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Pandemic FAQ

Question
Will an employee who has direct contact with the public (e.g., investigator, park ranger, health care professional, police officer, firefighter) be required to report for work and perform the normal duties of his or her position? If an employee refuses, will the employee be fired?
Answer
Employees are expected to report for work and perform the normal duties of their positions. If an employee fails to report for duty without an administratively acceptable reason for his or her absence, the employee could be considered absent without leave and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from Federal service.  The agency makes the determination as to whether the employee has an administratively acceptable reason for his or her absence.

When an employee reports for work, he or she is expected to first carry out lawful supervisory orders to work, and may later choose to appeal or grieve an order after complying with it.  An employee who refuses to comply with a supervisor’s order may be disciplined, up to and including removal from Federal service.   However, an employee may refuse to carry out a particular work assignment if, at the time the assignment is given, the employee reasonably believes carrying it out will endanger his or her safety or health.


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