OPM closes DC-area federal agencies at 1 PM due to snow threat

The Office of Personnel Management is closing federal agencies in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at 1 p.m. Tuesday due to anticipated snow in the forecast.

Employees in the Washington region should depart four hours earlier than their normal departure time on Tuesday, according to OPM.

Federal employees can also request unscheduled weather leave in order to depart prior to their staggered departure time, if they’re not eligible for telework. Employees who, for example, typically leave the office at 6 p.m. will receive one hour of weather and safety leave in order to depart by 1 p.m. Employees who typically leave the office at 7 p.m. and aren’t eligible for telework would receive two hours of unscheduled weather leave, as another example.

All employees must leave their agencies no later than 1 p.m., at which time federal offices are closed, OPM said.

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Telework-eligible employees will receive weather and safety leave only for the amount of time needed to commute home, OPM said. Once these employees are home, they must complete the rest of their work hours by teleworking, taking scheduled paid or unpaid leave or some combination of both.

“Non-emergency employees who depart prior to their staggered early departure time or the final departure time may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off,” OPM said. “Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday. A telework program participant who departs prior to the early departure time generally must account for the remaining hours in the tour of duty by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off or a combination.”

Emergency employees are expected to stay at their worksites unless their agencies say otherwise, OPM said.

A mixture of rain and snow is expected to begin for much of the Washington region around noon, according to Federal News Network sister station WTOP. Rain is supposed to gradually transition to snow later Tuesday afternoon, with accumulations of up to three inches possible.

A winter weather advisory is in effect Tuesday from noon to 7 p.m. for various parts of the Washington metropolitan area, and several schools in the region had announced early dismissal plans earlier Tuesday morning.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said it will begin to escalate service this afternoon.

Given the timing of today’s anticipated forecast, the Philadelphia Federal Executive Board will not issue a recommendation to agencies in the area, it told Federal News Network.

Find more information on weather leave, telework and OPM’s early dismissal guide here.

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