The Postal Service supports employee service in the Reserve or National Guard, and no action is permitted to discourage either voluntary or involuntary participation. The Postal Service allows employees to be absent:
a. To participate in drills or meetings scheduled by the National Guard or Reserve Units of the armed forces.
b. To attend usual summer training periods.
c. To perform any other active duty ordered by the National Guard and Reserve Units of the armed forces.
However, eligible employees are entitled to paid military leave only for such duty as and to the extent provided below.
Paid military leave is authorized absence from postal duties without loss of pay, time, or performance rating, granted to eligible employees who are members of the National Guard or Reservists of the armed forces.
517.13 Types of Duty
517.131 Duty Covered for Members of the Reserves and National Guard, Except D.C. National Guard
Types of duty covered as paid military leave include:
a. Active duty, field, and coast defense training.
b. Scheduled drills.
c. Service providing military aid for law enforcement purposes.
517.132 Duty Covered for Members of the D.C. National Guard
Types of duty covered as paid military leave include:
a. Parade or encampment activities of the D.C. National Guard.
b. Service providing military aid for law enforcement purposes as provided in 517.43.
Types of duty not covered as paid military leave include:
a. Summer training as a member of Reserve Officer Training Corps.
b. Temporary Coast Guard Reserve.
c. Service with the National Guard, if ordered by the State Governors without authority of the Department of Defense, except when such service is in connection with regular annual encampment or for law enforcement purposes as specified in 517.43.
d. Training with a State Guard or other state military organization that is not a part of the National Guard or that was created to take the place of the National Guard during an emergency.
e. Weekly drills as member of D.C. National Guard.
f. Civil Air Patrol, established as a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and similar reserve and guard auxiliary organizations.
g. Time taken on a workday to travel to the place where training is to begin, unless military training orders encompass the period of travel time required.
The employee is to complete a PS Form 3971 before the period of absence. Sufficient notice is required for making necessary arrangements for replacements. If the employee does not learn of the need for the absence until later, notice is to be given as soon possible. The official responsible for approving the attendance record also approves military leave.
Normally the first days of a longer period of military duty are charged to military leave. If circumstances warrant it, any other scheduled workdays during the longer active duty period may be designated as military leave instead of the days at the beginning of the military duty.
For paid military leave approval, upon return from military duty to the Postal Service, the employee furnishes a copy of military orders or other documentation properly endorsed by appropriate military authority to show the duty was actually performed.
Employees transferring to the Postal Service from other government agencies are entitled to credit for paid military leave purposes for government service performed prior to appointment as part-time employees. Any other creditable federal civilian service rendered during the prior fiscal year is also used in computing the required 1,040 hours. Creditable service is determined by requesting a transcript from the other agency detailing the number of hours in which the employee was in pay status.
Eligible full-time and part-time employees who are members of the National Guard are granted additional paid military leave over and above the general allowance if they are ordered by appropriate authority to provide military aid to enforce the law of their contracted state or their chartered jurisdiction (e.g., the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States). See approval procedures in 517.3. The following provisions apply:
a. Evaluation of Circumstances.
(1) Qualifying Circumstances.Military aid is the kind of work characteristic of, or typically performed by, soldiers. Military aid to enforce the law means engagement in the suppression of riots, violent assembly, widespread looting, and civil disorder where the guardsman is ordered to perform state military duty under a state law that specifically confers law enforcement powers on the guardsman or under the authority of an executive order of the governor (or the highest authority of the jurisdiction) pursuant to state law that specifically confers on the governor the authority to confer law enforcement powers on activated guardsmen. Orders to provide assistance or support to law enforcement agencies do not constitute an order conferring law enforcement powers. The mere fact that national guardsmen in uniform perform a given function does not necessarily transform that function into military aid. The duty performed must be evaluated. Such additional military leave is granted only when an employee's military orders (or other official documentation from the employee's guard unit) specify that he or she was engaged in one or more of the activities and under the authority referenced above for the particular periods of military duty.
(2) Nonqualifying Circumstances. Additional military leave is not granted when military orders do not specify one or more of the duties and statutory requirements referenced in 517.431a(1) above. For example, it is not granted when an employee's military orders simply indicate the employee was ordered to duty "for law enforcement purposes," "to enforce the law," "for state emergency active duty," etc. It is not granted if the duties are top secret and the actual duties cannot be verified as meeting these requirements. It is not granted if the military orders state that the duty is to provide aid to civil authorities to protect life, preserve property, or prevent injury. Circumstances that do not qualify the employee for additional military leave include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Activities that, although prompted by emergencies, do not involve directly enforcing the law, such as when guardsmen are engaged in fighting fires, controlling floods, controlling routine crowds, cleaning up following natural disasters, eradicating controlled substances, providing transportation and/or services to persons engaged in law enforcement or other activities, or providing security for such missions.
