OPM has sent a reminder to agencies on personnel policies for weather emergency situations including hurricanes, including paid time off under weather and safety leave, which it said “is typically authorized when OPM or an agency issues an operating status announcement.”
A memo says that “an agency may grant weather and safety leave when it has determined that employees cannot safely travel to, or perform work at, their normal worksite, a telework site, or other approved location because of severe weather or another emergency situation.” However, such leave normally is not to be provided to an employee who is not prevented from working safely at an approved telework. The exception is if the employee “could not have reasonably anticipated the severe weather or emergency and thus is not prepared to telework.”
“Agencies should continue to promote and incorporate telework into their agency emergency planning. We strongly encourage agencies to take steps to ensure that telework-ready employees are prepared to effectively telework and have access to agency IT systems and networks, as may be necessary, should an emergency or weather condition so warrant,” the memo adds.
Other policies highlighted in the memo include authority to make evacuation payments; emergency leave transfer programs; and flexible hiring authorities.