The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memo today to agency chief human capital officers (CHCOs) encouraging increased workplace flexibilities for employees impacted by the closure of six Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) stations over the summer.

“The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is strongly encouraging agencies to allow affected employees to utilize various workplace flexibilities throughout the upcoming Project, including telework and alternative work schedules,” wrote OPM Acting Director Margaret Weichert in a memo to agency CHCOs.

In guidance documents to agencies, OPM provided scenarios of Federal employees impacted by the shutdown, and different outcomes with justifications for decisions. The guidance also notes that agencies need to keep track of productivity for employees. Managers will need to sign off on any additional situational telework hours.

“There continues to be keen attention focused on the Federal Government’s response to the Metro Platform Improvement project. For that reason, OPM urges agencies to take steps, to the extent possible, to accurately monitor and track the use of telework and other workplace flexibilities,” the guidance states.

The move comes after congressional pressure from area representatives, who pressured OPM to approve more workplace flexibilities.

“In keeping with past agency practice ahead of major Metro construction projects, we urge you to expand telework options for federal employees for the entirety of the Platform Improvement Project,” said a letter from Virginia Democrats Reps. Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, and Jennifer Wexton.

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MeriTalk Staff