September 3, 2019
We simply don’t understand why people would not use this gift of Notice Leave that Congress gave you for these exact situations. Notice Leave only applies during the Notice period. Why would Congress create it if they didn’t want you to use it?
A number of agencies use Notice Leave, so the person who told you it is for limited cases is completely wrong. The Administrative Leave Act of 2016 went into effect December 23, 2016, and starting that day, Notice Leave became an option. We know from talking with people in our classes that components of DOD, HHS, and DOI use Notice Leave regularly, as well as other agencies too. According to the law, there is no special permission required to use Notice Leave; the agency simply has to show that retaining the employee at work jeopardizes a legitimate government interest and the employee is not someone who the agency thinks would be suited for a reassignment position. Retaining anyone in the workplace after a proposed removal jeopardizes a legitimate government interest. Why in the world would an agency say: “You’re fired … but you get to keep coming in for 30 days?”
These are the kinds of situations where you may need to push back a little and ask: “Where does it say that I can’t use Notice Leave?”
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