OPM reinforces flexibilities in emergencies

A memo from OPM Director Linda Springer reminds agencies about benefits and leave available to employees during inclement weather and natural disasters.

With hurricane season in full swing, Office of Personnel Management Director Linda Springer has released a memo to agency chief human capital officers about flexibilities available to employees.

The memo details emergency provisions for flexible pay and leave benefits, employee and family support benefits, telework, emergency critical hiring, direct-hire authority and charitable contributions.

“Many parts of the United States must occasionally cope with severe weather emergencies and natural disasters, frequently with little warning,” Springer said in a press release. “Such emergencies are often dangerous and extremely disruptive for those who live in the affected communities.”

The memo also lists links to resources on the agency’s Web site. For example, it provides a link to an OPM pay and leave guide for practices in times of severe weather and recently published telework guidelines. Employee and family support benefits are unchanged in a weather emergency.

Temporary hiring is also covered. Temporary workers can be contracted for 120 days with possible 120-day contract extensions, and they can be considered for immediate employment if qualified. “Should additional personnel be required for relief efforts, OPM may authorize other options upon agency request,” the memo states.