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An employee is limited in the amount of annual leave that may be carried over from one leave year to the next. In most cases this amount is 240 hours. The leave earned over the maximum carryover limit is generally referred to as "use or lose" leave. With a few exceptions (outlined below), earned hours above the carryover limit not used before the end of the leave year are lost or "forfeited".
In most cases, it is up to each individual employee to ensure that his/her leave is scheduled for use throughout the leave year in order to avoid forfeiture. However, 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(1)) allows an employee who forfeited annual leave due to an exigency of the public business, illness, or administrative error to have that leave restored for future use. The intent of this regulation is to preserve employee benefits in the event of severe and unforeseen demands. It is not intended to provide an excuse for improper scheduling, planning or utilization of leave by employees or supervisors.
Reasons for restoration of forfeited annual leave