Federal employees in the Washington, D.C. metro area only will have to report to work for three days during the week of Jan. 16.
The Office of Personnel Management confirmed the plan is for federal workers to be off on inauguration day, Jan. 20.
Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert wrote a memo explaining that every federal employee around the country will be off on Jan. 16 in commemoration of Martin Luther King Day.
Additionally, she said federal employees who work in the “Inauguration Day area,” which is defined in law as the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia, will be off on Jan. 20 as well.
“The legislative history states that the holiday was established to allow employees working in the inauguration day area to attend the nearby inaugural ceremonies and to avoid the traffic problems and work disruptions that would occur if employees were required to report for duty,” Cobert wrote.
OPM also clarified how telework agreements will work on Jan. 20.
Employees who are scheduled to telework on inauguration day at a location within the DC metro area are off that day no matter where their official worksite is located.
Employees who are scheduled to telework on inauguration day at a location outside the DC metro area are not on vacation that day, again, no matter where their worksite is located.
Additionally, agencies are strongly encouraged to let federal employees telework or work an alternative work schedule the other three days of the week.
“In addition, federal employees who work in the downtown Washington, DC, area and its vicinity should expect significant commuting delays and travel disruptions on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19 due to extensive road closures, mass transit changes, motorcades, and the establishment of security perimeters,” Cobert wrote. “To help alleviate traffic congestion and minimize distraction to law enforcement and security officials, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is urging agencies to permit employees to use their workplace flexibility options on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19. Accordingly, 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 these events. 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.”