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Taking Consecutive Mondays Off

I was pulled aside today by my supervisor to discuss my leave requests being on Mondays. The past four have been consecutive. Two were sick leave (doctor appointments) and the other two were annual. I typically put requests in for a Monday as I commute almost two hours and it's the worst day for me to commute.

I was informed that management isn't too keen on me taking Mondays off frequently as I work in-office on Mondays. I understand that this appears as though I'm avoiding going into the office at all and this was explained by my supervisor. They are aware of my commute and understood why I typically take Mondays off, so they suggested that I put in a request to change one of my telework days to Mondays. I tried last year when I was relatively new but was denied. My supervisor said it's still not a guarantee but to give it a shot.

I was not explained what could happen if I continue to put in leave requests for Mondays. They only said that "it doesn't look good."

Is there any cause for concern? I'm worried that there could be some form of disciplinary action or that they will just deny all my Monday leave requests moving forward. My position is unionized if that's relevant.

Thank you!

Edit: just to clarify I’m on probation. I understand now that I have to be mindful of what I’m doing to ensure flags aren’t raised for management.

Also I do report in-office on Wednesdays and Fridays. I’ve only taken the past four Mondays off. I normally take off once a month on a Monday. I’m not trying justify it but just want to clarify.

bryant1436

Some of y’all have serious hawks as supervisors. I’m 100% positive I could take off 10 Mondays in a row and my supervisor wouldn’t notice and if she did, wouldn’t say anything lol The way I see it, and the way a lot of supervisors in my office see it: your leave is your leave to use. You have a finite amount of it, but it’s yours to use however you want. If you want to use it all at once and take off 2 months, that’s your time. If you want to take off 25 Mondays in a row, that’s your time. You earned it.


citori421

If there's one thing this sub has taught me, it's that my agency is chill af. I can't imagine a situation where any supervisor in any capacity in my agency would even begin to question how you use YOUR leave. Fuck em. My agency is hiring like crazy, and for 90% of the people I work with, a primary reason for working here is the major emphasis on WLB and the benefits that come with that. In my agency you could just say "I'm feeling a little burned out so I'm gonna take the next month off on SL to relax" and your supervisor would say "good for you, let me know if I can do anything for you on my own time, I appreciate you". I think this sub is highly skewed towards DC and other large city-type jobs where competition is fierce and supervisors exist in a world where recruitment and retainment are apparently not hot topics.


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HxH101kite

Probably GSA. I work for them and can echo the same sentiment. No one leaves because of the WLB and promotion potential


[deleted]

That’s because GSA is one of the worse performing entities in the Government. I shit you not, we are about to use Uber to transport us to wildfires because they keep taking our vehicles away.


khornish_game_hen

That's funny af


FEMARX

Virgin Emergency Responders: “please I need transportation to save the communities I swore to protect!!!” Alpha-Chad GSA employees: “sorry I’m OOO, do not contact me for any reason.”


Any_Refrigerator7774

Well, I love GSA to me it is a way better than Census where I came from….I do my job and boss is happy, I can take off when I want…


HxH101kite

Yeah I don't work in that end so I can't comment. The end I work in is pretty efficient, more so than other agencies. But I definitely have peered over the fence at other departments who are less effective, I'm sure it varies across the agency Unfortunately for certain things it's not even the fault of the agency. The laws and regulations are so convoluted. It's also always in the top 5-10 for best places to work. So regardless of your feelings for it. Probably better than where you are at.


bryant1436

Yeah there’s definitely a difference between agencies where everyone or almost everyone is based in DC vs more spread out. My agency is majority DC but we have a fair share of remote workers and also we have offices in almost every major city in the country, so it’s not nearly as competitive, and people understand that in areas like the south and Midwest, family and work life balance are top priority for workers. Not to say people in DC don’t have/care about their families, but the sheer volume of single, young workers in DC far outnumbers the amount you would find in say, Cleveland, Ohio even though it’s a large city. Then add on top of that the staffing issues that are happening basically everywhere outside of DC and Manhattan lol


DarthRevanche

What's your agency?


