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What You Need to Know about OPM’s New Leave Policy for Winter Weather

OPM Announces Revamped Federal Leave Policy Overhaul, NWS Says Snowmageddon Sequel Unlikely

Photo: aoc.gov

Director of the Office of Personnel Management John Berry today announced changes to federal leave policy.

The new guidelines, announced at a morning conference, come after the passage of a new teleworking bill signed by President Barack Obama last week and just in time for some expected winter weather.

The highlights:

§  Decisions about closings will be made by 4 a.m. the day of a cancellation, Berry said, according to Federal News Radio.

§  The designation “open, operating under an unscheduled leave policy” will now be called “open, unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework day,” the latter of which includes workers who have taken advantage of a teleworking agreement.

§  The designation “closed” will now be “closed to the public,” which means emergency and essential personnel should report to work as well as already-scheduled teleworkers.

The changes to the federal policy take into account those workers who must report for duty regardless of the weather, as well as the recent Telework Enhancement Act, according to a report on Washington Post blog Federal Eye.

“The idea is pretty simple, pretty straightforward: If you can’t get to the office, you can still work from home,” Berry said.

The end goal is to have a government that never shuts down, he added.

Berry was joined by representatives of the National Weather Service and the Metropolitan Council of Government.

The nation’s capital will likely still get some snowfall, as well as some “cold blasts,” said Christopher Strong, the chief regional meteorologist for the National Weather Service, according to Federal Eye.

“But I think once we average the whole winter in hindsight,” he added, “I think we’ll have a much less snowier winter.”

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