Chapter 05 - Hours, Leaves and Absences

Chapter 05 - Hours, Leaves and Absences

4.0501 Purpose.


It is recognized that maximum efficiency on the job can be obtained only by permitting employees to have time off with pay for purposes of rest, recreation, and to meet personal and family needs. It is also considered essential to the maintenance of a stable, satisfied, and productive workforce for employees to be compensated to a reasonable extent during periods of involuntary absence from duty due to physical incapacity. Deserving employees, whose retention is of demonstrated value, should be guaranteed job security when it is necessary for them to be in a nonduty status, based on legitimate reasons, for periods longer than permitted under rules governing authorized absence with pay.

4.0502 Administrative responsibilities.


(a) The department of administrative services is responsible for the maintenance of employee leave records and furnishing advice relative to all leave records matters.

(b) The office of manpower resources is responsible for all policy matters pertaining to leave and absence from duty.

(c) Agency heads and supervisors are responsible for day-to-day administration of the leave policy.

4.0503 Holidays-Designated-Proclamation.


(a) The following public holidays are designated by statute and are paid holidays for government employees:

(1) New Year's Day, 1 Jan;

(2) Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February;

(3) Good Friday, Friday before Easter;

(4) Flag Day, 17 Apr;

(5) Memorial Day, Last Monday in May;

(6) Independence Day, 4 Jul;

(7) Labor Day, 1st Monday in September;

(8) Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October;

(9) Veteran's Day, 4th Monday in October;

(10) Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November;

(11) Christmas Day, 25 Dec.

(b) Other holidays may be established by Governor's proclamation.

4.0504 Holidays-Day observed.


Holidays shall be observed as provided below:

(a) For employees with workdays of Monday through Friday, if a holiday falls on:

(1) Saturday it is observed on the Friday preceding the holiday;

(2) Sunday it is observed on the Monday following the holiday;

(3) workday it is observed on that workday.

(b) For employees with workdays other than Monday through Friday, if a holiday falls on a:

(1) day off it is observed on the first workday after the day off;

(2) workday it is observed on that workday.

4.0505 Annual leave-Charges to leave.


(a) Accrual. To earn leave an employee must be employed during a full biweekly pay period. He is considered to have been employed for a full pay period if he is in a pay status of an agency on all days falling within the pay period exclusive of holidays and nonworkdays.

(b) Earning Rates.

(1) Full-time employees:

(A) Employees with less than 3 years of creditable service earn 4 hours or Y2 workday of annual leave for each biweekly pay period.

(B) Employees with 3 but less than 15 years of creditable service earn 6 hours or 34 workday of annual leave for each full biweekly pay period except for the last full pay period of the calendar year, for which they earn 10 hours of annual leave.

(C) Employees with 15 or more years of service earn 8 hours or 1 workday of annual leave for each full biweekly pay period.

(2) Part-time employees:

(A) Employees with less than 3 years of creditable service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 20 hours in a pay status.

(B) Employees with 3 but less than 15 years of creditable service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 13 hours in a pay status.

(C) Employees with 15 or more years of creditable service earn 1 hour of annual leave for each 10 hours in a pay status.

(3) Fractional pay periods: If employment is continuous, leave is credited on a pro rata basis for those days during a fractional pay period for which an employee is being paid. The following table may be used to determine the amount of pro rated leave credit:

PRO RATA TABLE

Biweekly Pay Period Hourly Accrual Rate

Workdays Category 4* Category 6 Category 8

1 1 1 1

2 1 1 2

3 1 2 2

4 2 2 3

5 2 3 4

6 2 4 5

7 3 4 6

8 3 5 6

9 3 5 7

10 4 6 8.

*This column may be applied for sick leave purpose.

