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May 16, 2023
Time for Leave?
By Robert “Bobby” Bock
NAPS Southeast Area Vice President
We are fast approaching the time of year when we will be looking to take annual leave for rest and relaxation. EAS employees do not have any set national rules for handling annual leave requests. There may be local agreements between NAPS and local management, but these agreements are not universal and only are applicable where they are being used.
So, what rights do EAS employees have when it comes to submitting requests for annual leave in advance? The rules governing annual leave can be found in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual, Section 516.62, which reads:
“Vacation leave is granted to these employees when their services can best be spared. Postmasters and other responsible officials must schedule leave so that (a) employees do not forfeit leave and (b) postal operations are not impacted.”
When an EAS employee seeks to use advance annual leave, they should submit a completed Form 3971 to their immediate manager. I recommend you hand them the request in person, if possible, and make a copy for your records.
There are many times leave slips have “disappeared.” It’s important to have a record that you submitted the request. The Postal Service has provided NAPS with a letter on handling annual leave requests, which should be adjudicated in three business days.
This policy frequently is being violated all over the country. If you do not receive a response to your request in three business days, send your manager an email advising them of the fact you submitted a Form 3971 to them (hopefully, you handed it to them) and you want to know if you are being granted the request for leave).
Using email creates another paper trail if you use NAPS to help you get your hard-earned time off. We have had members book airline tickets and make hotel reservations without knowing their leave request was granted. You can avoid these problems if you know and follow the procedures.
When you have issues with getting leave granted, you should contact your local branch for assistance in resolving the problem.
Categories: The Postal Supervisor