OPM approves emergency leave transfer program, for workers affected by Hurricane Ian

Recovery efforts are underway Saturday, October 15 on Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, 2022.

Recovery efforts are underway Saturday, October 15 on Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, 2022. Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images

This program is the third leave donation allowance made in the past 60 days.

On Friday the Office of Personnel Management approved an emergency leave transfer program for federal workers affected by Hurricane Ian. The program allows federal employees to donate unused paid leave time to their colleagues who are affected by natural disasters.

This is the third leave transfer program established in the past 60 days, following emergency leave announcements earlier this year for Hurricane Fiona and for the water crisis in Jackson, Miss. 

“Agencies are responsible for administering the [emergency leave transfer program] for their own affected employees. Therefore, employees who wish to donate annual leave must contact their own agencies, not OPM, to determine if there are any affected employees in their agency and how to donate annual leave to them,” wrote OPM director Kiran Ahuja, in a memo to agency heads.

OPM has authorized agencies or department heads to determine which employees are affected by Hurricane Ian and how much leave they need, as well as the amount of time given for leave. 

“Agencies with employees adversely affected by Hurricane Ian 2022 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 within the meaning of OPM regulations. They are also in the best position to quickly facilitate the transfer of donated annual leave within their agencies,” Ahuja wrote.

Ahuja wrote that agencies should contact OPM for assistance in receiving additional aid only if they do not receive enough donated leave to meet the needs within their agency.

“Based on the demand for donated leave, OPM will solicit and coordinate the transfer of donated annual leave among federal agencies,” Ahuja wrote. “OPM will notify each agency of the cumulative amount of donated annual leave that will be credited to it for transfer to its approved emergency leave recipients. The agency will determine the amount of donated annual leave to be transferred to each emergency leave recipient.”

Hurricane Ian battered Florida as a Category 4 storm two weeks ago, destroying infrastructure and flooding coastal cities. 

This article was published first on GovExec, a FederalSoup partner site. 

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