4:31 pm, May 27, 2015

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  • Forced telework bad idea
    Bill Samuel
    Key to the policy is allowing agencies to force employees into telework status on days when weather does not permit them to come into the office. There are major problems with this approach: 1. Normally the employee will have to have their work laptop to effectively telework. Forced telework forces employees to transport their laptops home whenever inclement weather threatens. This may be difficult depending on such factors as the employee's physical condition and transportation arrangements. Furthermore, such circumstances can not necessarily be anticipated. There are surprise storms, and in some cases it may be several days between an employee's last on-duty day at the office and the day of the weather situation - such as after a weekend (which may be preceded by a Friday compressed day), and after a period of leave. This potentially puts an employee in the situation of having to come into the office to get their laptop when the office is closed and commuting impractical, or being charged with AWOL (policy specifically allows agencies to put employees who don't actually telework in weather agencies on AWOL). 2. In an extreme weather situation, many employees will not be able to telework due to power outages. This is particularly true in the DC area in the Pepco service area where there is low reliability. Their laptop will run out of power, and they may have no network connectivity because the outages generally mean Internet service is not available. I consider this policy unacceptable. Congress should act to force the Administration to recognize the realities I have stated. This Administration is turning into an anti-civil servant administration, and Congress needs to force it to treat civil servants with respect.
    Bill Samuel Silver Spring, MD 20906
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