Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Capitol Hill on March 14. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The March 19 Metro article “USDA change worries planners” contained welcome news: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is planning to limit the number of days his employees can telework. It is about time that attention be paid to the abuse of this privilege.

Using road congestion as the primary reason for encouraging this option is outrageous. Carpools and more federal money for buses are far better and less costly ways for the government to address congestion. Absent employees are not the answer.

Government projects are important, employees working together on site are far more productive, and there should be no special privileges afforded to employees who earn the same full salary as those who show up for work every day. The teleworker can also take his home time to keep doctor or dental appointments without dipping into his sick or vacation leave hours. How many teleworkers do just that? Those who work at the office lose that option and must take sick or vacation leave for personal appointments. 

Mr. Perdue obviously understands the import of employee responsibility as a team to accomplish government business. I hope his action will be adopted by all government agencies.

Joan Salemi, West Springfield