Federal Employee Sick Leave
As of January 8th, 2018, if you had more annual leave hours than you were legally allowed to have, then those extra hours suddenly disappeared. Usually, 240 annual leave hours is the most you can have. Fortunately, the sick leave hours were left untouched.
All federal workers who are full-time will receive the same hours of sick leave, which is 104 hours annually or 4 hours bimonthly. Federal workers who are part-time earn less sick leave hours. There is no limit to the sick leave hours you can build up and use for personal situations in your life. This could be when you get sick, have an appointment with the doctor, or have general family care that you must attend to. If your sick time is for one or more of these purposes, the agency you work for can give you as many as 30 days to deal with these matters.
All sick leave requests need to get approved first. That is why they need to be scheduled ahead of time. Only serious situations like pregnancy, a medical operation, or childbirth would be valid excuses for this and can be planned ahead of time.
Of course, if you suddenly become sick with the flu and need to take one or two days off, you can still get sick leave and have it approved afterward. But, if you’re taking more than 3 days off because of your sickness, then you need to give your supervisor a note from your doctor which acknowledges your illness. There is generally a lot of flexibility with sick leave, but it is not meant to be misused or abused for non-health purposes. If you’re caught doing this, you could be fired or face other disciplinary action.
Many employees accumulate lots of sick leave hours. In fact, some 30-year employees will have more than 3,000 hours saved. This can be really beneficial to them in their retirement years because those sick leave hours will increase their annuity as they are added onto their years of active service.
For example, A CSRS employee that saves up 12 months of sick leave and then retires will see a 2% increase in their annuity. Each of these months is equal to around 0.1667%. If this were a FERS employee, the annuity would increase annually by 1%. Each of these months would be a 0.8333% increase. If you retire at 62 years old, there would be a 1.1% yearly increase in the annuity if you worked for 20 years.