(b) Activities that, although they may have a collateral effect of enforcing the law, do not involve military aid, such as when guardsmen are engaged in directing vehicular traffic, which may concern enforcement of traffic laws, or when a guardsman provides security for public events, buildings, or places, these duties do not constitute military aid to enforce the law.
(c) Activities whose principal purpose is to protect the United States and its territories from attack by foreign enemies or domestic agents aligned with foreign enemies.
b. Amount Granted. Law enforcement military leave is granted, upon the presentation of qualifying military orders, as follows:
(2) Part-time employee - 1 hour of military leave for each 13 hours of service performed as a part-time employee in the fiscal year preceding the request provided both of the following conditions apply:
(a) The employee has worked at least 1,040 hours during the preceding fiscal year.
(b) Additional leave granted under this section does not exceed 160 workhours in a fiscal year.
Generally, an employee must be in pay status either immediately prior to the beginning of military duty or immediately after the end of military duty in order to be entitled to military leave with pay. The approving official determines whether (but for the active duty) the employee fulfills the pay status requirement.
Military leave may be taken in one-hundredths of an hour, except for regular rural carriers (designation 71) or substitute rural carriers (designation 72), who must take military leave in minimum units of 8 hours.
Any absence beyond the general military leave allowance is charged to annual leave or LWOP regardless of the number of training periods in the fiscal year.
517.542 Choice of Annual Leave, Sick Leave, or LWOP
Eligible employees who volunteer or are ordered for a period of military training or for a period of active military duty beyond the general military leave allowance may use annual leave or LWOP, at their option. Sick leave can be used only if the employee is hospitalized, confined to quarters as directed by competent military medical authorities, or on convalescent leave due to military service.
An employee who has official duty orders or official notices signed by appropriate military authority for weekly, biweekly, or monthly training meetings and who has a conflict with scheduled work requirements may choose one of four ways of meeting the military obligation:
a. Use military leave not in excess of the general military leave allowance.
b. Use annual leave.
c. Use LWOP.
d. Arrange a mutually agreeable trade of workdays and days off with another employee who is qualified to replace the absent employee. Such trades must be cleared with the responsible supervisor and must be in accordance with the terms of collective bargaining agreements.
a. Arbitrary reassignments of other employees are not made to permit absences of employees for military duty. An employee having military drills or military training responsibility should attempt to bid on a work assignment (when the opportunity presents itself) that will not conflict with military duties.
b. Employees requesting a temporary schedule change must submit PS Form 3189 (with PS Form 3971) to the appropriate postal official at their installation (see Handbook F-21, 232.23).
An employee desiring absences for military duty may be rescheduled if such action can be taken without increasing costs or adversely affecting the service to other employees. Every effort should be made to work out these problems as satisfactorily as possible.
PS Form 3973, Military Leave Control, provides installations with an official record of the amount of military leave used. Timekeepers or other officials responsible for processing time cards maintain a file of PS Form 3973. The forms are retained for 3 years after the end of the pay period in which the leave was taken.
PS Form 3973 is used to monitor paid military leave. As with annual leave and sick leave, military leave requested in excess of amounts provided in 517 are automatically charged to LWOP. Offices must follow the procedures below to ensure that the payroll system functions effectively.
The following provisions concern general paid military leave allowance:
a. Full-Time Employees. When full-time employees request general paid military leave, i.e., for other than law enforcement duty, offices must check AAD935P3, Military - Leave Report, to ascertain whether military leave has been advanced. If it has not, offices must submit their requests for a credit of 120 hours military leave to Payroll Processing, Eagan ASC.
b. Part-Time Employees. For a part-time employee, installations should check AAD935P4, Military - Leave Potential Report, for the number of hours the employee is entitled and submit a request for an advance of the hours authorized on the report.
c. Transfers From Other Agencies. When an employee transfers from another federal agency, a transcript must be requested detailing hours in a pay status in the prior fiscal year and the military leave used in the current fiscal year. These hours are sent to Payroll Processing, Eagan ASC, and are used in addition to the hours on the AAD935P4 report to determine hours to be advanced.
d. Noncareer Employees. Offices may not authorize paid military leave for noncareer employees.
If a leave request is for law enforcement purposes, installations must submit a memorandum to Payroll Processing, Eagan ASC, requesting advancement of paid military leave for law enforcement purposes for the number of hours requested, not to exceed 176 hours for a full-time employee or, for a part-time employee, the number of hours of law enforcement leave to which the employee is entitled as shown in the AAD935P4 report. If regular military leave has not been advanced, follow the procedures for full-time employees.