As part of a larger FAQ memo to heads of federal agencies and departments last week, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) gave a warning regarding excepted federal employees failing to report to work during a shutdown.
The question and answer in the memo said:
“If an excepted employee fails to report to work when required to support excepted activities, he or she will be considered absent without leave (AWOL). How should the AWOL be documented?
“If an employee is excepted from furlough, and therefore required to work during the shutdown yet has failed to do so, he or she would be considered AWOL during the period of any such unauthorized absence. The employee’s unauthorized absence should be coded in payroll as AWOL. Agencies may elect to provide the employee a written notification about his or her AWOL status at the time of the AWOL but this can vary by agency. The agency may use its discretion, based on the facts and circumstances of the employee’s situation, to apply appropriate consequences based on the AWOL status.
“When an excepted employee is unable to work based on a legitimate impediment, an agency or supervisor retains the right to place them in a furlough status. Please see Question F.2a in OPM’s Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs for additional information on intermittent unpaid absences.”
To read the full memo, click here.