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Organ Donor Leave Act

Tuesday, November 2, 1999
CPM 99-O
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Janice R. Lachance Director
Organ Donor Leave Act


On September 24, 1999, President Clinton signed Public Law 106-56, the "Organ Donor Leave Act." (A copy of the President's statement is attached.) This law amends section 6327 of title 5, United States Code, to increase the amount of paid time off allotted for Federal employees to serve as organ donors from 7 days to 30 days each calendar year. The new law will enhance the Federal Government's leadership role in encouraging organ donations by making it easier for Federal employees to become donors. The amount of leave available for bone marrow donation remains at 7 days each calendar year under 5 U.S.C. 6327.

Currently, more than 65,000 Americans are awaiting an organ transplant. Last year, almost 5,000 Americans died while waiting for an organ to become available. This amounts to an average of 13 citizens each day. In 1997, the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Office of Personnel Management, implemented a Governmentwide campaign to encourage Federal employees to consider organ donation. The new law further this campaign by increasing the amount of paid leave available to Federal employees who will donate organs for transplants, providing up to 30 days of paid leave, in addition to annual and sick leave, for organ donation. The law provides that an employee is entitled to use this leave without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, credit for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating. The law will make it easier for Federal employees to consider organ donation and become part of this life saving effort.

Because the law is clear, we do not believe regulations are needed to administer section 6327. Agencies are responsible for notifying employees of this new entitlement to paid leave, which became effective on September 24, 1999. The length of absence for organ donation procedures will vary depending upon the medical circumstances of each case. For medical procedures and recuperation requiring absences longer than 30 days, we encourage agencies to continue to accommodate employees by granting additional time off in the form of sick and/or annual leave, advance sick and/or annual leave, donated annual leave from the agency's leave transfer or leave bank programs, or leave without pay.

Through these efforts, Federal employees can bring hope to those in desperate need of life-saving assistance.

Questions may be referred to OPM's Pay and Leave Administration Division on (202) 606-2858 or by email at

Last Modified: 3:38:15 PM on Wednesday, August 20, 2003