(c) Maximum Accumulation. Accumulation of unused accrued annual leave may not exceed a total of 60 days at the beginning of the first complete pay period of each leave year. Excess leave beyond the 60 days is forfeited except as follows:

(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the taking or require the forfeiture of any annual leave which is validly granted and the taking of which begins on or before the last working day of the current leave year, notwithstanding that the recording of the current accrued annual leave for the current leave year on the last day thereof might result in an accumulation of more than 60 days including the working days of the annual leave so granted and then being taken. The period of such annual leave shall be regarded as if it had been entirely taken prior to the last day of such leave year.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the forfeiture of any annual leave when an employee terminates on or before the last working day of the leave year, notwithstanding the fact that the recording of current accrued annual leave for such year on the last day may result in an accumulation of more than 60 days.

(d) Leave Charges.

(1) Leave days: Both annual and sick leave are charged to an employee's account only for absence on regular workdays; i.e., days on which he would otherwise work and receive pay during his regular tour of duty. Leave is not charged for absence on holidays or other nonwork days.

(2) Minimum charge: One hour is the minimum charge for either annual or sick leave. After 1 hour, additional charges may be made in multiples of Y2 hour. Absence on separate days are not combined.

(e) When Taken.

(1) Annual leave is provided and used for 2 general purposes, which are:

(A) to allow every employee an annual vacation period of extended leave for rest and recreation; and

(B) to provide periods of time off for personal and emergency purposes. These absences involve such matters as death in a family, religious observances, attendance at conferences or conventions, securing a driver's permit, or other personal business which can be disposed of only during the time in which the employee would ordinarily be working.

(2) Annual leave provided by law is a benefit and accrues automatically. However, each department is responsible for administering the annual leave system for their employees and must issue instructions concerning the granting of annual leave. Guidelines for each department are as follows:

(A) The approval of short periods of leave should generally be the responsibility of immediate supervisors, who best know whether the leave requested is compatible with his workload.

(B) Requests for extensive periods of annual leave may be recommended for approval by the immediate supervisors but should generally require approval at a higher organizational level.

(C) Decisions as to the granting of leave will generally be made in the light of the needs of the service rather than solely upon the desires of the employee.

(D) Supervisors should ensure that annual leave is scheduled for use so as to prevent any unintended loss of leave at the end of the leave year.

(E) Annual leave must be requested and approved prior to its taking. Failure to secure prior approval may result in a charge to leave without pay and may result in disciplinary action against the offending employee.

(f) In lieu of Sick Leave. Approved absence, otherwise chargeable to sick leave, may be charged to annual leave when sickness exceeds accumulated sick leave hours.

(g) Advances. It is not permissible for an employee to be granted annual leave in advance of its having been earned.

(h) Lump-sum Payments.

(1) Entitlement: An employee who has annual leave to his credit and who is separated from his employment with the ASG is entitled to payment of accumulated, accrued annual leave in a lump sum.

(2) Computation of payment: Lump-sum leave payments are equal to the compensation that he would have received had he remained in the employ of the ASG until the expiration of the period of annual leave paid. Included are pay for holidays falling within that period to which the employee would have been entitled. The employee does not, however, earn leave during the period represented by the lump-sum payment. Except for purposes of taxation, the lump sum is not regarded as salary or compensation.

4.0506 Sick leave.


Sick leave is for use when an employee is physically incapacitated to do his job, or for such related reasons as exposure to a contagious disease that would endanger the health of co-workers, presence of contagious disease in an employee's immediate family which requires his personal care, or for dental, optical, or medical examination or treatment.

(a) Earning Rates.

(1) Full-time employees: Employees earn sick leave at the rate of 4 hours or Y2 workday for each full biweekly pay period. Sick leave is earned from the first pay period of employment.

(2) Part-time employees. These employees earn sick leave at the rate described under the category 4 column of the Pro Rata Table codified in 4.0505(b)(3).

(b) Maximum Accumulation. Unused sick leave is accumulated without limit.

(c) Granting. Sick leave is a right, provided the requirements of this subsection are met. Government officials have the authority and responsibility to determine that the nature of the employee's illness was such as to incapacitate him for his job and that other reasons for which sick leave is granted are valid. It is mandatory that an employee furnish documentary evidence in the form of a medical certificate for periods of sick leave in excess of 3 consecutive workdays. However, management may require that the employee furnish such certificate for sick leave involving any length of time. The employee who becomes ill is responsible for notifying his supervisor as soon as possible. Required medical certificates shall be submitted together with leave request forms and time sheets as specified by the above reference.

