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OMB Calls for Expanded Telework, Leave Options for Coronavirus

The Office of Management and Budget is asking federal agencies to make full use of telework and leave options to protect federal employees who are most at risk from the coronavirus.

The White House Office of Management and Budget is asking federal agencies to maximize telework and leave options to help protect federal employees from the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The memo says that telework options should be maximized for federal workers who are identified by the Centers for Disease Control as being at highest risk for complications from the virus.

Additionally, it says that federal agencies should consider expanding telework options in areas where the coronavirus is known to be spreading more widely.

Lastly, the memo says that agencies are encouraged to approve leave for federal workers who are at higher risk for complications from the virus and who are not telework eligible. The memo notes that weather and safety leave is an available option that agencies can use in response to protecting federal employees from the virus.

Update: OMB issued a follow up memo on March 15 which clarified its original March 12 memo. OMB now says that agencies “are asked to offer maximum telework flexibilities to all current telework eligible employees, consistent with operational needs of the departments and agencies as determined by their heads.” Previously, the guidance said that telework should be offered to federal employees most vulnerable to complications from the coronavirus.

A copy of the memo is included below.

OMB Memo on Coronavirus

About the Author

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