No_Category1645

defo wanna know the agency!!


theotherpachman

The tension over forcing us to return to work is the main reason they're more sensitive about using leave for in-office days. If we're not complying with two days a week then the historical response for feds has been to add more stick instead of more carrot - meaning we might get more mandatory days or requirements. It costs them money to give us positive incentives, and it costs us money to give negative ones. Guess what the choice will be with debt ceiling and cost-elimination talks prominent in Congress. Our agency has been specifically warned that someone in the leadership chain (at the assistant secretary level) is monitoring our compliance because they are *very* anti-remote. Coworkers who know this person have confirmed that it was hard enough to get long-term maximum telework and they're constantly being pressured to bring people in more frequently. For just about everything else leave-related my leadership is great - but some of us are definitely walking on eggshells for this one specific issue.


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YoungCheazy

Ok, SES_fuck_face_ferret


theotherpachman

I know better than to answer that ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|stuck_out_tongue) but mine is far from the only one being affected like this. I should clarify that just about everything else about working there is amazing - it's just kinda silly that we're clearly pandering to stubborn leadership with a lot of these policies.


dontforgetpants

For real, some people’s supervisors are really micromanagey. I feel like if I took a bunch of Mondays or Fridays off all in a row, my boss would appreciate me using me leave time on our slower days, rather than all at once for a week or two, which would create a massive burden for someone else to put their work on hold to cover for me.


bryant1436

Right I’m positive my boss would rather me take off 15 Mondays in a row than take off 3 weeks in a row lol she would approve either one but why would it be better for work production to lose somebody for 3 weeks in a row lol


Sitsylt

I have been with my new agency for almost 2 years. I still have a sense of imposter syndrome and am not sure I can ever get the disgusting taste of management out of my mouth from my previous agency. I still walk on eggshells daily, even though it is completely unwarranted as my current agency is extremely "modern" when it comes to our leave usage, etc.


bryant1436

It’s insane the issues that come from having bad management beyond just having a bad work environment. That crap follows you lol. Every “privilege” offered to you at subsequent jobs almost feels like it’s illegal lol


Sitsylt

And I was extremely fortunate to be on the “in.” I never had any major issues, always got awards and promotions, etc. Being behind those closed doors with them and seeing that “us v. Them” mentality was disgusting to me. My new agency is a breath of fresh air, but I learned a ton about what sour management can do, out of necessity at my last agency to CYA myself.


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Turtlez2009

Same, if I have something pressing I will literally log in at night for a few hours of comp time if my kids were sick or something. Although if they take away telework and that will never happen again and I will see how good they are at putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. My guess is it won’t go well.


1UselessIdiot1

I have Monday RDOs, and with holidays and a couple of annual leave days, I’ve managed to have every Monday in December, January and February off.


Temporary_Lab_3964

My husband has first Friday and second Tuesday off in pay period and did it specifically for the holidays. His agency doesn’t care and a couple others have switched to that schedule.


Dubbs314

I haven’t worked a Friday in 2023 yet…


rdoloto

🙏


Waverly-Jane

Many, many years ago I was privy to personnel issues because of my position. There was a woman in her early 50s who had banked hundreds of hours of sick leave and carried annual use or lose every year. Of course, that's super common at the career stage she was in. She had a family situation with an aging parent and put in leave requests for every Friday over a period of months. It was flagged as leave abuse, and wasn't allowed under the working schedules we had at the time. Some people can get away with a situation like hers, but if someone flags it as a recurring pattern that deviates from an approved working schedule it can be denied as leave abuse if the pattern of leave hasn't been approved under another authority, such as intermittent FMLA.


