OPM shifts closure announcement process

Monday - 3/7/2011, 7:59am EST

WASHINGTON -- After that commute from hell a few weeks ago, many people blamed much of the bottleneck on the way the Office of Personnel Management announced the closing of federal offices. Now, those messages are changing.

OPM's new closing announcements will make it explicitly clear that federal workers can request unscheduled leave or telework as soon as the closing message comes out.

The new announcement also emphasizes that workers should be leaving at staggered times throughout the day, based on when they arrived in the morning.

Even though the switch is "based on our recent experiences," OPM says it does not represent a change in policy, rather it highlights the options employees already had.

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report.

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