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Pandemic FAQ

Question
If an agency activates emergency preparedness plans and sends designated employees to alternative worksites, may a designated employee refuse to go? If an employee is on travel during the order to deploy, may he or she go home instead of deploying to the designated worksite? If an employee refuses to deploy to the designated worksite from a travel status, who pays for the employee’s transportation home?
Answer
Any such designated employees are expected to report for work where deployed or remain at work in dismissal or closure situations, unless otherwise directed by their agencies.  An agency may determine that circumstances justify excusing a designated employee from duty and allowing the employee to use accrued leave because of an individual hardship or circumstances unique to the employee.  For example, factors such as the illness of a family member or lack of available alternatives to childcare or eldercare may be considered.  An employee may not go home instead of deploying to the designated worksite, and employees who refuse to follow emergency related orders may be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including removal from Federal service.  Unauthorized travel expenses are not reimbursable.


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