incapacitation due to pregnancy and confinement. Additional periods of annual leave and leave without pay may be granted in whatever order the employee requests for a nonincapacitated period. Once requested and approved, the order of leave may be changed only on approval by the proper supervisory authority.

The employee also may request and be granted annual leave or leave without pay instead of sick leave for the period of incapacitation.  When requested by the employee and upon consultation with the supervisor, the total absence for maternity reasons will be authorized for a period up to 180 consecutive days.  Requests for additional leave following the end of the period of maternity leave will be handled in accordance with applicable regulations and this agreement.

In considering requests for sick leave, annual leave, and/or leave without pay for maternity reasons, the proper supervisory authority will apply pertinent laws, regulations, and this Agreement in the same way they would apply them in any other cases.  No arbitrary cutoff date requiring an employee to cease work or prevent an employee from returning to work will be established.  If cutoff dates are established, they must be based on physical capability of the employee to perform the duties of the job after a determination by competent medical authority.

The employee should submit notice, at least 3 months in advance, of the prospective need for leave for maternity reasons.

C.  Accrued annual leave and leave without pay may be granted to a male employee for the purpose of assisting and caring for the mother of his child or minor children during the mother's incapacitation for maternity reasons.  Requests for advanced leave will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

D.  Annual leave and LWOP may be appropriate for adoption or proceedings for adoption.

Section 11--Leave Transfer Program

The parties agree to reopen this section for term bargaining.
Refer to the LOU dated July 22, 1993.

Section 12--General Leave Policies and Practices

A.  Normally, leave requests, approvals and denials will be made in writing on form SF-71.

B.  Leave approvals/denials requested pursuant to Section 2.C. of this article will be provided within ten (10) working days after the close of the request period.  Leave approvals/denials requested pursuant to Section 8 of this article will be provided within ten (10) working days after receipt of the request