Delayed Government Opening in Washington Metro Area

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By on January 21, 2014 in Current Events with 6 Comments

Winter weather in the Washington, DC area is apparently giving the government a hard time. After closing down on Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday, the government closed down on Tuesday because of winter weather. It should be somewhat better on Wednesday but the Office of Personnel Management has announced a delayed opening of two hours. The temperature on Wednesday, January 22, is expected to be about 17 degrees with blowing snow and a low on Wednesday night of 12 degrees.

This means that federal employees can arrive to work two hours past the normal opening time. However, if an employee chooses to use unscheduled leave instead of going to work, he or she will be charged eight hours of leave.

This has been a rough winter for keeping the government opening during normal business hours in Washington because of weather related conditions. The following is a list of government closures from just this winter:

Here is the guidance to agency employees from OPM for the latest delayed opening because of weather conditions:

Non-Emergency Employees who report to the office will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for up to 2 hours past their expected arrival time. In accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements, non-emergency employees may notify their supervisors of their intent to use:

  1. earned annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or sick leave, as appropriate;
  2. leave without pay;
  3. their alternative work schedule day (AWS) off or rearrange their work hours under flexible work schedules; or
  4. unscheduled telework (if telework-ready).

(Employees who request unscheduled leave should be charged leave for the entire workday.)

Telework-Ready Employees who are regularly scheduled to perform telework or who notify their supervisor of their intention to perform unscheduled telework must be prepared to telework for the entire workday, or take unscheduled leave, or a combination of both, for the entire workday in accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements.

Pre-approved Leave. Employees on pre-approved leave for the entire workday or employees who requested unscheduled leave for the entire workday should be charged leave for the entire day.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksite on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

© 2017 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


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