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Press Release

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2165

OPM Encourages Workplace Flexibility For Excepted Employees

Options can help mitigate hardship for employees working during shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a memo to agencies today recommending greater flexibility for employees designated as excepted, meaning employees who have worked without pay during the shutdown.

OPM encouraged agencies to permit excepted employees to telework more frequently, permit flexible start and stop times under a flexible work schedule, and provide employees with the ability to request time off based on their personal circumstance, to the extent possible and appropriate.

“While the shutdown has affected all furloughed workers of the Federal workforce, many employees performing excepted duties during the furlough have the additional hardship of losing their subsidies for childcare and transit benefits but continuing to incur childcare and commuting expenses in order to continue reporting to work,” said OPM Acting Director Margaret Weichert.

The memo also encourages agencies to communicate these flexibilities however is best to its workforce and use them in a manner that has minimal impact on its mission and service to the American people.

“OPM is grateful to the dedicated men and women of the Federal workforce who are serving the American people during the partial lapse in appropriations, and we strongly encourage agencies to be as accommodating as possible during the current lapse in appropriations,” said Weichert. 

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OPM leads and serves the federal government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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