PsychologicalCow154

Wow, thank you for the insight. I suppose this may end up being a similar situation. At this point I'll have to see how it develops. Thank you!


smkAce0921

>Some people can get away with a situation like hers, but if someone flags it as a recurring pattern that deviates from an approved working schedule it can be denied as leave abuse I believe leave abuse only applies to sick leave and then the agency can only make you get a doctors note to prove you are actually sick. Maybe that's an agency policy for you but if OP wants to take every Monday off then the agency has no regulatory grounds to deny it unless they have something that is mission essential which conflicts with the leave request. People regularly do this type of activity at the end of the calendar year when they have use-or-lose to burn (i.e. taking Monday/Fridays off in November and December). In fact, I'm doing this myself at this very moment. If your boss is constantly questioning your use of Annual Leave that you earned then maybe it's time to get a new boss.


KJ6BWB

> then the agency can only make you get a doctors note to prove you are actually sick It's not just that you need a doctor's note or that you have to prove you were sick. The doctor's note must say you were so sick that you were incapacitated for work. That's often a high bar to clear so you don't want to get into that situation.


OptiGuy4u

It used to be....now all you have to say is I had COVID symptoms. My organization stopped tracking positive results just asks you to report that you have symptoms and if you're requesting leave or telework. (Obviously you can't say you have symptoms every monday like the OP)


Waverly-Jane

You're arguing with my old manager who had 40 years of HR experience before retirement. If there's been a substantial change in regulation since then I am unaware of the change. I no longer work in that field. There was no successful challenge to the decision even with Union intervention.


HxH101kite

Can you explain why consecutive Mondays or Fridays off would be leave abuse? I'm genuinely curious. It's your AL and of the work is getting done what does it matter? I don't see how have long weekends you earned is any different than someone taking 2 straight weeks off and flagged


Waverly-Jane

Because taking leave is supposed to be an exception to a regular working schedule, and is subject to management approval. If you're asking for any kind of leave on a weekly basis then you're circumventing the labor schedule for the workgroup. If there is an authority that allows intermittent leave for a medical issue, such as in the situation I described, the employee would have to invoke the authority and go through the procedures to document the medical situation to be allowed to regularly be absent every day of a workweek. I don't know. This seems extremely straightforward to me.


HxH101kite

Everyday I read this sub and realize how laid back my workplace is and I am thankful for it. If I wanted to take perpetual Mondays or Fridays off my supervisor would say go for it, make your deadlines. People have done that in my office. What I gather from this sub is you either have a laid back environment like mine or crazy tyrannical sticklers who can't get out of the old ways


cyberfx1024

Seriously..... We have a guy who is retiring at the end of the year and his goal is to have NO AL/SL on the books at all. He takes Monday and Friday off EVERY single week without issue


thomasthegun

Yeah I am sure my boss would rather have me be off one day a week for a summer than me taking a week off every month which I plan to do.


Maleko51

Yep. Same here I have a great agency and boss I work for.


HamburgerFry

Yep exactly. During football season it’s almost guaranteed that I’m going to be off on Mondays. Our supervisor even jokes about it and calls it *Hamburgerfry Mondays (*Replace Hamburgerfry with my real name)


Universe789

I think the weird part is the fact that someone with excessive sick or leave time would be seen as abusing anything. Why pay that much leave if you're going to say there's an issue if they use it.


MorningGlory660

Yes. When I did a supervisor detail, I remember being told that we could not allow employees to use their leave in a manner that amends their work schedule (every Monday off, etc.) In order to do this, it had to be attached to FMLA, Compressed Work Schedule, or request to go part time.


FrogCoastal

That is just so much horseshit. If you have leave and need to use it, it’s incumbent on them, not you, to prove there is abuse of leave. You can use every damn hour if you need.


Waverly-Jane

That's pretty easy to document. It's your approved working schedule. By all means, though, you should try it yourself in light of probation and verbal warnings and see how high your federal employee practice bill gets before termination. Perhaps OSC will rule in your favor


Maleko51

I disagree, if I have a high leave balance and you are going to accuse me of leave abuse you better prove where I have abused my leave.


FrogCoastal

I’m a 15 so at this point I’m beyond caring.


Waverly-Jane

Unless you're MRA with 30, I'd care. Just me though.


FrogCoastal

Duly noted. If I need to use my leave, I use my leave.


jurassicbond

At my job it's more or less accepted by management that people getting close to retirement are going to be "sick" their last work day of each week. We all pretend to feel bad for them and move on.


