OPM Wants to Make Sure Federal Employees Follow Dismissal Procedures Next Year

By on December 16, 2015 in Human Resources with 1 Comment

Image of words 'offices closed' against picture of calendar in background

The Office of Personnel Management has released an up to date copy of the the current dismissal and closure procedures for the Washington, DC area.

“These Procedures reflect the principle that the Federal Government’s vital business must continue without compromising the safety of our employees and the general public,” acting director Beth Cobert wrote in a memo included with the procedures.

Although OPM is not recommending any changes to the official DC area closure and dismissal policies for next year, Cobert highlighted some information that OPM wants federal agencies and their employees to be aware of.


Cobert stressed in the memo that agencies should continue to incorporate telework arrangements into their agency emergency planning so that employees will be able to telework during emergency situations, thereby allowing the Federal Government to maintain productivity and ensure continuity of operations.

Communicating expectations

Cobert said in the memo that OPM’s closure announcements are only effective if federal workers know what is expected of them when a closure is announced. Therefore, she said each announcement should be accompanied by specific agency procedures in continuity of operations plans, written telework agreements, and/or collective bargaining agreements, as consistent with law.

Reminder to follow OPM’s status announcements

Cobert also stressed that federal employees in the Washington, DC area must follow any guidance published by OPM regarding a closure or change in government operating status. She noted that doing so “will allow for coordination with municipal and regional officials, and will reduce disruption of the highway and transit systems. This will both reduce traffic congestion and ensure that affected employees are treated as consistently as possible.”

The dismissal and closure procedures cover topics such as teleworking during an early dismissal or closure, what happens if you are on pre-approved leave when a closure is announced, and appropriate use of leave without pay.

The procedures also outline in detail what OPM’s various operating status announcements are and what each one means for federal workers in the DC area.

A copy of the complete dismissal and closure procedures is included below.

Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures December 2015

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.