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OPM Tweaks Snow Policy For Federal Employees

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Traffic crawled to a near-stop when a fast-moving snowstorm hit the D.C. region in January 2011. Now, the federal government's Office of Personnel management is adjusting its policy for dismissal of employees during inclement weather.
Paulo Ordoveza (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brownpau/5391249145/)
Traffic crawled to a near-stop when a fast-moving snowstorm hit the D.C. region in January 2011. Now, the federal government's Office of Personnel management is adjusting its policy for dismissal of employees during inclement weather.

It was truly a traffic nightmare last year when a fast-moving snowstorm hit Washington in late January. Thousands of commuters were stuck on the roads for up to 12 hours, and now, the federal government is issuing new guidelines for workers in hopes of avoiding a repeat.

The Office of Personnel Management is re-vamping its inclement weather policy in advance of this year's snow season in response to the traffic snarls that occurred throughout the region during the snowstorm Jan. 26, 2011. The government took heat when federal workers poured onto the roads -- adding to the already-gridlocked conditions -- in an effort to get home before the bad weather hit.

OPM cites "lessons learned," and says it now will incorporate a staggered dismissal deadline with a "leave no later than" departure time as well as a "shelter in place" option. OPM is coordinating the policy with officials at the federal, state and local levels.

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