Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures (Unscheduled Telework Option)
In 2010, OPM unveiled the unscheduled telework option as a way for agencies and employees to continue work operations during snow and other emergencies and ensure the safety of the Federal workforce. Over the past few winters, unscheduled telework has become a standard human resources tool in the Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures. It is a product of the Telework Enhancement Act, which requires that all agencies incorporate telework into their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). While the increased use of unscheduled telework has enhanced our COOP capabilities during severe weather, special events, and other emergency situations, agencies must continue to expand their usage of telework to allow a greater number of telework-ready employees to be productive during Government closures in order to meet the Act’s objectives.
The Washington, DC Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures are based on the principle that the Federal Government’s vital business must continue without compromising the safety of our employees and the general public. Although these procedures are typically issued in winter, the announcements are applicable for any emergency or special event that causes a disruption inside the “Washington Beltway” area. It is essential that covered Federal agencies and employees comply with the Procedures for Governmentwide emergencies or special events that create a disruption in the Washington metropolitan area. The announcements apply to employees working in all Executive agencies with offices located inside the “Washington Capital Beltway.”
The unscheduled telework and telework-ready options are types of situational, or ad-hoc telework, that allow employees in the Washington, DC, area to work from home or a nearby approved alternative location, when OPM announces a modified operating status due to inclement weather or special events that severely impact commuting. It is important to note that any employee who wishes to telework must first successfully complete an interactive telework training program and must enter into a written telework agreement with his/her supervisor.
Agencies are encouraged to consult the OPM publication, Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures for answers to questions about dismissal or closure situations.