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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James issued a memorandum (attached) to heads of federal agencies and departments urging them to encourage their employees to telework or take annual leave on Wednesday, January 19, to alleviate traffic gridlock for the Presidential Inaugural "Celebration of Freedom" event on the White House Ellipse.
Agency heads also were reminded they have discretion to grant excused absence for their employees should circumstances dictate.
"A large crowd of attendees is expected at the Presidential Inaugural ‘Celebration of Freedom' event on the White House Ellipse," James wrote in the memorandum. "To reduce the potential for traffic gridlock, please urge federal employees whose official duty stations are located in the downtown Washington, D.C., area to request annual leave, previously earned compensatory time off, or leave without pay."
Apart from the memorandum, James said, "federal agencies along the event routes should be aware of security and street access issues that may impact their work forces. Federal employees should look to their agencies for specific guidance on the status of their agency operations throughout the week."
James also suggested employees on alternative work schedules (AWS) schedule their AWS day-off or use credit hours, if available, on that day. With supervisory approval under a written or oral telework agreement, employees may work at home or at a telework center on January 19. In addition, James recommended employees who choose to work that day, use public transportation.
January 11, 2005
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM: KAY COLES JAMES
SUBJECT: Presidential Inaugural Celebration of Freedom
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A large crowd of attendees is expected at the Presidential Inaugural "Celebration of Freedom" event on the White House Ellipse in Washington, DC, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. There are planned street closures in an area bordered by Constitution Avenue and E Street, and 15th and 17th Streets, NW., that day to accommodate the celebration. As a result, we anticipate major traffic congestion problems in the downtown Washington, DC, area. These problems will be especially acute for Federal workers who must commute from Washington, DC, to Northern Virginia or vice versa.
To reduce the potential for traffic gridlock, you may want to urge Federal employees whose official duty stations are located in the downtown Washington, DC, area and who are not needed to remain at work for reasons of national security, defense, or other essential public business to request annual leave, previously earned compensatory time off, or leave without pay on Wednesday, January 19. Employees on alternative work schedules (AWS) may wish to schedule their AWS day off or use credit hours (if available) on that day. With supervisory approval under a written or oral telework agreement, employees may work at home or at a telework center on January 19. Any employee who chooses to report for work on January 19 should consider using public transportation and allow extra time for commuting to and from work.
Should circumstances dictate, individual agency heads are reminded that they have discretion to grant excused absence for their employees.
For additional information, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and/or Human Resources Directors should contact their assigned OPM Human Capital Officer. Employees should contact their agency human resources office for assistance.
cc: Chief Human Capital Officers
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