Unions Report No Sign of Telework Flexibilities Amid Coronavirus Outbreak - March 4, 2020
Although both OPM and the CDC have strongly encouraged allowing employees to work remotely to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, several agencies have yet to respond to those recommendations.
Erich Wagner, Government Executive
Agencies on the front lines of the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back telework so far have shown little sign of relenting in the face of the novel coronavirus, despite the federal government’s HR and medical agencies strongly encouraging expansion of workplace flexibilities.
On Feb. 3, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance to agency heads on how to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of a potential outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to allowing agencies to authorize weather and safety leave for asymptomatic employees who are quarantined and sick leave for workers who have fallen ill, OPM described telework as a “critical tool during emergency situations,” and encouraged them to be ready to use it to help prevent transmission of the disease.