The Washington Post

Federal employees allowed to leave early due to snow

Zach Burroughs of Arlington hurried with his ice cream cone back to work on Jan. 26, 2011, in Washington. (Ricky Carioti/THE WASHINGTON POST)

The Office of Personnel Management said Wednesday morning that workers may use annual leave or earned time off or telework from home, if eligible. Employees scheduled to telework today must continue doing so, OPM said. Emergency, or essential employees, must report to work as normal.

The decision comes as snow is expected to begin falling later today across the Washington region, with from less than an inch to more than 3 inches forecast for some areas. As the region’s largest employer, the federal government’s commuting patterns have an overwhelming effect on area roadways and rails.

Informing federal employees of the decision before 11 a.m. — well before the afternoon rush hour — leaves time for workers to determine whether they should leave well in advance of the snow.

OPM revised its weather leave policy last fall after facing widespread criticism for botching an early dismissal last year. Officials acknowledged that the changes, which include giving federal employees more time to leave ahead of a storm, might create an embarrassment for OPM, but stressed the safety comes first.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost


Forecast: A sampling of snow today; much colder this weekend

The Capital Weather Gang

Fedearl worker question of the week: Should recent grads consider a career in public service?

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat