Federal employees in the Washington, DC area were instructed to leave work by 3 PM EST at the latest on Monday, August 7, 2023, according to an announcement from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The DC region is under a tornado watch until 9 PM EST as of the time of this writing. The weather forecast is calling for potentially strong wind gusts up to 60+ MPH and large hail.
According to NBC 4 Washington, the conditions point to the potential for the most severe weather the region has seen in a decade. The news outlet said, “D.C. and parts of Maryland and Virginia were at Level 4 out of 5 as of midday Monday in the National Weather Service’s system for classifying the threat of severe weather. The threat has not been that high since 2013.”
According to WTOP News, “The National Weather Service warned of a moderate risk for severe storms in the D.C. area Monday afternoon — level 4 out of 5, in terms of severity — with the risk of “destructive hurricane-force winds,” isolated tornadoes and large hail possible.”
Early Dismissal Notice from OPM
Applies to: Monday, August 7, 2023
Status: Early Departure – 2 hours Staggered Release – All Employees Must Depart No Later Than 3:00
Employees of Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are authorized for Early Departure. Employees should depart 2 hours earlier than their normal departure time and may request Unscheduled Leave to depart prior to their staggered departure time. All employees Must Depart no later than 3:00 at which time Federal offices are Closed.
Telework Employees at the Office 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.
Telework Employees Performing Telework are expected to continue working and 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.
Remote Workers are expected to continue working and generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by working, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.
Non-Telework Employees at the Office will be dismissed from their office 2 hours early relative to their normal departure time but no later than the final departure time 3:00 (as applicable) and will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours remaining in their workday.
Emergency Employees are expected to remain at their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.
Employees Departing the Office Prior to Their Early Departure Time or the Final Departure Time (whichever is applicable) 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.
Employees 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-generally should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off during the scheduled time and should not receive weather and safety leave.