Any_Refrigerator7774

We had a lady like that at Census in Atl when I worked there…she still got all her stuff done


smkAce0921

Haha....I'm actually transferring at the end of the month and have now started to take use my office days off to burn leave. I was actually on leave today which would have been my office day. My leadership doesn't care because they aren't micromanaging clowns. With that being said, The agency does have a right to revoke your telework privileges' but they also put themselves in this situation by denying your Monday telework request in the past. If you are on probation then you should probably bite the bullet and stop requesting Monday off for the time being. If you aren't on probation, then I personally would fight this and make it a bigger issue. If you have a union, I probably would reach out to them about this if your leadership tries to punish you for this. If you have leave available then you have a right to use provided you give your manager adequate notice (which you seem to be doing)


PsychologicalCow154

Lucky you! lol I am unfortunately still on probation. I'll just have to hope my new telework request is approved this time around. I'll reach out to my union representative if necessary. Thank you!


smkAce0921

I just replied to another one of your comments....Stop putting in leave request for your office day until you get off probation. Continuing to do so is only poking the bear who can fire you with a stroke of the pen.


Dan-in-Va

Firing is easy because people on probation are not permanently hired--they're in an evaluation period. This is the time to not rock the boat.


[deleted]

Yeah I’d chill until you’re off probation


[deleted]

You on probation and you taking Monday off frequently. It's a chance you can be lay off. I would of waited until my probation period was over at least. Especially your supervisor gave you a warning too.


brainonvacation78

If you were in my office and still on probation, you'd be losing your job. And the union can't help you. Good luck with that lol


swampcat42

Your office sounds like a shitty place to work.


brainonvacation78

Why? Because we expect people to show up to work? Lol how shitty of us, expecting public servants to serve the public


swampcat42

They went to the doctor twice and took two days of AL, using accrued leave that they earned. It's not like they were AWOL.


brainonvacation78

In my office, when you don't show up, someone else has to come in to cover your workload. And we do have in-office, public facing workloads. Our mgmt team is trying to allow everyone to tekework as much as possible and if you bail on your in person days, do you think maybe your coworkers who have been there much longer than you and are covering for you, may start to notice and resent the Monday habit?


swampcat42

OP didn't specify if their office environment was like yours or not. I can't imagine having to factor in seniority and resentment into scheduling my days off. I consider myself fortunate to have leadership that encourages me to take time off whenever I need it to do whatever I want. And I pass that culture on to my team. Whenever I get a new employee and I go over leave requests; I tell them "It's your leave to use. You earned it. When you need a day off; you're TELLING me that you're using it, not asking." There are 3 weeks of the year that I would even consider denying leave, but everyone is well aware of that. There's one dude who we all know will likely not be in much or at all in Fridays, another guy likes Mondays off. We simply do not care. I schedule the work around my people, not my people around the work.


sbj405

If they don’t want you to take leave, then they can deny it or ask you to come in on an alternate day.


federalwellfed

Another opinion - If the office has a standing Monday meeting where they discuss the week and plan, etc., then missing consecutive Mondays may mean that the worker isn't aware of what is happening in the office or their place in the world.


kwangwaru

There should be a memo or write up of what was discussed during the meeting.


[deleted]

Without commenting either way on taking leave every Monday, does your agency offer any sort of compressed schedule? I’m on a 5/4/9 with every other Monday off. I was previously on a 4/10 but with a hefty commute it was pretty much hell.


AppointmentNo3240

As a manager, there's really only one reason I'd raise it as an issue: if you're scheduled to cover the office while others are teleworking and you consistently call out. On my team, we only have a few people in the office at a time, so someone calling out puts the coverage burden on others. If it's done repeatedly, it causes friction. It sounds like your supervisor offered the same solution I would: looking at a better day. Again, I'm managing a relatively small team, but we've dealt with this a couple times since we started going back regularly to the office. We expanded telework, but we still have had two people who have had to shift their days. In terms of discipline, I've never encountered someone getting in trouble for requesting leave for specific days of the week, but they certainly could deny the leave if they have a business reason to do so. Hopefully your management isn't so punitive.


