OPM updates unscheduled telework option

Employees can now request to leave earlier than designated departure time

The Office of Personnel Management is updating its dismissal and closure procedures for the Washington, D.C., area after January’s snowstorm commute – dubbed “Commutageddon” – that left some people stranded on the road for up to 13 hours.

Now, when OPM announces an early departure, employees will be able to request unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework before their individually staggered early departure times, according to an OPM memo sent to agency heads March 3.


Related story:

OPM: Discuss telework options before weather hits


“The revised announcement is not a change in policy but is simply meant to highlight that employees have the option to request unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework if they wish to leave prior to their designated early departure times,” OPM Director John Berry said. 

Berry acknowledged that some agencies are having difficulty implementing their unscheduled telework policies, and he said OPM will work with these agencies to “better understand their concerns and lessons learned during this year’s snow season.”

“OPM understands that it will take time to migrate towards incorporating unscheduled telework into their emergency policies, and we strongly encourage agencies to allow as many employees as possible to telework when unscheduled telework is announced,” Berry added.

OPM has also decided to suspend the short-term collection of telework data when certain status announcements are made for the area and move toward a long-term approach. To implement this change, OPM plans to collaborate with agencies and their payroll offices to establish the collection of telework data through its Enterprise Human Resources Integration system, according to the memo. 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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