The Office of Personnel Management has issued new regulations according to the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 that pertain to weather and safety leave. The regulations said that employees who participate in the telework program will usually not be granted weather and safety leave.
Weather and safety leave was a new category of authorized paid leave created by the Administrative Leave Act of 2016. OPM determined it would better serve agencies if the final regulations on this leave were issued separately from other categories. The other categories of leave (admin, investigative, and notice leave) will have regulations issued separately by OPM later.
Under the new regulations, agencies may grant weather and safety leave when it’s determined that employees can’t safely travel to or from, or perform work at, their normal worksite, a telework site, or other approved location because of severe weather of another emergency. This leave is generally used in conjunction with an operating status announcement issued by OPM or an agency.
It is particularly noteworthy under these new regulations that an agency will be unable to, in most circumstances, grant weather and safety leave to an employee who is in the telework program and able to perform telework at his/her home. This new provision will apply regardless of what is stated (or not stated) in the employees’ telework agreement and in agency policies and agreements.
“Because employees who are participating in a telework program under applicable agency policies are typically able to safely perform work at their approved locations (i.e. their homes), such an employee will generally not be granted weather and safety leave,” the announcement said.
The final regulations take effect May 10 and are published on FederalRegister.gov.