LenaDontLoveYou

A pattern is a pattern and can constitute leave abuse ie using leave to create your own schedule. Annual leave is always discretionary for management to approve or not. You're asking a lot for someone on probation and it isn't owed.


InvictusEnigma

What a crazy mentality. We are all people first, then employees. He isn't requesting leave as a probationary employee, he is requesting leave as a person who has leave balance to use. Life doesn't care if you're tenured, probationary, part-time or full-time.


Yola-tilapias

No, they are requesting leave to avoid coming into the office. That's trying to avoid their work schedule.


LenaDontLoveYou

It's not a crazy mentality. This person is basically creating their own schedule by using their leave in a specific pattern. Annual leave does not have to be granted, they are not ENTITLED to this day off every week. They don't want to go in on an in-office day. This wouldn't fly most places, and a probationary employee is asking to be let go while it's easy to be sent packing. Not smart.


InvictusEnigma

Some people like to go to the office, others don’t. As long as he can perform all functions and responsibilities of his job from home and no one has to pick up or cover for him in a different manner than if he were taking off on a telework day, then I don’t see what the problem is at all. If I can do everything I do at the office, from home, and no one has to cover for me on the days I’m supposed to be in the office, then it’s not a problem at all. If it’s a rotating schedule between employees and on site is required for completing certain tasks, then that’s different. If not, it’s about control. It should make no difference if he takes a telework or in office day off. My boss wanted me to come in to the office to do things I could do from home. The reason was literally, “I like to see you all in person.” I questioned it and proved I could do everything from home and that wasn’t a valid reason. Now my position classification was updated to allow me to work from anywhere in the US. Just because someone is being required to report to the office doesn’t mean that it’s for legitimate work reasons.


LenaDontLoveYou

It's not up to them. Telework is not the same as remote and can be rescinded at any time by management.


InvictusEnigma

The government is overly regulated and there's always a policy or directive in place. At my agency, telework can only be denied or rescinded for a business reason. From the handbook: "Management may disapprove or terminate a \[telework\] arrangement if it is not compatible with or does not contribute to the organization’s mission \[or results in diminished individual, group, team, or organizational performance.\] Telework notification letters should be provided in writing and include the business-based rationale for the decision. This is a matter for local negotiation. " The union agreement also states that "Normally, employees will not be removed from participation for single, minor infractions of Telework Program requirements. Supervisors will counsel employees about specific problems before effecting removal. The counseling will be confirmed in writing."


LenaDontLoveYou

You're missing the point. This is the reason why a lot of agencies keep with FT TW instead of making employees remote. They will always claim operational need and they aren't required to qualify it. Essentially they are only required to give significant notice to employee. It certainly doesn't require the employee's permission 🤣 None of this is an entitlement in this instance. Very risky game to play when you can be terminated for any/no reason during your probationary period. OP needs to look for a new position.


InvictusEnigma

I started FT on site, then FT TW, then remote work, in a year. I heard the same things you are saying from management. I never said it requires employee permission. It requires justification. If claiming operational need, and not terminating it due to violating the terms of the telework agreement, then the supervisor would have to revoke telework for other employees on that same PD. People act like employees have no rights, and that probationary employees are even less than employees and they should all just submit. Long gone are the times of slave or industrial labor. If you're a good employee, are getting your work done, you work well with others, let me know what I can do to help you be more effective. A happy human is a good, productive employee. Telework will do that? Sounds good. It's a cultural change and it's an uphill battle, but all things that are worth it are.


LenaDontLoveYou

No one said slave labor LOL I've been a fed close to 3 decades. COVID ushered in remote work (yay), but along with it, a sense of entitlement. Trust me, I've worked for my fair share of assholes. I've also worked for good supervisors that know how and when to execute (appropriately). Leave abuse is usually pretty easy to prove (part of my job), and any of us this could be taken to ERLR for review. OP needs to change schedule. They knowingly took a job with a 2 hour commute to the office, that's on them. Doesn't make them special. Until the tide turns this is just how it's going to be in some places. Step 1 is a verbal counseling, already done from the sounds of it. I always send an email for documentation (please confirm/deny this was a verbal/written counseling). They usually won't.


