NIH Leave Bank Terms

If you require clarification on a term, contact the Leave Bank Office at 301-443-8393.

Available Paid Leave

Available paid leave must be exhausted prior to use of leave donations through the Leave Bank. Any available paid leave will be deducted from the total amount of leave approved by the Leave Bank Board prior to transfer (remaining balance must be 24 hours or more).


  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Restored annual leave
  • Holiday hours
  • Voluntary Leave Transfer Program Donations (for the same medical emergency only)

Does not include:

  • Credit hours
  • Advanced annual leave
  • Advanced sick leave
  • Leave Awards
Date of Employment
This date is annotated in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder.
An individual who is engaged in the performance of a Federal function under authority of law or an Executive act and subject to the supervision of an individual named by paragraph (1) in 5 U.S.C. 6301 while engaged in the performance of the duties of his position.
Family and Medical Leave Act

5 U.S.C. 630.1201 as added by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act 1993 (FMLA) (Public Law 103-3, February 5, 1993), provides covered Federal employees with entitlement to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the following purposes:

  • the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter;
  • the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • the care of spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or
  • serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her positions.
Family Members - Leave Bank

Under Leave Bank, the following relatives of an employee are considered family members:

  1. Spouse, and parents thereof;
  2. Sons and daughters, and spouses thereof;
  3. Parents, and spouses thereof;
  4. Brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof;
  5. Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
  6. Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic partners of any individual in 2 through 5 of this definition; and
  7. Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Parent means:

  • A biological, adoptive, step, or foster parent of the employee, or a person who was a foster parent of the employee when the employee was a minor;
  • A person who is the legal guardian of the employee or was the legal guardian of the employee when the employee was a minor or required a legal guardian; or
  • A person who stands in loco parentis to the employee or stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor or required someone to stand in loco parentis.
  • A parent (as described in the above subparagraphs) of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.

Son or daughter means:

  • A biological, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of the employee;
  • A person who is a legal ward or was a legal ward of the employee when that individual was a minor or required a legal guardian;
  • A person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis or stood in loco parentis when that individual was a minor or required someone to stand in loco parentis; or
  • A son or daughter (as described in 1-3) of an employee's spouse or domestic partner.

Domestic partner means an adult in a committed relationship with another adult, including both same sex and opposite-sex relationships.

Committed relationship means one in which the employee, and the domestic partner of the employee, are each other's sole domestic partner (and are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else); and share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations. This includes, but is not limited to, any relationship between two individuals of the same or opposite sex that is granted legal recognition by a State or by the District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship (including, but not limited to, a civil union).

Family Members - FMLA

Under FMLA, the following relatives of an employee are considered family members:

  1. Spouse;
  2. Sons and daughters; and
  3. Parents.

Spouse means an individual who is a husband or wife pursuant to a marriage that is a legal union including common law marriage in States where it is recognized.

Son or daughter means a biological, adopted, or foster child; a step child; a legal ward; or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is—

  1. Under 18 years of age; or
  2. 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. A son or daughter incapable of self-care requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the “activities of daily living” (ADL's) or “instrumental activities of daily living” (IADL's). Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as caring appropriately for one's grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, and eating. Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using the telephones and directories, using a post office, etc. A “physical or mental disability” refers to a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual as defined in 29 CFR 1630.2 (h), (i) and (j).

Son or daughter on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status means the employee's biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom the employee stood in loco parentis, who is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status, and who is of any age.

Parent means a biological parent or an individual who stands or stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a son or daughter. This term does not include parents “in law.”

