A Federal Agency may take a disciplinary action and/or adverse action against a
Federal Employee for being Absent Without Leave (AWOL). Rarely, however, is the Federal
Employee without recourse for challenging the allegations effectively.
There are several avenues available, and an attorney familiar with Federal
Employment litigation can assist you in choosing the path necessary to
defeat erroneous AWOL charges.
For example under certain circumstances, an
Adverse Action involving AWOL charges may be appealed to the
Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) . AWOL charges are not typically alleged in isolation. Often times, a Federal
Agency will include allegations of Leave Abuse and/or Failure to Follow
AWOL appeals before the
MSPB often revolve around a Federal Employee's need to attend medical appointments,
the sufficiency of doctor(s) notes, and denied requests for sick and/or
annual leave. As a result, affirmative defenses involving
Failure to Accommodate ,
Disability Discrimination, improper denials of FMLA, and Association Discrimination may become necessary
components of a successful appeal.
To successfully establish an AWOL charge, a Federal Agency must prove the
following elements by preponderant evidence before the presiding MSPB Judge:
1) The Federal Employee was absent; and
2) The absence was not authorized; or
3) A request for leave was properly denied.
If you have been charged with both AWOL and Failure to Follow Procedures
and/or Leave Abuse for the same incident and/or absence, consider discussing
your situation with an
MSPB attorney .
Federal Employment litigation often gives rise to the maxim, "Timeliness
is next to Godliness."
The procedural requirements in claims against any Federal Agency require
Federal Employees to raise affirmative defenses and counterclaims early
on in the proceedings. Undue delay may preclude you from challenging an
adverse action altogether. A sustained adverse action has far reaching
implications, including the potential to irreparably mar your Federal
Employment Record and potential for upward mobility in your employing
No post on this website is legal advice, nor is it meant to replace the
advice of an attorney familiar with MSPB Appeals and
Federal Employment Law litigation .
Consult with an MPSB Attorney to discuss the facts and law of your particular case.