The Office of Personnel Management issued an operating status alert this morning notifying federal agencies that federal employees in the Washington, DC area are authorized to leave work early on January 7, 2020.
OPM said that federal offices in the DC region are closing early because of weather moving into the area and all federal employees must depart no later than 1 PM.
The announcement was issued because of news that 1-3″ of snow is expected in the Washington, DC region this afternoon. There are concerns that the snowfall will disrupt the evening commute.
The DC Metro said it will be adding additional trains and buses to handle the extra midday traffic with the mid-day closures.
OPM’s full announcement follows below.
STATUS: EARLY DEPARTURE – 4 HOURS STAGGERED EARLY RELEASE – ALL EMPLOYEES MUST DEPART NO LATER THAN 1:00 PM
Employees of Federal offices in the Washington, DC area are authorized for early departure. Employees should depart 4 hours earlier than their normal departure time and may request UNSCHEDULED LEAVE to depart prior to their staggered departure time. All employees MUST DEPART at no later than 1:00 pm at which time FEDERAL OFFICES are CLOSED.
Non-emergency Employees at the Worksite:
- Weather and Safety Leave. Non-emergency employees who are not telework program participants will be dismissed from their office 4 hours early relative to their normal departure time or at the final departure time (as applicable) and will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours remaining in their workday.
- Telework Requirements. In general, non-emergency employees who are telework program participants will receive weather and safety leave only for the amount of time required to commute home. Once these employees arrive at home, they must complete any remaining portion of the workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.
- Departure Prior to Early Departure Time. Non-emergency employees who depart prior to their staggered early departure time or the final departure time may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday. A telework program participant who departs prior to the early departure time generally must account for the remaining hours in the tour of duty by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.
Emergency Employees are expected to remain at their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.
Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) already performing telework when an early departure is announced generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination, in accordance with law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).
Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off – including an employee who has requested unscheduled leave before an early departure policy is announced – should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off during the scheduled time and should not receive weather and safety leave.