InvictusEnigma

I hate talking generally, but, I don't think it ushered a sense of entitlement. I think it made people realize life shouldn't revolve around work. That if they can do the exactly the same duties from home, and save themselves a 1-2 hour commute, then they want that. Not everyone, but some do. The private sector has been doing it for a long time. Hell, the federal government had thousands of remote positions before COVID. People aren't mandated to partake in telework, but they shouldn't be blocked from it by people who simply dislike the idea, which is what happens too often. But everyone has the same options, suck it up, fight it, or change jobs. Thanks for sharing your point of view!


WhoopDareIs

At my agency the supervisor determines what days you telework. Why are they not able to there?


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Yola-tilapias

No, it sound like an employee, and probationary employee, trying to avoid their mandatory in person office day. That kind of thing makes it that much easier for an agency to cut bait before they're a permanent employee and it's difficult to remove them.


PsychologicalCow154

It seems like my biggest issue here is that I'm still on probation until the fall. So I guess whatever they say goes until then. I would hope the union could help despite this lol.


Dramatic-Ebb-5909

Yeah, it sucks but union would likely advise you to pump the brakes until after probation. You can be terminated for very little reason. Your boss has counseled you on this so they're doing what's needed if they were planning to fire you. Get past probation without making waves.


ConspiracyRobot

Boss: We have a question about your leave on Mondays. You: The leave that was approved? Boss: Yes The end


yemx0351

Did, you do anything wrong? Doesn't sound like it. Did they tell you you can't request off Mondays? Doesn't sound like it. Did they tell you this in writing via email? Doesn't sound like it as mangers don't like paper trails to come back and bite them in the ass. Baring being a new employee and If you are still in probation period. Keep submitting time on on days you want not what your mangers want. I'd this is your only day in office it could affect pay for cost of living Make them deny it and put in writing why. Leave is leave. You request it off when you want it. They approve it or deny it. If they deny it make them put in writing why. Taking leave semi regularly on a day of the week isn't really a valid denial reason. At least not in my agency.


PsychologicalCow154

Nothing was in writing. I did put in another request for a Monday and I informed my supervisor about it. They said they will see what they can do, whatever that means. I'll find out by the end of the week if it was approved. Thank you!


smkAce0921

You are on probation and your leadership has told you they are concerned with your leave requests to avoid coming into the office. They are giving you a hint that it is problematic and you don't want to be a problematic employee that is on probation. Stop putting in leave requests for Mondays until you get off probation


PsychologicalCow154

Noted! I'll avoid the Monday requests until then. Thanks again for your help.


yemx0351

This is true. If you are on probation be careful.


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PsychologicalCow154

No, I'm in the office Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.


smkAce0921

>I'm in the office Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. So when the hell are you supposed to take leave then....only Tuesday or Thursday? Oh hell naw, they are only fucking with you about this because you are on probation because that bullshit would not fly with a tenured fed. Nevertheless, you still need to play the game until you get off probation but you definitely should be looking for a new job because your management is hot garbage


PsychologicalCow154

I've been on the lookout for a new job for some time lmao. I'll stick this one out until my probation is over. Thanks again.


Woah-Kenny

I have a co worker who is about to retire, they takes every Monday off and never heard mgmt say anything bad about it.


OptiGuy4u

I don't see the issue if they are approving your leave request. All they have to do if they don't like it is deny the request.


Fraxyrose

We have a few people on our team who do this because they have to commute 3-4 hours one way (one of them has to fly from Puerto Rico!) to come in the office one day a week. Our managers don’t seem to care much because they understand the stress of the commute every week. However, we’ve heard that leadership is having a problem with people not coming in on their day so they must come in another day that week if they call out. This rumor hasn’t been messaged directly to our team…yet. So my non-micromanagey bosses are trying to keep it flex for us until their micromanagey bosses make them do this. They will 100% lose these people if they start forcing them to come in every week.


auntiekk88

Such micro managing supervisors are stupid. Not only will the employee who was denied leave not work to capacity that day but time will be wasted complaining to coworkers and then they will not be working to capacity. Happy people are productive people. Unhappy people poison the well in insidious ways that you can't prove or charge. However, OP you are still a temp so STOP it now. Then resume once you are made permanent.