Health Care Provider

Means one or more of the following:

  • A licensed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy or a physician who is serving on active duty in the uniformed services and is designated by the uniformed service to conduct examinations under this subpart;
  • Any health care provider recognized by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or who is licensed or certified under Federal or State law to provide the service in question;
  • A health care provider as defined in paragraph (2) of this definition who practices in a country other than the United States, who is authorized to practice in accordance with the laws of that country, and who is performing within the scope of his or her practice as defined under such law;
  • A Christian Science practitioner listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts; or
  • A Native American, including an Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiian, who is recognized as a traditional healing practitioner by native traditional religious leaders who practices traditional healing methods as believed, expressed, and exercised in Indian religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, consistent with Public Law 95–314, August 11, 1978 (92 Stat. 469), as amended by Public Law 103–344, October 6, 1994 (108 Stat. 3125).
Intimidate, Threaten, or Coerce

Includes promising to confer or conferring any benefit (such as an appointment or promotion or compensation) or effecting or threatening to effect any reprisal (such as deprivation of appointment, promotion, or compensation).

Leave Bank

A pooled fund of annual leave established by the agency.

Leave Bank Caps

As a Leave Bank Member, you may be eligible to receive up to 480 paid leave hours within a membership period for a personal medical emergency and up to 480 paid leave hours within a membership period to care for a qualified family member experiencing a medical emergency. Total amount of leave received through the Leave Bank within a membership period may not exceed 720 hours.

The amount of leave you receive is contingent upon the period of your medical emergency and the available leave in the Bank. Maximum limitations may vary based on available leave in the Leave Bank. Also, the Leave Bank Board reserves the right to modify cap amounts and/ or how caps are applied. Modifications would be effective no later than February within the leave year it applies.

Leave Bank Member

A Leave Contributor who has contributed, in an open enrollment period (or individual enrollment period, as applicable) of the current leave year, at least the minimum amount of annual leave required; is within an eligible organizational group, and has completed and submitted the required documentation within the specified time frame. A Leave Bank Member is eligible to become a Leave Bank Recipient during the approved membership period.

Leave Contributor

An employee who contributes annual leave (including restored annual leave) to a Leave Bank.

Leave Recipient

A leave Bank Member whose application to receive contributions of annual leave from a Leave Bank has been approved.

Membership Period

A membership period is the same as the leave year.  Leave year beginning and end dates are available at OPM Fact Sheet: Leave Year Beginning and Ending Dates.

Paid Leave Available

The projected sum of all paid leave the employee has to his/her credit on the projected start date of the medical emergency. Employees are required to use their own available paid leave prior to using donated leave. Time-off awards are not considered when calculating paid leave available. However, VLTP, holidays, and sick and annual leave will all be considered. The Leave Bank office can provide a break-down of paid leave available upon request.

Paid Leave Status

The administrative status of an employee while using accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave, credit hours, or compensatory time.

Qualifying Medical Emergency/Condition

A medical emergency/condition is a serious health condition (see 5 U.S.C. 630.1202) of an employee, or a family member of such employee, that is likely to require an employee’s absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and to result in a substantial loss of income to the employee (at least 24 hours of pay) because of the unavailability of paid leave. The Medical Consultant will verify if the medical emergency qualifies based on the medical documentation and verification process.

Set-Aside Account

After an employee becomes a Leave Bank Recipient, his/her annual leave and sick leave accruals are prorated each pay period based upon the number of donated hours used.  The portion of accrued annual and sick leave that is not made available for immediate use is put into a leave account that will be available to employee when he/she is removed from recipient status; this is called a "set-aside account." An employee may accrue no more than 40 hours of annual leave and 40 hours of sick leave in his/her set-aside account.

Shared Leave Status

The administrative status of an employee while the employee is using transferred leave through the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program and the NIH Leave Bank. Also sometimes referred to as "dual status."

Voluntary Leave Transfer Program

The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) is a leave sharing program. Under the VLTP, all Federal civilian employees may donate annual leave or restored annual leave directly to another Federal Civilian employee who is projected to exhaust all of his/her available paid leave due to a personal or family medical emergency.

NIH Leave Bank Program

A leave sharing program that covers personal or family medical emergencies that are projected to result in non-pay status of at least 24 hours.  Federal employees donate leave into the Leave Bank so that the Leave Bank Board may distribute it to approved recipients.  Only members may apply to draw leave from the Leave Bank.