OPM has authorized agencies to establish an Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) for federal employees adversely affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Under this program, a covered employee may donate annual leave that will be transferred to the same or other agencies.
I am pleased to report that yesterday, HHS issued an all-employee message establishing an ELTP for employees impacted by Hurricane Maria — identical to the programs already in place for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma — with instructions for how to apply. Per the message, employees who are adversely affected and seek to become emergency leave recipients must apply in writing. An employee, who is unable to apply in writing, may apply through a personal representative. Below are the specific instructions provided by HHS on how employees can apply for and donate to the ELTP:
To Apply for Leave from the HHS Emergency Leave Transfer Program
You must complete the OPM Form 1637, Application to Become a Leave Recipient under the Emergency Leave Transfer Program and OPM Form 71, Request for Leave or Approved Absence and submit both forms by the most practical means available to your supervisor. A personal representative may complete these forms on your behalf if you need leave but are unable to complete the application.
How to Donate to the HHS Emergency Leave Transfer Program
To assist our colleagues in this time of need, you may donate a portion of your unused annual leave under this program effective immediately. If you are interested in donating leave you:
- May donate unused annual leave only, including restored leave;
- May not donate to a specific individual;
- Must donate a minimum of 1 hour but not more than 104 hours in a leave year; and
- Complete OPM Form 1638, Request to Donate Annual Leave under the Emergency Leave Transfer Program along with OPM Form 71, Request for Leave or Approved Absence and submit them to your supervisor.
NTEU remains committed to the safety and well-being of all HHS employees. The impacted employees have faced a lot of challenges and many need nonwork time to address issues with their homes and families. I encourage all employees who are able to donate annual leave to assist HHS employees who have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
If you have any questions about HHS’s Emergency Leave Transfer Program, please contact your chapter president.