Update to the Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures

By on March 4, 2011 in Current Events with 8 Comments

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued revised Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures on December 15, 2010 (CPM 2010-18).  Based on our recent experiences, we are amending our announcement for early departures to explicitly allow employees to request unscheduled leave and unscheduled telework prior to their individually staggered early departure times.  Additionally, OPM will no longer be asking agencies to provide telework data when OPM announces certain operating statuses.

Change in Early Departure Announcement

The current OPM announcement for early departure states “OPEN – XX HOUR EARLY DEPARTURE.”   OPM is changing this announcement to: “OPEN – XX HOUR EARLY DEPARTURE MEASURED FROM EMPLOYEE’S NORMAL DEPARTURE TIME- EMPLOYEES MAY REQUEST UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK TO LEAVE PRIOR TO THEIR INDIVIDUALLY STAGGERED EARLY DEPARTURE TIMES.”  The revised announcement is not a change in policy but is simply meant to highlight that employees have the option to request unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework if they wish to leave prior to their designated early departure times.  We have also added the word “staggered” to the announcement so that it is understood that employees begin their work day at different times, as a result of the various work schedules that are in place in the Federal government, and that all employees will not be departing at the same time.  OPM is updating the Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures to reflect this announcement change.

OPM is also aware that many agencies are having difficulties in implementing their unscheduled telework policies and they are concerned with how to properly integrate this new concept into their weather procedures.  OPM understands that it will take time to migrate towards incorporating unscheduled telework into their emergency policies, and we strongly encourage agencies to allow as many employees as possible to telework when unscheduled telework is announced.  OPM plans to work with agencies to better understand their concerns and lessons learned during this year’s snow season. We will consider revisions to our guidance, as needed, to improve our policies while striving to ensure the safety of Federal employees and maintain continuity of Government operations.

Telework Data Collection Spreadsheet

In our December 15, 2010 memorandum (CPM 2010-18), OPM also requested agencies to submit data on telework when certain status announcements were made for the Washington, DC, area.  After consultation with various agencies following the last dismissal announcements, OPM has decided to suspend this short-term collection of telework data and migrate toward a long-term approach.  OPM plans to work with agencies and their payroll offices to establish the collection of telework data through our Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) system.  We believe this approach will establish a long-term solution that will benefit both agencies and those requesting the information.

For More Information

For more information, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and/or Human Resources (HR) Directors may contact their assigned OPM Human Capital Officers.  Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for assistance.

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