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Request for or Notification of Absence

Postal employees must complete USPS Form 3971 for all personal absences -whether the absence is for sick leave, annual leave, or emergency annual leave.

Download March 2008 3971 - NOT FILLABLE

Download Fillable PS 3971 - March 2008 PS 3971 Fillable

Postal employees should:
a. Request leave - annual, emergency annual, or sick leave - by completing PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence.
b. Obtain approval of PS Form 3971 before taking leave - except in cases of emergencies. See sick leave note below.
c. Avoid unnecessary forfeiture of annual leave.

Sick Leave: ELM 513.33 Requests for Sick Leave
Except for unexpected illness or injury situations, sick leave must be requested on PS Form 3971 and approved in advance by the appropriate supervisor.

ELM 513.332 Unexpected Illness or Injury
An exception to the advance approval requirement is made for unexpected illness or injuries; however, in these situations the employee must notify appropriate postal authorities of their illness or injury and expected duration of absence as soon as possible. When sufficient information is provided to the supervisor to determine that the absence is to be covered by FMLA, the supervisor completes PS Form 3971 and mails it to the employee's address of record along with a Publication 71.

When the supervisor is not provided enough information in advance to determine whether or not the absence is covered by FMLA, the employee must submit a request for sick leave on PS Form 3971 and applicable medical or other certification upon returning to duty and explain the reason for the emergency to his or her supervisor. Employees may be required to submit acceptable evidence of incapacity to work as outlined in the provisions of 513.36, Documentation Requirements, or noted on the reverse of PS Form 3971 or Publication 71, as applicable.

The supervisor approves or disapproves the leave request. When the request is disapproved, the absence may be recorded as annual leave or, if appropriate, as LWOP or AWOL, at the discretion of the supervisor as outlined in 513.342.

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ELM 513.341 General
Request for sick leave is made in writing, in duplicate, on PS Form 3971. If the absence is to care for a family member, this fact is to be noted in the Remarks section.

ELM 513.342 Approval or Disapproval
The supervisor is responsible for approving or disapproving requests for sick leave by signing PS Form 3971, a copy of which is given to the employee. If a supervisor does not approve a request for leave as submitted, the Disapproved block on the PS Form 3971 is checked and the reason(s) given, in writing, in the space provided. When a request is disapproved, the granting of any alternate type of leave, if any, must be noted along with the reason for the disapproval. AWOL determinations must be similarly noted.

Download our Printable Form 3971 (new window)
Note - this form may be printed but is not fillable. If you have access to fillable version please Contact PEN.






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