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12/15/2010
Source: Office of Personnel Management
Title: Fact Sheet on the New Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures
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Purpose:

• President Obama made it clear that the work of the Federal Government should never stop because of snow. 

• As a result of the President’s expectation and the new Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, Director Berry is updating OPM’s annual Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures

•  A major change is the introduction of the unscheduled telework option (e.g., ad hoc telework)

• Unscheduled telework is a new way for agencies and employees to continue work operations during snow and other emergencies and ensure the safety of the Federal workforce

• OPM is also streamlining its announcements on the status of Federal Government operations in the Washington, DC, area to reflect this new concept

• Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures apply automatically to Federal agencies within the Capital Beltway. 

• For OPM reporting purposes we use the “Washington, DC; Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; Arlington and Fairfax counties; and the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church in Virginia. (The same weather conditions will likely cover employees in these adjacent jurisdictions.  Over 302, 000 employees work in the Washington, DC, area.)

2010-11 ANNOUNCEMENTS for the “WASHINGTON, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures

• OPEN

• OPEN WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

• OPEN-XX HOUR DELAYED ARRIVAL-WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

• OPEN-XX HOUR EARLY DEPARTURE

• FEDERAL OFFICES ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Role of Unscheduled Telework

• Unscheduled telework is using telework on an ad hoc basis (i.e., not a regularly scheduled telework day)

• If permitted by agency policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements, an employee will have an option for unscheduled telework during the following announcements 

• OPEN WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

• OPEN- XX HOUR DELAYED ARRIVAL WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

• OPEN XX HOUR EARLY DEPARTURE

• Telework may be required when the “Federal Offices Are Closed to the Public,” subject to agency policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements

Migration to New Telework Policy: To implement the new telework option, agencies should:

• Review current telework policies and agreements to ensure that telework is integrated as part of the flexibilities permitted during disruption of normal operating procedures

• Ensure that the IT infrastructure is in place to allow large numbers of employees to telework simultaneously

• Establish new written telework agreements for employees who can telework (ad hoc), but typically do not, and allow all employees who can telework to practice it frequently enough to maintain effectiveness and ensure functionality

• Negotiate any necessary changes to telework policies with labor organizations

• Introduce new telework agreements that will allow for telework during emergency situations

What Announcements Mean:

• Upon an announcement that Federal agencies are “OPEN WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK”, a telework-ready employee, ifpermitted by his or her agency’s policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements, may choose to perform unscheduled telework (in addition to unscheduled leave, which has already been available under the DC area procedures).  The telework-ready employee must notify his or her supervisor of his or her intent to take either unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.  Using telework will help maintain productivity and help ensure safety.

• Unscheduled telework will also be available to a telework-ready employees when OPM announces the status of “OPEN – XX HOUR DELAYED ARRIVAL -WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK” in the Washington, DC, area, if permitted by their agency’s policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.  The telework-ready employee must notify his or her supervisor of his or her intent to telework on that day (parallel to the current procedures for unscheduled leave).

• When OPM announces that the Federal Government is “OPEN – XX HOUR EARLY DEPARTURE”, a telework-ready employee, if agency policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements permit, may depart prior to the scheduled early departure time without charge to annual leave, provided the employee makes up the time later in that day by teleworking.

• OPM is replacing “CLOSED” with “FEDERAL OFFICES ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC” to emphasize that Government operations continue at the worksite or by teleworking, to the extent possible, but the public will not be permitted to enter Federal offices.

• When OPM announces “FEDERAL OFFICES ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC”, non-emergency employees (including employees on pre-approved paid leave) will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for the number of hours they were scheduled to workunless covered by an exception under their agency’s telework policy. 

• When OPM announces “FEDERAL OFFICES ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC” –

• Emergency employeesare expected to remain on duty, unless otherwise directed by their agencies

• Telework-ready employees may be required to work under their agency’s policies, procedures and collective bargaining agreements, and as defined in an employee’s individual telework agreement.

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