NDAA Carryover Leave Provision Update

Clint Bain and Neil Burnette
December 30, 2020

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress passed legislation that will allow Federal Employees to carryover an additional 25% of their annual leave into year 2021.  President Trump recently vetoed the Legislation; however, the House and Senate are expected to override the veto making this year’s NDAA bill public law.

NASCOE is hearing that some State Offices are indicating the NDAA may have an unintended negative effect on employees who have accumulated “restored” annual leave, particularly those who plan to retire in 2021.  

NASCOE has consulted legal counsel and contacted various Executive and Legislative branch officials about the legislation’s effect on FSA employees.  We believe Congress did not intend that this provision would negatively impact our County Office employees carrying over “restored leave” and should not lead our members toward early retirement.  We believe the intent of the Legislative branch is to allow “non-essential” employees, who did not have restored leave, the ability to carryover an additional 25 percent of annual leave for use during 2021. 

Even though we believe the language will not affect county office employees with restored leave who were deemed essential, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will have the sole responsibility of interpreting the intent of this new law and how it is applied to Federal employees.  At this point we do not anticipate any scenario where OPM will nullify any earned leave that was “restored” due to an exigency of public business.

We will update membership with any subsequent Department or OPM guidance.