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Funeral leave


Armed Forces means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Combat zone is an area determined to be a combat zone by the President.

Employee means any employee of the Department.

Family member or immediate relative means the following relatives of the deceased member of the armed forces: spouse, parents, children (including adopted children, foster children or step-children) and their spouses, brothers and sisters and their spouses, and any person related by blood or affinity whose close association with the deceased was such as to have been the equivalent of a family relationship.

Veteran means an employee of the Department who is a veteran of any war, campaign, or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or who is a member of honors or ceremonial groups of such veterans.

Excused Absence for Armed Forces Connected Funerals

An eligible employee may be granted an excused absence of not more than three days to make arrangements for or to attend the funeral or memorial service for an immediate relative who died as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred in a combat zone as a member of the Armed Forces (5 U.S.C. 6326). 

The three days must be within the employee's established tour of duty, including regularly scheduled overtime. The three days need not be consecutive. The employee shall furnish to the leave-approving official, an acceptable justification for use of funeral leave in nonconsecutive days.

An eligible employee may be granted excused absence for up to four hours in any one day of his or her scheduled tour of duty to participate in a funeral ceremony for a member of the Armed Forces whose remains are returned from abroad for final interment in the United States. This includes veterans who attend the funerals of deceased veterans as members of firing squads or guards of honor. (5 U.S.C. 6321)

Sick Leave for Funerals of Family Members

An employee may be granted sick leave to make arrangements for or attend the funeral of a family member and to settle or put into motion the settlement of matters resulting from the death of the family member. 

Military Leave for Funeral Honors Duty

An employee eligible for military leave under 5 U.S.C. 6323(a) may use military leave to perform at the funeral of a veteran. Funeral ceremony duties include the folding of a United States flag and presentation of the flag to the veteran’s family and the playing of Taps. 

Updated February 2002