You may have seen Donna Vizian's memo that came out yesterday regarding "use-or-lose leave." The memo is required by the NTEU-EPA Collective Bargaining Agreement's (CBA) Article 19, Section 3, to minimize the possibility that you inadvertently forfeit leave over the maximum 240 hours of leave employees are allowed to carry from one year to the next. If you give up leave, you're effectively throwing money down the drain.
You are entitled to take annual leave. The CBA specifies that "[u]se of annual leave is a right of the employee..." If your supervisor denies your use of annual leave, the supervisor is required to "provide reasons for denial in writing to the employee" if you request it. Make sure you request a detailed reason for denial in writing from your supervisor in case you need to challenge that denial or get your leave restored later.
If you have leave denied or cancelled by your supervisor, and that denial or cancellation causes you to exceed the 240 hour leave cap, your supervisor and her or his supervisors are required to "undertake to restore the forfeited leave the following year...."
Even though you might be able to get your forfeited leave restored in certain narrow circumstances, it is better to not lose it to begin with. That's where we can help. If you're having difficulties getting leave approved by a supervisor and you fear losing that leave due to the use-or-lose law, please reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can intercede on your behalf with your management to get them to change their mind and approve end-of-the-year leave so that you do not lose it.