The federal government spent more than $775 million over three years on salaries for workers put on administrative leave, according to a study first reported by The Washington Post.
More than 57,000 employees were paid to stay home for a month or longer from October 2010 to September 2013, according to a forthcoming Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
The Office of Personnel Management’s handbook doesn’t permit administrative leave except in rare circumstances, according to the Post. The agency’s handbook only allows it if the person could become a threat, or in short-term situations including organ donation or attending a funeral of a family member who served in the military.
But that hasn’t stopped the federal government from extending it for months in some cases, upsetting lawmakers.
“It’s not authorized by any law,” Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate Republicans at risk in 2018 steering clear of town halls MORE (R-Iowa) told the Post. “Bureaucrats are abusing it.”
Grassley, along with Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterA guide to the committees: Senate GOP loses top Senate contenders Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (D-Mont.), wants to codify a paid leave requirement that limits the practice.
Three State Department officials, and another who later resigned, were placed on administrative leave for months after the agency’s Accountability Review Board criticized them over the Benghazi terror attacks.
Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner also received paid leave before her eventual resignation.