In a rare Saturday issued memo, Office of Personnel Management Director Dale Cabaniss has provided additional guidance for federal agencies and employees regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The questions and answers addressed by the memorandum reflect the various inquiries OPM has received from agencies and employees about the virus and how it impacts human resources. The topics discussed include:
- Determination of COVID-19 as a Quarantinable Communicable Disease;
- Sick Leave and Other Time Off;
- Weather and Safety Leave;
- Evacuation Payments;
- Employee Relations;
- Hazardous Duty Pay;
- Workplace Protections; and
- Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP).
OPM will also continue to update its website frequently to provide its latest guidance on the coronavirus. The URL for this part of its website is: www.opm.gov/covid19.
OPM also encouraged agencies to continue reviewing their emergency plans and make full use of telework. OPM wrote:
Agencies should immediately review their current telework policies and ensure that written telework agreements are in place for as many employees as possible. Agencies are strongly encouraged to sign situational (ad hoc) telework agreements with all telework eligible employees currently without a signed telework agreement. Further, agencies should reassess their factors for determining telework eligibility to determine if additional categories of employees may be classified as telework eligible. Finally, OPM encourages agencies to take steps to prepare all telework-ready employees to effectively telework and have access to agency IT systems and networks, as may be necessary, should the conditions from COVID-19 so warrant a Federal office closure.