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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

When the Federal Government announces an "unscheduled leave policy" due to adverse weather conditions, do agencies have discretion to grant excused absence to employees who arrive late for work?

Yes. Each agency has discretionary authority to determine when it is appropriate to grant a reasonable amount of excused absence to employees who are unavoidably delayed in arriving for work. Factors such as distance, availability of transportation, and the success of other employees in similar situations should be considered in determining the amount of excused absence to grant. Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisors of their situation. 

It is up to each supervisor to determine what is a reasonable amount of time to allow for excused absences for late arrival to ensure that the employee's work requirements are fulfilled and that the agency's operations are conducted efficiently and effectively. 

Employees designated as "emergency employees" are expected to report for work on time.  However, agencies may, at their discretion and as circumstances dictate, grant a reasonable amount of excused absence to emergency employees who arrive late for work.

The Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures, available at https://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/dismissal.pdf, discusses the “unscheduled leave/unscheduled telework” announcement in more detail.

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