OPM Issues FAQs and Emergency Sick Leave Guidance
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new FAQs after the administration released guidance for agencies on how to resume “normal” operations and reopen federal buildings. The FAQs address issues around social distancing in the workplace, telework, workplace flexibilities for employees managing child care, “high-risk” employees, special circumstances for public-facing employees and more. H
OPM also issued guidance on use of emergency paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Federal employees are entitled to two additional weeks of paid sick leave if they contract the coronavirus or are instructed to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. The leave also can be used to help care for others but at two-thirds of an employee’s salary. The leave is available through Dec. 31.
Before making any decisions about leave, NTEU recommends you read our member-only primer on leave options to help make the best decision for you and your family.
National Capital Leaders Urge Continued Telework for Federal Employees
The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C., sent a letter last week to the administration, urging the continuance of expanded telework policies for the federal workforce amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While the majority of federal employees are outside of Washington, D.C., the federal government has an overwhelming presence in the area.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser along with Governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Ralph Northam of Virginia warned against reopening federal buildings too soon.
"We encourage the administration to help ensure the safety of the federal workforce and our residents as we work together to fight this pandemic. Failure to do so could lead to a rise in cases and delay our ability to re-open the region," the letter said.
OPM Delays the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
The 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is being postponed for a second time and is now tentatively scheduled to begin July 13. The government-wide survey—which will run for six weeks—asks employees about their views on work, agencies, supervisors and more. NTEU will keep you updated on this as OPM continues to finalize the details.
NTEU Chapter 60 Feeds New Jersey Emergency Room Staff
To show its appreciation for the frontline medical workers in New Jersey, Chapter 60 (IRS New Jersey) had 20 pizzas from a local restaurant delivered to emergency room workers at Morristown Medical Center where the chapter treasurer’s spouse is a nurse. This act of saying “thank you” served a dual purpose of supporting a local business and feeding the tireless staff at the hospital’s emergency room. Read more here.