OPM: Delayed arrival Monday for D.C. feds

Sunday - 1/22/2012, 10:04pm EST

John Berry, OPM director, talks to WTOP

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Federal offices in the D.C. area will open at 11 a.m. on Monday, according to the Office of Personnel Management's operating status.

OPM's website states:

Due to expected icy conditions, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management recommends that federal employees remain off the road until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 23. Federal government offices will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. Employees who commute to the office will be granted excused absence for the delayed arrival. Employees have the option to use unscheduled leave and/or unscheduled telework for the entire workday in lieu of a delayed arrival.
"Safety first is always our first directive," OPM Director John Berry told WFED's sister station WTOP on Monday morning. "We'll certainly be understanding, and I'm sure supervisors will be understanding to employees if they have icy conditions in their area."

Berry said that employees who may be encountering icy conditions in their areas have the option of using unscheduled leave and unscheduled telework today.

"Ice is something that we don't play around with at all," Berry said. He made the call Sunday night to put the delayed arrival into effect after the National Weather Service issued an advisory about potentially unsafe road conditions taking place during morning rush hour.

"Last night, after consulting, through the Council of Governments, all the transportation departments and Metro, etc., we decided that the safest course was to try to keep our federal employees off the road before 9 and then give them two hours to get in after that, so that we'll open the government at 11," Berry said.

He went on to praise the area transportation departments for responding with salt and sand and Metro, which will provide additional service through the late morning to accommodate the extra federal workers.

"We're so grateful for Metro doing that," Berry said, "to allow for a safer commute for federal employees and other employees throughout the region."

The OPM website also states:

Non-Emergency Employees:

  • Excused Absence. Non-emergency employees who report to their offices will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for the difference between their expected arrival time and 11:00 a.m.

  • Use of Unscheduled Leave. Non-emergency employees may notify their supervisors of their intent to (1) use earned annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or sick leave, as appropriate; (2) use leave without pay; or (3) request to use their flexible work schedule day off or rearrange their work hours under flexible work schedules.
Telework-Ready Employees who are regularly scheduled to perform telework or who notify their supervisors of their intention to perform unscheduled telework must be prepared to telework for the entire workday, or take unscheduled leave, or a combination of both, for the entire workday in accordance with their agency's' policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements.

Pre-approved Leave Employees on pre-approved leave for the entire workday or employees who requested unscheduled leave for the entire workday should be charged leave for the entire day.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksites on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Tune in to our sister station, WTOP, for the latest weather information Monday morning. 103.5 and 107.7 FM and WTOP.com.