Enforced Leave


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
March 10, 2016 May 16, 2021 16  


When there is evidence that an employee utilized fraud in securing their appointment, falsified official records, or participated in certain criminal activity that resulted in an arrest, charge, or conviction, an agency may require the employee to take involuntary leave. An enforced leave action involuntarily places an employee in a non-duty leave status while an agency completes a thorough investigation into an employees’ conduct to determine if corrective or adverse action is warranted.

Conduct Subject to Enforced Leave

An employee may be placed on enforced leave if an agency has reliable evidence that the employee:

  1. Utilized fraud in securing his or her appointment;
  2. Falsified official records;
  3. Has been indicted on, arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a felony charge (including conviction following a plea of nolo contendere); or
  4. Has been indicted on, arrested for, or convicted of any crime that bears a relationship to his or her position.

In addition to the above, the Metropolitan Police Department may place a uniformed member, and the Department of Corrections may place a correctional officer, on enforced leave when they have been arrested, charged, indicted or convicted of any crime irrespective of the relationship between the crime and the employee’s duties and responsibilities.

Administering Enforced Leave

Once an agency has reliable evidence that an employee committed any of the actions above, they must confer with the personnel authority and receive written approval to administer an enforced leave action. The timeline for administering enforced leave, along with corresponding corrective or adverse action, is summarized [in the graphic provided].

Requesting Approval for Enforced Leave

Agencies must receive approval from the personnel authority in writing before placing an employee on enforced leave. DCHR will review the evidence in support of the action and, if approved, issue a written approval that identifies the specific conduct subject to enforced leave. If DCHR does not approve the proposed enforced leave action, the agency may continue to proceed with investigating and subsequently administer any other proposed corrective or adverse action related to the incident as appropriate. All request letters should be emailed to [email protected].

Types of Documentation to Verify a Violation

DCHR will review the documentation submitted to validate an enforced leave request. Types of documentation that may be considered when making a determination to place an employee on enforced leave include, but are not limited to, an arrest warrant, a document indicating an indictment has occurred, a charging or pleading document, or government records which show fraud has been committed (i.e. PeopleSoft e-Time records, employee applications, falsification of educational credentials). Agencies should consult with their legal counsel to review any supporting documentation prior to submitting the information for approval. Documentation may also be included in the proposed notice to the employee if practical, but must be provided to the employee upon their request.

Note: For expediency, the Department of Human Resources may provide an agency a preliminary approval through informal means, and will then follow that approval with official correspondence.

Proposed Notice of Enforced Leave

After obtaining approval, agencies should proceed with administering an enforced leave action by issuing the employee a proposed notice of enforced leave. The notice of proposed enforced leave must include the start and end dates of the administrative leave period, the start date of the enforced leave, the approved types of paid leave that may be used during that time, and the subsequent action that may be taken as a result of the alleged conduct. The agency should also allow the employee time to respond either verbally or in writing. Employee responses must be received within two (2) days of the issuance of the proposed notice.

Administrative Leave

When an employee is issued an enforced leave notice, they should be placed on administrative leave for five (5) calendar days prior to the start date of the period of enforced leave. If the administrative leave period includes a weekend, the employee will only receive administrative leave pay on the dates when they would have worked. For example, if the administrative leave period begins on a Friday, they would receive Administrative Leave Pay on that Friday, and Monday through Tuesday of the following week. Once the administrative leave period has ended, the period of enforced leave begins. Any subsequent corrective or adverse action notice does not restart the period of administrative leave.

Placement on Enforced Leave

The agency head (or designee) must place an employee on enforced leave using the employee’s accrued annual leave. An employee is not to use sick leave during the enforced leave period. If an employee does not have sufficient annual leave to his or her credit at the time the enforced leave commences, or if that leave is exhausted, the employee must be placed in a leave without pay (LWOP) status. Employees should follow their agency’s established protocol for reporting time.

Leave Accrual and Holiday Pay

Employees are entitled to accrue annual leave so long as they remain in a pay status. This means that when an employee is on enforced leave, they may continue to accrue annual leave at their usual rate until they are no longer in a pay status. Likewise, employees who are in a pay status before and after a holiday are entitled to receive pay for the holiday. For additional information on leave entitlements, please refer to Chapter 12, Hours of Work, Legal Holidays, and Leave.

Note: When a proposed notice of corrective or adverse action is issued, the timeline for completing the actions required, including receiving employee statements and issuing the final decision, will begin. The end date of enforced leave aligns with the final decision.

Issuing the Final Decision on Enforced Leave

Employees may submit a response to a proposed enforced leave action within two (2) days of the issuance of the proposed notice. Agencies should issue a final decision on the enforced leave action within 3 days of the expiration date of the employee’s time to respond or the agency’s receipt of the employee response. The final notice should reiterate the reasons for placing the employee on enforced leave, inform the employee of his or her right to grieve the enforced leave decision, and, for enforced leave periods of 10 or more days, the right to file an appeal with the Office of Employee Appeals. (See Attachment 3: Final Notice on Enforced Leave)

Recordkeeping and Confidentiality

Documentation and information concerning an enforced leave action will be safeguarded and maintained in a confidential manner. All documents should be filed in a sealed envelope separate from the Official Personnel File (OPF).

Completing Investigations

Agencies should make every effort to conduct any investigation that would lead to corrective or adverse action within a timely manner. While a notice of corrective or adverse action may be issued at any time during the period of enforced leave, if the investigation into the allegations is still in progress or a proposed notice is issued near the expiration of the 180- day maximum for enforced leave, the agency should submit a written justification to the personnel authority to request an extension to the enforced leave period. Agencies should note that the request does not guarantee approval and employees may be permitted to return to work after the expiration date of the approved enforced leave period.

Note: If the basis for placing an employee on enforced leave fails to result in a corrective or adverse action, any annual leave or pay lost by the employee as a result of the enforced leave action shall be restored retroactively. This includes any annual or sick leave that would have been accrued during the time period.


Employees who disagree with a determination of an enforced leave, corrective, or adverse action may appeal by filing a grievance according to the procedures outlined in Chapter 16 or their respective collective bargaining agreement. Enforced leave actions of ten (10) or more days may be appealed with the Office of Employee Appeals (OEA). However, any grievance or appeal will not delay implementation of any final agency action.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

In the event of a conflict between any of the provisions of the E-DPM instruction and any collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the provisions of the CBA shall control to the extent that there is a difference.



  1. Statutory Authority: D.C. Official Code § 1-616.54 et. seq.; and
  2. Regulatory Authority: 6B DCMR § 1617, Corrective and Adverse Actions; Enforced Leave; and Grievances.


The information in this instruction is not applicable to employees serving in a probationary period or temporary appointment in the Career Service; employees under the Office of the Chief Financial Officer; Attorneys in the Legal or Senior Executive Attorney Services; employees in the Executive Service; employees of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia; or employees in the Management Supervisory Service, except as provided in § 1600.3 of Chapter 16 of the regulations.

Additional Information

For additional information concerning this instruction, please contact the Department of Human Resources, Policy and Compliance Administration, by calling (202) 442-9700 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected].


  1. I-16-14