Inaugurations make for some strange carpools

Inaugurations can be nice, but also messy and very confusing, as Senior Correspondent Mike Causey will try to explain.

If you work in the Washington area today you may be wishing our rulers were kings and queens with good, long-life genes rather than presidents who come and go every four to eight years. Take today.


Remember, Uncle Sam has a rule for everything. Including who works, who gets to stay home, and who gets to stay home but has to work, and who has to work by coming to work, as opposed to those who don’t have to come to work to work, or those who stay home and do no work. Get it? Duhh!

Federal News Radio Senior Digital Editor Michael O’Connell got an interesting call. It was from someone who works for the Food and Drug Administration in its downtown office, not far from the U.S. Capitol building. But her home is in Howard County, Maryland. It’s one of the several counties in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia that are included in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. The rules are such that some people, living across the street from each other and in the same car pools have different work rules for one day every four years.

Mike said she told him that the Office of Personnel Management is making some D.C.-area employees who were scheduled to work on Friday telework from home. She routinely teleworks on Fridays and is required to telework this Friday, even though many in her office have the day off.

She said there were people in her office who live in Howard County, but don’t usually telework on Friday who don’t have to work because of the inauguration. This is not an FDA-only policy. She knows people at EPA who are subject to this as well. She thinks it’s strange that only certain D.C.-area employees are required to work when large portions of the federal workforce who live in D.C., or in Arlington, Fairfax, in Virginia and other Maryland counties don’t have to. It also applies to feds with the IRS, Social Security, Defense Department and most other agencies in the D.C. area and within the security zone of the inaugural area.

Executive editor Jason Miller got in the act and did some reporting. He said Inauguration Day is unlike a regular holiday or snow day. According to OPM, it is limited to employees with a qualifying work connection to the designated geographic area on Inauguration Day, as follows: “Employees with an official worksite in the Inauguration Day area unless they are scheduled to be working outside the Inauguration Day area due to official duty away from the official worksite (e.g.., a 1-day assignment), official travel or telework.”

Or, you can just go back to bed.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

New York City commuters have the longest average commute time: 39.4 minutes.

Source: Business Insider

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