Feds encouraged to use flexible work options during nuclear summit

The Office of Personnel Management is encouraging federal employees in the Washington area to telework or use other alternative workplace options during the 201...

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The Office of Personnel Management is urging federal employees to consider teleworking or using flexible work options during the Nuclear Security Summit at the end of March.

OPM acting Director Beth Cobert warned of “significant traffic disruptions” between March 31 and April 1 caused by street closures and security perimeters for the summit.

The summit is being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which is about 1 mile from the White House.

Cobert said Washington-area federal officers are scheduled to remain on “open” operating status during the meeting.

“OPM strongly encourages agencies to allow employees to telework to keep the federal government operating while helping to minimize traffic congestion and support law enforcement efforts during this event,” Cobert stated. “Employees may also request to use their alternative work schedule day off, annual leave, leave without pay, previously earned compensatory time off, and/or earned credit hours under a flexible work schedule.”

Cobert said employees should monitor the news for additional street closures and traffic disruptions, as well as any changes to federal operating status in the D.C. area.

“Agencies should use all communications tools they have in place, such as hotlines and website updates, to inform employees of any relevant, agency-specific issues,” Cobert said.

The nuclear summit brings together world leaders to discuss ways in which countries can work together to prevent nuclear terrorism.

OPM made a similar plea to agencies and employees in late September, when Pope Francis visited Washington.

A large swath of Massachusetts Avenue was closed to traffic for the entire visit — he stayed at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See, directly across the street from the U.S. Naval Observatory — while the Mall, Capitol Hill and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception were hot spots for security checkpoints and road closures, as his Holiness’ motorcade made its way to and from various appearances.

While the main highways endured typical issues, and Metro had to power down its Stadium-Armory train station due to a fire the night before his arrival, commuters reported empty train cars and open streets.

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