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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

370.630.12 - Shore Leave


OPR - Admin/Office of Personnel

1. Purpose. This chapter establishes U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) policy and procedures regarding shore leave.

2. Authority. Title 5, United States Code, Section 6305(c), provides the legal authority for earning and granting shore leave which is in addition to other forms of leave provided by law. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 630, Subpart G, and the Federal Personnel Manual Supplement 990-2, 630-7, provide the governing regulations regarding shore leave.

3. Definitions.

A. Extended voyage means a voyage of not less than 7 consecutive calendar days duration.

B. Oceangoing vessel means a vessel in use on the high seas or the Great Lakes. It includes smaller vessels used in mapping, charting, or surveying operations. It also includes smaller vessels sailing in, to, or from foreign, territorial, Hawaiian, or Alaskan waters, or waters outside its normal area of operations or outside the 3-nautical-mile limit. It does not include a vessel which operates primarily on rivers, other lakes, bays, sounds, or within the 3-nautical-mile limit of the coastal area of the 48 contiguous States.

C. Regularly assigned means continuing duties of such a nature that all or a significant part of them require the employee to serve aboard an oceangoing vessel. This covers not only the officers and crewmembers on the ship but also those whose work requires that they regularly perform their duties aboard an oceangoing vessel on extended voyages. Temporary assignments of a shore-based employee, such as for limited work projects or for training, do not constitute a regular assignment. For example, a Geologist who is required to serve on an extended voyage once or twice a year, every year, would be considered regularly assigned to serve aboard an oceangoing vessel on an extended voyage.

D. Shore leave means leave authorized by 5 U.S.C. 6305(c) and earned by an employee who is regularly assigned to duties aboard an oceangoing vessel on an extended voyage.

E. Voyage means the sailing of an oceangoing vessel from one port and its return to that port or the final port of discharge.

4. Coverage. An employee is entitled to earn shore leave, which is in addition to any other leave, if he/she is regularly assigned to duties aboard an oceangoing vessel on an extended voyage. This includes the officers and crewmembers who operate the ship and also any employee who, because of the nature of his/her work, is regularly required to perform duties aboard an oceangoing vessel on extended voyages. Continuing duties aboard an oceangoing vessel must be documented on the employee's position description. When such duties are no longer performed, the position description shall be revised. The effective date of the SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, changing the position shall be considered the date of reassignment for the purpose of granting shore leave.

5. Earning and Accumulating Shore Leave.

A. An employee earns shore leave at the rate of 1 day of shore leave for each 15 calendar days of service on one or more extended voyages. An employee's service aboard an oceangoing vessel is creditable for shore leave accrual purposes only when he/she is on a voyage of no less than 7 consecutive days duration including weekends. Service time on voyages of less than 7 days duration are not accumulated for shore leave eligibility.

B. Shore leave is in addition to annual leave and may be accumulated for future use without limitation.

C. Determining Beginning and Termination Dates of Voyage.

(1) For an officer or crewmember, a voyage begins 1 day before sailing from home port or when the voyage is in progress, the day he/she comes aboard. The voyage terminates on the date he/she ceases to be an officer or crewmember of the oceangoing vessel or 1 day after arrival at the port of origin or final discharge, whichever is earlier.

(2) For an employee other than an officer or crewmember, a voyage begins on the date of sailing and terminates on the date the ocean-going vessel returns to a port at which the employee will disembark upon completion of his/her assignment aboard the vessel or on the date he/she is released from his/her assignment aboard the vessel, whichever is earlier.

D. Computing Creditable Service. The days of service creditable for shore leave include:

(1) The beginning and termination dates of a voyage;

(2) The days an employee spends travelling to join an oceangoing vessel to which assigned when the vessel is at a place other than the port of origin;

(3) The days an employee spends travelling between oceangoing vessels when he/she is assigned from one vessel to another;

(4) The period during which an employee is reasonably expected to return to the port of origin when his/her oceangoing vessel's voyage is terminated, or his/her employment as an officer or crewmember is terminated, at a port other than the port of origin;

(5) For an officer or crewmember, the days on which he/she is on sick leave when he/ she becomes sick during a voyage (whether or not continued as a member of the crew) but not beyond the termination date of the voyage of the oceangoing vessel or his/her return to the port of origin, whichever is earlier;

(6) For an employee other than an officer or crewmember, the days on which he/she is on sick leave but not beyond the date on which he/she returns to the port of origin or the termination date of the voyage, whichever is earlier; and

(7) The days of approved leave (paid or unpaid) granted between the beginning and ending dates of a voyage.

6. Granting of Shore Leave.

A. An employee has an absolute right to use shore leave. Supervisory approval is required to determine when the shore leave may be taken.

(1) Shore leave may be granted during a voyage only when requested by an employee.

(2) An employee shall submit his/her request for shore leave in writing. The employee may use form SF-71, Application for Leave. When an employee's request is denied, the employee's supervisor shall notify the employee of the denial in writing and shall negotiate a mutually satisfactory time with the employee.

B. The minimum charge for shore leave is 1 day, and additional charges are in multiples thereof.

C. Shore leave shall not be granted immediately prior to separation (terminal leave), unless the employee's inability to use the shore leave earlier was due to circumstances beyond his/her control and not because of his/her own act or omission. When terminal shore leave is granted, the effective date of the separation action shall be fixed to include such leave and an appropriate certification shall be given on the Form SF-50.

D. Forfeiture of Shore Leave. Upon separation from Federal service, unused shore leave is forfeited, and cannot be paid in a lump-sum payment. Unused shore leave is also forfeited upon official reassignment (other than by temporary detail) to a position in which the employee does not earn shore leave. However, to the extent administratively possible, every effort shall be made to allow use of the shore leave preceding the reassignment or within 6 months after the reassignment.

E. Transfer of Shore Leave. When, without a break in service, an employee transfers to a position in another agency in which he/she is entitled to earn shore leave, the shore leave to his/her credit shall be transferred to his/her new position. Written notification must be provided by the servicing personnel office to the Payroll Office when shore leave is to be transferred.

7. Payroll Procedures for Crediting Shore Leave. For each day an employee is on an extended voyage, including days on which no work is performed, 8 hours shall be credited on the Time and Attendance form using hours code 087, Shore Leave Creditable Days.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 08-Jan-2013@16:03 (kk)
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