(d) Advances. An employee may draw upon anticipated sick leave credits if current credits become exhausted. The request shall be made to the director, Office of Manpower Resources, through the agency head, within these requirements and limitations:

(1) The advance will be made based upon anticipated accrual of credits up to 30 leave days. If the employee has a planned termination date which will affect the accrual, the number of days which can be advanced will be reduced accordingly.

(2) The advance will not be authorized automatically. The following factors will be considered prior to approval:

(A) Has the employee been wise and careful in their use of leave in the past?

(B) Does the doctor show the employee will be able to return to work in a reasonable time?

(C) Are the best interests of the government and the employee served through this action?

(D) What are the special circumstances which warrant continuing this person's pay on the chance they will return to work and earn the sick leave credit? Length of service, performance record, essential nature of services, and circumstances beyond their control should be cited. (Pregnancy cases do not generally qualify.)

4.0507 Leave without pay.


Leave without pay is a temporary absence from duty in nonpay status granted upon the employee's request and at the discretion of management. The permissive nature of leave without pay distinguishes it from absence without leave (AWOL), which is a nonpay status resulting from a period of absence for which the employee did not obtain advance authorization or for which his request for leave has been denied. It shall be the practice of the ASG to grant leave without pay only when it will be of mutual benefit and interest to the government and to the employee. Leave without pay shall not be granted for the purpose of an employee participating in private employment.

(a) Administrative Discretion. The granting of leave without pay is a matter of administrative discretion. Employees cannot demand that they be granted leave without pay as a matter of right.

(1) Government departments must assure that each such request is of such value to the government or the serious needs of the employee as to offset costs and administrative inconveniences of the position of the employee being frozen and remaining vacant while the employee is on leave without pay.

(2) Extended leave without pay beyond 30 days may not be approved unless there is assurance that the employee will return to duty and that at least 1 of the following benefits will result:

(A) Improved work performance and ability;

(B) Protection or improvement of employee's health;

(C) Retention of a desirable employee; and

(D) Furtherance of a program of interest to the government.

(b) Extended Leave Without Pay. Extended leave without pay requires the prior approval of the director as the Governor's representative or, in the case of the Judicial Branch, the Chief Justice, when properly justified by the department submitting such request. Extended leave without pay will be granted in the following circumstances:

(1) Attendance at a recognized institu tion of higher learning or a technical school, pursuing a course of instruction which is related to the employee's field of work;

(2) Travel and/or research which will impart knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required in the employee's work;

(3) Extended illness with a positive prognosis, or family or personal problems, an end of which can reasonably be predicted;

(4) To work for another government on a loan basis, where there is no agreement under the Inter-governmental Personnel Act. The request for the services of the employee must be made through the Governor's office, in writing;

(5) To serve a required period of military service beyond the 15 days which are authorized for pay purposes. The military duty must be for periods of time not to exceed I year and must be categorically mandated, as in the basic training period required for a recruit in the Armed Forces reserves. Leave cannot be granted for voluntary extensions or reenlistments;

(6) To protect employee status and benefits when an employee is injured and his case is being adjudicated or he is receiving benefits under worker's compensation.

4.0508 Political leave.


Leave without pay shall be freely granted to any government employee for the purpose of campaigning as a candidate for public office in American Samoa for a period beginning 30 days before and ending 10 days after the date set for election.

4.0509 Maternity leave.


Maternity leave, a period of approved absence for incapacitation related to pregnancy and confinement, is chargeable to sick leave or any combination of sick leave, annual leave, and leave without pay, in the order given.

(a) Employees are required to request maternity leave substantially in advance of their intended absence so that staffing adjustments may be made.

(b) Periods of maternity leave shall be based on individual medical determination. A medical certification must be submitted showing expected date of confinement. Maternity leave may be granted for a period of six weeks prior and six weeks subsequent to birth.