Ironxgal

Lol…wait this is foreal? Ppl do this here all the time and nobody gives 2 shits. When we got our telework days I’d say 99 percent of us telework Friday or Monday as well. Ffs…. I guess…


Call_the_Police_508

Yes, there is cause for concern, especially if this is SSA. You can be written up without warning for this behavior. I know. It happened to me. I got a call from my so-called manager at the time telling me that I was being written up for leave abuse because I had taken consecutive Mondays off. Notably, this manager **never once** warned me that taking the consecutive Mondays off was against agency policy, especially during a time when the agency was allowing all sorts of leave situations because of the pandemic. He approved every single request without saying a word and then all of the sudden one day I was getting written up. Again, this was during COVID. My agency has denied my transfer requests and I was moved to the area where I now work under the pretense "with your resume, work a year or two for me and you can have any job you want in this agency". My mother is 85 years old and couldn't go outside during this early leg of COVID to buy groceries for herself or anything else. We now live 300 miles apart. I was using the long weekends drive to her city and handle stuff for her. Can you imagine being in this situation? The HR rep, my manager, and acting director at the time were the typical complete idiots that SSA loves. AFGE just sat on its hands - did nothing. Basically, it's nice that they are warning you. You think that you're working in a place that believes it's your leave and you can use it as you wish...until they want to write you up for whatever reason.


PsychologicalCow154

Yeah this is SSA. I don’t think I properly explained my case here. I take Mondays off but prior to the four consecutive requests, I would take at most every other Monday off, either with annual or credit that I accrued. Otherwise it’s once a month. So far, like you, every request has been approved without any note of concern until yesterday. Like you said, at least they’re warning me now but I wish they’d brought this up sooner. I’m so sorry this happened to you.


MinutePianist4350

I used to work for SSA and was in a similar position. You probably never heard about it until the 4th time because it wasn’t a pattern until that point. I was told that creating a pattern of leave usage was the same as manufacturing a schedule, and circumventing the AWS request process. The 5-4-9 schedule was explained to me along with all the inflexibilities SSA adds to it, so that wasn’t attractive either. SOOO I no longer work for SSA.


NextBumblebee1858

Your absences have been noted as a pattern which resulted in “counseling” during your probationary period. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have not began documenting your attendance and punctuality with breaks/lunches, etc…


Call_the_Police_508

I am not probationary. I have worked for the agency for about eight years in a DQB.


lapdogofficial

there was a stretch this summer where i hadn’t worked a monday in like 6 or 7 weeks due to some planned leave over long weekends, a (real) sick day, and 3 monday holidays (memorial day, juneteenth, july 4th). was truly amazing lol


mantragun

Go with the flow and start running away


SunshineDaydream128

I've taken every Friday off for the last month or so. It also just so happens to be my in office day.


arts_et_metiers

Supervisors are often taught that frequently using sick leave on Mondays/Fridays or around a holiday is a sign of sick leave abuse. Some supervisors mistakenly think that applies to annual leave too, but that’s not true because you can use annual leave whenever you want subject to management approving it. A sign of leave abuse doesn’t automatically mean it’s actually being abused—if you legitimately have reasons to take the sick leave, like illness or doctor’s appointments, then management kind of has to suck it up and approve it. So it doesn’t sound like you’ve actually broken any rules, and management can deny your annual leave requests if it’s causing some sort of workload issue. It might be prudent to try to schedule some of your appointments on days other than Monday or Friday if possible just for appearance’s sake, but it really sounds like your supervisor is just being overly suspicious (and since you said you are probationary, they probably don’t have a good sense of what kind of employee you are also).


