OPM Urges Agencies to Let Federal Employees Telework During Inauguration Week

OPM is encouraging agencies to let federal employees in the DC area telework this week to help alleviate traffic congestion related to Inauguration Day ceremonies.

Washington, DC is facing a tremendous volume of crowds and traffic beyond what one would normally find in the city this week thanks to the Inauguration Day ceremonies. Consequently, the Office of Personnel Management is encouraging agencies to let federal employees who work downtown to use workplace flexibility options, such as telework, to cut down on traffic.

Federal workers in the DC area also get an extra holiday this week for Inauguration Day to help with the traffic congestion. OPM released a memo last month with details on how the holiday works and how agencies should implement workplace flexibility options.

OPM said this in the memo about encouraging the use of telework:

To help alleviate traffic congestion and minimize distraction to law enforcement and security officials, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is urging agencies to permit employees to use their workplace flexibility options on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19. Accordingly, OPM strongly encourages agencies to allow employees to telework to keep the Federal Government operating while helping to minimize traffic congestion and support law enforcement efforts during these events.

Some key points from the memo include:

  • In addition to telework, employees may also request to use their alternative work schedule day off, annual leave, leave without pay, previously earned compensatory time off, and/or earned credit hours under a flexible work schedule.
  • Federal employees who work in the “Inauguration Day area” (defined in law as the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia) get the holiday on Friday.
  • The Inauguration Day holiday does not apply to an employee who is on official duty away from the official worksite.
  • The holiday only applies to an employee under a telework agreement if the employee is scheduled to telework on Inauguration Day at a location within the Inauguration Day area.

Employees who have questions about the memo or how it applies to their personal work schedules should contact their agency human resources office for more information.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.