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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

If an agency or installation is CLOSED, can employees be required to report for, or remain at work?

Yes. Even if an agency or installation is closed, a supervisor may require any employee to report for, or remain at work.  Emergency employees are expected to report to or remain at their worksite in dismissal or closure situations unless otherwise directed by their agencies. In rare events, an agency may determine that circumstances justify granting excused absence to an emergency employee. An agency may grant a reasonable amount of excused absence to an emergency employee who is unable to report for work or faces a personal hardship. For example, factors such as distance, availability of public transportation, available alternatives to childcare or eldercare, or health/medical limitations may be considered.

When Government operations are disrupted and offices are closed to the public for an extended period of time, an agency may determine that changing circumstances require non-emergency employees to report for work. Consequently, each agency should establish a procedure for notifying and recalling these employees. OPM advises agencies to identify non-emergency employees who are expected to remain in contact with their agencies at all times during dismissal or closure situations to maintain continuity readiness. Such employees may be called to work during emergencies dealing with national security, extended emergencies, or other unique situations. Agencies should anticipate the emergency situations in which such employees will be expected to report for work at a regular worksite or alternative worksite and the circumstances under which they will be permitted to telework, if they prefer, and should notify affected employees of this policy.

The Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures, available at, discusses closure situations in more detail.

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