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3 FAM 3464 defines “Excuse Absence” (commonly known as administrative leave) as absence from duty administratively authorized or approved by the leave-approving officer and does not result in a charge in leave of any kind or in loss of basic salary. 3 FAM 3464.102 also provides for Conduct-Related Excused Absence “Excused absence may be directed in rare circumstances and when authorized as provided by 3 FAH-1 H-3461.2 when an investigation, inquiry, or disciplinary action regarding the employee’s conduct is pending, has been requested, or will be requested within 2 workdays, and the continued presence of the employee in the workplace may pose a threat to the employee or to others, or may result in loss of, or damage to, U.S. Government property, or may otherwise jeopardize legitimate U.S. Government interests.”
According to grievance records, during the discovery phase of FSGB No. 2015-029, the State Department provided grievant with a spread sheet identifying 10 cases in which employees were placed on administrative leave pursuant to 3 FAM 3464.1.-2.
Via FSGB: We quote the stated reasons for the administrative leave as follows (with numbering added):
- 1) Ongoing investigation. Employee admitted to taking extra passport applications from courier beyond allowed quota. . . . (3 separate cases);
- 2) Arrest based on violation of protective order;
- 3) Allegations of misconduct and alcohol consumption while at US Embassy;
- 4) Employee’s clearance suspended – reasons unknown. Employee failed to meet DS for compelled interview;
- 5) By letter dated 11/14/13, PSS notified her of suspension of clearance. . . . ;
- 6) Security Clearance suspended by DS. . . . ;
- 7) DS investigating employee fraud/impersonating supervisor to obtain federal housing benefits;
- 8) Arrested on child pornography charges. (no indication employee used USG equipment);
- 9) Incident resulting in death of Ambassador and others. Admin leave while office evaluates appropriate action (3 separate cases);
- 10) Employee investigated based on allegations of the rape of 2 women.
Grievant lacks any basis for asserting that the AL granted in these other cases did not serve USG “interests.” Those interests are broad, going far beyond the obvious trauma and safety issues as to other employees. Realistically, all 10 cases (based on the brief descriptions given in the record) invoked some type of governmental interest that was rather self-evident, e.g., stopping an employee from impersonating a supervisor or investigating the actual suspension of someone’s security clearance.21 The bottom line is that the Department’s decisions to grant AL to other persons who were subject to various investigations is not even pertinent to the grievant, [REDACTED].
The FSGB finds that “administrative leave is not an entitlement that would provide the grievant with certain safeguards, but is instead a prerogative administered by management to meet the needs of the Service.”
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- Foreign Service Specialist Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Traveling to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct Aug 2013
- Court Awards $3.3 Million Default Judgment Against State Dept Couple Accused of Slavery and Rape of Housekeeper Sept 2012
- Former CIA Station Chief to Algeria Gets 65 Months for Sexual Assault on Embassy Property March 2011
- What happens when America’s ambassadors of hope and compassion return home as victims of rape and institutional neglect? May 2011
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