OPM to “Non-Emergency” Feds: Stay Away from Downtown DC During Summit

Do you work in downtown Washington, DC? If so, get ready for a nasty commute during the Nuclear Security Summit. OPM says you may want to stay home instead of trying to get to the office.

Do you work in downtown Washington, DC?

If so, get ready for a nasty commute early next week.

On April 12th and 13th, the United States is hosting a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.  President Obama will meet with representatives of more than 40 nations at the summit, which is designed to enhance international cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism.

But, despite the congestion and security considerations for the participants in the summit, the federal government will be open for business. The Office of Personnel Management says that, even though the government will be open, you may want to consider staying away from the office or, at a minimum, allow for more time to get to the office and get back home.

Moreover,  "[e]mployees who can work at home or an alternative site are strongly urged to do so, in accordance with their agencies’ telework and AWS policies. Employees eligible for AWS are strongly encouraged to take Monday or Tuesday as their AWS day off."

And, in a nod to being politically correct or very sensitive to offending those who work in Uncle Sam’s civilian army, OPM has carefully avoided using the term "non-essential federal employees" that has been around (and ridiculed) for decades. Instead, a less offensive term has appeared in official government communications: "non-emergency employees."

So, if you are one of these "non-emergency employees," and if these other options are not available or will not cover your absence on Monday and Tuesday, "all non-emergency employees who can be spared may request annual leave, leave without pay, and/or the use of previously earned compensatory time off or earned credit hours under an alternative work schedule."

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47