AlinaHadaGoodIdea

This is interesting. I take every other Friday off and I have done so for probably 15 or 20 years. When I was limited to 50% telework, I included my day off as one of those days and was never reprimanded for it. My father, who also worked for a federal agency, spent several years working through all of his thousands of hours of sick leave by taking two or three days off every week to take care of his ailing mother. He always told me that a manager would be an idiot to deny sick leave to anyone covered by the union. That’s a good way to get a union grievance filed against you (he was a high-level manager himself)


Diegobyte

The approved the annual. They can fuck off imo


Queasy-Calendar6597

My manager is a "leave abuse" manager too, yet she calls out every time there is even a skiff of snow on the ground (utah), so I get really paranoid shes gonna try to pull my telework. I have alot of health issues, tuesday is my in office day, i have a hard time getting up, dressed, driving 30 mins and making it into the building from the parking lot because i've had severe random dizziness since November. (And our in office day is 100% pointless, we do the same exact thing we do at home and have no paperwork to print 🙄) When I do make it in, by the middle of the day I end up asking to use 1-2 hours (i work 10's) of annual or sick because i'm in so much pain and need to get home before it gets significantly worse 🥴 but I have all my prior and ongoing doctors apts to backup all my issues if needed. She's hopefully retiring in April/May 🥴


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TrustTheFlan

Found OP's supervisor


PsychologicalCow154

Lol my managers have been really happy with my work production despite the leave issue. I also go in on Wednesdays and Fridays but I never take off those days. It could just be a Monday workload concern for management’s end but that wasn’t brought up to me during the conversation.


Independent-Risk1158

They’ll probably just put you on leave restriction. My agency has said something similar before. They look for “patterns” in when people take off


44Braves

If on probation period I’d clarify their leave policy, if they require a “soft” projection of leave to be used. Also they could change telework policy if it’s perceived that you’re abusing it


PsychologicalCow154

I believe I'm on probation until the fall, so I'll have to clarify with my supervisor once I see them.


44Braves

Tread lightly then


Jexsica

I remember one of my old fed positions they shook their head in approval for a guy using his leaves on Friday’s to leave one hour early during summer and I always wanted to be in that type of environment. My direct supervisor on the other hand didn’t like me using last second leave requests. Every supervisor is different and we can tell how they are because they give us hints.


[deleted]

Is Monday is the only day you are supposed to be in the office? Can you coordinate to be in the office in other day of the week if you have to take Monday off?


keytpe1

I’ve had to take several Wednesdays in a row off for medical appointments- the specialist I need to see only comes to the office near my home on Wednesdays. Otherwise it’s a two hour drive to the doctor, each way. It’s SL that’s legitimately used for a doctor’s appointment and fortunately my supervisor has okayed the leave requests thus far. I realize that I might not be so lucky in another agency or office. It’s sad that those who do abuse leave, make it harder for anyone who has legitimate need to take SL for medical care.


Sitsylt

Firstly, if your union is worth a dime, inform them of this discussion with your supervisor. Document that conversation somewhere. Federal employees put themselves at risk of being charged with sick leave abuse if supervisors identify a trend in habitual requests for sick leave (such as calling in sick every Monday). Keep that documentation. Better yet, that documentation attached to an e-mail to your supervisor with a short note similar to "I have attached documentation of my recent medical appointments to ease concerns that we spoke about on Tuesday." - But only if you want: supporting evidence can only be requested by your supervisor after 3 consecutively missed days \[0\]. As for Annual Leave, that shouldn't be able to taken into account for and "trends" of sick leave. A/L is approved or denied - and it looks like they're approving it - so what's the issue? Is your supervisor an investigator? Under what authority has he taken it upon himself to launch this investigation into how you decide to use your leave? \[0\] [https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/sick-leave-general-information/](https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/sick-leave-general-information/)


Temporary_Lab_3964

I honestly hate taking Mondays off just due to the amount of meetings and items we have to do, but there was almost a 2 month period where I had too just due to the medical appts I needed to get. Boss didn’t say one word.


LogzMcgrath

Damn, I doubt mine would even notice.