4.0510 Military leave.


(a) General Provisions. A full-time employee who serves under an appointment without time limitation and who is a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, the U.S. Public Health Service, or the National Guard is entitled to leave of absence for annual military training without charge to annual leave, or loss of payor service credit, for not more than 15 workdays in any calendar year. The reserve components of the Armed Forces include the reserves of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps, etc. The National Guard includes the National Guard of the Army and of the Air Force. Application for military leave shall be accompanied by appropriate military orders.

(b) Maximum. Military leave is limited to a maximum of 15 workdays during each year, regardless of number of training periods in a year, and whether taken intermittently, a day at a time, or all at 1 time.

(c) Use of Annual Leave. Absence which is not chargeable to military leave can be charged to annual leave. Therefore, employees who are called to duty for a period longer than the 15-day period chargeable to military leave can use annual leave for the additional absence.

(d) Contract Employees. Contract employees who are members of the Armed Forces reserve components shall be granted military leave in accordance with the provisions of this section.

4.0511 Excused absence.


(a) Excused absence is absence from duty, duly authorized by the employee's agency director, without charge to annual leave or loss of payor service credit, under the circumstances described below:

(1) To take an employment examination for a position currently occupied or I to which the employee may be promoted or reassigned, not to exceed 3 hours;

(2) To take a physical examination required to determine continued employability;

(3) To obtain treatment for an injury sustained in the performance of duty. The employee may be excused for the balance of the

day on which the injury occurred;

(4) To be unavoidably or necessarily absent from duty for less than 1 hour or for being tardy;

(5) To donate blood to the American Red Cross in American Samoa or in emergencies to individuals from the time necessary for such donations, not to exceed 4 hours, provided that the employee does not receive pay for blood;

(6) To participate in emergency rescue or protective work at the request of local or territorial officials;

(7) To participate in federally recognized civil defense programs for a reasonable length of time up to 40 hours in a calendar year;

(8) To vote and register. An employee who desires to vote or register in an election or in a referendum on a civic matter in his community may be granted time off without loss in payor service credit or charge to leave as follows:

(A) The employee may be allowed:? hours of excused absence at the beginning or end of the workday.

(B) An employee may be excused for such additional time as may be needed to enable him to vote, depending upon the circumstances in his individual case, but not to exceed a full day. Time off in excess of I day shall be charged to annual leave or, if annual leave is exhausted, to leave without pay.

(C) An employee who votes in a jurisdiction which requires registration in person may be granted time off to register substantially on the same basis as for voting except that no such time shall be granted if registration can be accomplished on a nonworkday and the place of registration is within reasonable I-day, round-trip travel distance of the employee's place of residence;

(9) To serve as witness or juror when summoned involuntarily by the court, provided he returns to duty immediately upon release by the court. However, if the employee's appearance in court is in his own interest, either as appellant, defendant, or witness, leave of absence with pay, without pay, or compensatory time off must be documented. An employee called as a court witness in his official capacity, whether on behalf of the government or of a private party, is in an official-duty status;

(10) When working conditions or extenuating circumstances exist beyond the control of management. not to exceed a maximum grant of 4 hours. Excused absence in this category should normally not exceed 4 hours. However, it may be extended for the duration of the conditions or circumstances such as when inclement weather prevents reporting to work.

4.0513 Unauthorized absence.


Unauthorized absence shall be treated as absence without pay and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

4.0514 Workers' compensation recipients.


(a) Earning of Credits. An officer or employee who is absent from work because of injuries/illnesses incurred within the scope of his employment and who is receiving workers' compensation wage-loss replacement benefits, such as temporary total disability and temporary partial disability payments, shall continue to earn vacation and sick leave credits as though he was not absent but performing the duties of his regular employment.

(b) Use of Credits.

(1) An employee with accrued sick leave credits who is absent from work and who is receiving workers' compensation wage loss replacement benefits shall be entitled to receive an additional amount, charged to sick leave, which would bring his total payment to a sum equal to the employee's regular salary.

(2) In the event the employee does not have any accrued sick leave credits, he may elect to use accrued annual leave credits to bring his total payment to a sum equal to the employee's regular salary.

(3) An employee is entitled to use the sick and annual leave credits earned during the period of absence from work.