NTEU has been hearing from union members whose states or cities have instituted shelter-in-place or lockdown orders but are being told by their supervisors to head into the office. On Friday, Attorney General William Barr issued guidance directly related to this question.
In a memo to all U.S. Attorneys, Barr asked that state and local law enforcement be made aware that federal employees nationwide can commute and travel on official business during the coronavirus pandemic.
"If encountered by local law enforcement during such travel, federal employees shall identify themselves using their Personal Identification Verification cards, and explain the nature of their work and travel," the memo states.
In short, the Attorney General has determined that federal employees are exempt from the order and must go into their workplaces if necessary to perform essential functions or complete periodic tasks.
NTEU remains concerned about the health of employees who are compelled to travel to work contrary to local shelter-in-place orders.