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Family and Medical Leave Act: Impact on Probationary Status

If you are in a probationary period and are transferred, promoted, demoted, or reassigned before completing the probation, you must complete the probationary period in the new position. Prior Federal civilian service counts toward completion of probation only if its in the same agency, same line of work, and without a break in service.

In order to get FMLA leave, you must have:

  • At least 12 months of Federal service. That means most probationary employees cannot use FMLA leave, unless they have previous Federal service to meet the 12-month eligibility requirements to qualify for the FMLA. For example, if you were transferred to a different agency before the probationary period ended, then you would start the 12 month period over again – but your months of service at the previous agency would count toward FMLA.

Any LWOP used under the FMLA is treated the same as any other LWOP for purposes of service credit to fulfill a probationary period. Up to 22 workdays in a nonpay status is creditable service during the probationary period. If you have more than 22 workdays of nonpay status during your probation, then the probationary period is extended.