OPM tells feds to telework when Pope Francis visits Washington

The federal government will stay open when Pope Francis visits Washington for three days later this month. But the Office of Personnel Management suggests that employees might want to stay away from their offices.

In a memo, OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert asked agencies to let employees telework, adjust their work hours or take time off during Francis’ visit Sept. 22-24.

Employees who must go into work should expect security and throngs of visitors to snarl traffic in the District. Cobert suggested that they allow extra time to get to and from work.

During the visit, individuals should stay informed through local media, she said.

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“Employees are encouraged to monitor local news media for announcements on street closures for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, closures or disruptions to public transportation, building closures, or any possible changes to the Washington, DC, area Federal Government operating status,” she said. “Agencies should use all the communications tools they have in place, such as hotlines and website updates, to inform employees of any relevant, agency-specific issues. Any major changes affecting Federal employees and agencies will be announced by local media.”

Francis will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Sept. 23. He will address Congress at the Capitol and visit several religious sites in the region before leaving for New York on Sept. 24.

View Pope Francis’ official schedule for more information about his visits to Washington, New York and Philadelphia. 

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