OPM issues new religious time-off rules

The Office of Personnel Management has issued final regulations to amend its current rule on compensatory time off for religious observances, giving federal employees more flexibility to take off for religious reasons.

Under the new rule, federal employees can perform overtime work and earn a special form of compensatory time off to make up for the time lost in meeting personal religious requirements that call for time off from work for certain periods of time.

The rule also includes limits when religious compensatory time off hours may be earned to within 13 pay periods in advance of the pay period in which it is intended to be used, or within 13 pay periods following the pay period in which it was used.

“If an employee fails to earn religious compensatory time off within 13 pay periods after the pay period in which it was used, an agency may take corrective action to eliminate or reduce the negative balance by making a corresponding reduction in the employee’s balance of annual leave, credit hours, compensatory time off in lieu of regular overtime pay, compensatory time off for travel, or time-off awards,” according to an April 29 OPM memo

Currently, employees are required to schedule overtime work hours either 26 pay periods in advance or 26 pay periods after they plan to be absent from work due to religious observance or requirements.

The new rule will go into effect May 29.

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 12, 2019 CJ Washington State

So since I am a 7th Day Recreationist can I work extra hours during the week so I can have every friday off to go camping? Using my annual leave for this is annoying as hell.

Tue, May 28, 2019

They should only use leave time if they have. This means no sick leave use for this either. They are there to work. That a big joke especially on the VA side.

Tue, May 7, 2019

A big outfit in Bethesda the management minions would not allow credit hours based on the fact that the managers who had less years in civil service were jealous about log-term employees and routinely would deny allowing folks to accumulate credit hours. However, they would abuse telecommuting by indicating they were working while vacationing and not taking annual leave like the rest of the employees.

Thu, May 2, 2019 William

Now i believe in God on Monday's after Sunday night football.

Thu, May 2, 2019 A

Dennis - this is not a freebie. This is working hours and banking them for use to take a religious holiday. Many agencies already afford this privilege called 'credit time'. Credit hours are earned and banked and then used similar to annual leave. Its a great benefit when you have a big project that requires extra hours and saves the government from paying overtime. The government is still getting the same number of worked hours from the employee. The article header "Paid Leave" is completely false.

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