Metro Closed in DC Wednesday; Federal Employees Have Option for Unscheduled Leave

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By on March 15, 2016 in Current Events with 0 Comments

The entire Metro system will be closed in Washington, DC tomorrow for emergency repairs.

According to NBC Washington, officials said they need to inspect 600 underground cables following a fire yesterday and that it is better to go ahead and do it all in one day rather than in smaller portions which would potentially take weeks. The project is expected to be completed around 5 AM Thursday morning.

Because of the potential for delays and the hassle for federal employees to get to work with the Metro closed, the Office of Personnel Management announced this evening that federal workers have the option to take unscheduled leave or telework, but that federal agencies in DC will still be open.

OPM’s decision was probably influenced, at least in part, by lawmakers with districts in the DC region who were stating publicly that federal employees should be allowed to take leave or telework while the Metro was closed.

OPM’s announcement is included below.

Washington, DC Area
Applies to: Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN and employees have the OPTION for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK.

Non-Emergency Employees must notify their supervisor of their intent to use unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework (if telework-ready). In accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law), nonemergency employees have the option to use:

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

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 (as consistent with law).

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

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.