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Human Resources and Organizational Management


Human Resources and Organizational Management

Headquarters Marine Corps

Leave without Pay

Leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary non pay status and absence from duty that, in most cases, is granted at the employee's request. In most instances, granting LWOP is a matter of supervisory discretion and may be limited by agency internal policy. Employees, however, have an entitlement to LWOP in the following situations:

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) (Public Law 103-3, February 5, 1993), provides covered employees with an entitlement to a total of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (LWOP) during any 12-month period for certain family and medical needs.
  • The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (Public Law. 103-353) provides employees with an entitlement to LWOP when employment with an employer is interrupted by a period of service in the uniformed service.
  • Executive Order 5396, July 17, 1930, provides that disabled veterans are entitled to LWOP for necessary medical treatment.
  • Employees receiving workers’ compensation are entitled to leave without pay for limited periods
Important Facts


When the number of LWOP status hours in a full-time employee’s leave year equals his or her biweekly tour of duty (80, 112, 144 hours), the employee’s leave accrual is reduced by an amount equal to the amount of leave (sick and annual) earned during a pay period.

Did you know?

. . . that if a request for annual or sick leave is approved but you don’t have annual or sick leave available, your leave request will be treated as a request for LWOP?

Effect of Extended Leave Without Pay (LWOP) (or Other Nonpay Status) on Federal Benefits and Programs (OPM)  
Effect of Leave Without Pay on Personnel Actions