The federal government's Office of Personnel Management is changing the language it uses when notifying federal employees of its status during bad weather.
What used to be referred to by the federal government as "open with unscheduled leave" will now be classified as "open with unscheduled leave or an unscheduled telework day," for employees with a telework agreement. What was once called simply "closed" is now referred to as "closed to the public."
Jerome Mickowicz of OPM says the new designations now mean emergency personnel must report and those with an agreement to telework from home must do so.
"Now we will also allow people to take a day of unscheduled telework as long as that telework is provided for in a telework agreement, and the agency has a policy to permit this," Mickowicz says.
He says the new language affects about 300,000 federal employees who work inside the Beltway.
Those agencies outside the Beltway, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda decide on closures on their own, though they usually follow the OPM's lead.