FAQs: Leave of Absence

1. My leave of absence is for two years. What if my employer offers to extend my leave of absence beyond the initial two years?

Extensions of leaves of absence should be discussed with your agency’s ethics office. In many cases, additional leaves of absence or extended leaves of absence do not require additional ethics arrangements because the university has a policy or practice allowing the extension.

2. As a university employee, I pay a reduced rate of tuition for my children. Do I need to report this continuing benefit? Will government ethics rules prevent me from continuing to receive a reduced tuition rate from the university while I am in the government?

This reduced tuition benefit is a continuing agreement or arrangement with the university. You need to describe this benefit in Schedule C, Part II. In the normal case, you do not need to report this benefit in Schedule A.

You will need to coordinate with your agency’s ethics office to determine whether this benefit presents any ethics issues. Standard employee benefits usually are permissible if consistent with the university’s policy or practice for leaves of absence. Any nonstandard terms or benefits will necessitate further analysis by an ethics official to determine whether the benefits are permissible. Whether your benefits are standard or nonstandard, you should discuss them with your ethics officials.

In addition, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in certain matters affecting your university. More specifically, whether or not the benefit is standard, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in any particular matter that will directly and predictably (1) have a “special or distinct effect” on your university, other than as a class of universities; or (2) have an effect on the university’s ability or willingness to continue providing this benefit to you. Your agency ethics official will be able to discuss conflicts of interest with you in detail.

3. As a tenured faculty member, I receive a housing subsidy. Do I need to report this subsidy? Will government ethics rules prevent me from continuing to receive this subsidy while I am in the government?

The housing subsidy is a continuing agreement or arrangement with the university. You need to describe this benefit in Schedule C, Part II. In the normal case, you do not need to report this benefit in Schedule A. You will need to coordinate with your agency’s ethics office to determine whether this benefit presents any ethics issues.

Standard employee benefits usually are permissible if consistent with the university’s policy or practice for leaves of absence. Any nonstandard terms or benefits will necessitate further analysis by an ethics official to determine whether the benefits are permissible. Whether your benefits are standard or nonstandard, you should discuss them with your ethics officials.

In addition, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in certain matters affecting your university. More specifically, whether or not the benefit is standard, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in any particular matter that will directly and predictably (1) have a “special or distinct effect” on your university, other than as a class of universities; or (2) have an effect on the university’s ability or willingness to continue providing this benefit to you. Your agency ethics official will be able to discuss conflicts of interest with you in detail.

4. As part of my employee benefit package, I have a reduced interest mortgage arrangement with my university. Do I need to report this arrangement? Will government ethics rules prevent me from continuing to participate in the university’s reduced interest mortgage program?

This is a continuing agreement or arrangement with the university. You need to report the mortgage in Schedule C, Part I and Schedule C, Part II. You do not need to report this benefit in Schedule A. You will need to coordinate with your agency’s ethics office to determine whether this benefit presents any ethics issues.

Standard employee benefits usually are permissible if consistent with the university’s policy or practice for leaves of absence. Any nonstandard terms or benefits will necessitate further analysis by an ethics official to determine whether the benefits are permissible. Whether your benefits are standard or nonstandard, you should discuss them with your ethics officials.

In addition, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in certain matters affecting your university. More specifically, whether or not the benefit is standard, you will not be permitted to participate as a government official in any particular matter that will directly and predictably (1) have a “special or distinct effect” on your university, other than as a class of universities; or (2) have an effect on the university’s ability or willingness to continue providing this benefit to you. Your agency ethics official will be able to discuss conflicts of interest with you in detail.

 

This guide is not intended to provide investment advice, and you should not rely on statements in this guide when making investment decisions.

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