee would be entitled to back pay for that period of time he was carried on LWOP without his consent. See Martin v. USPS, 2016 MSPB 16. But, if the supervisor mentions LWOP as an option and the employee says, “Fine, I’ll take LWOP” then that would likely be considered employee approval, and there would be no basis for an appeal.
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