Federal offices open today

Federal offices in the Washington area are open for business as usual today, but employees can opt to stay home, according to an Office of Personnel Management spokesman. Federal employees hesitant about returning to the workplace may take leave without prior approval. Under the unscheduled leave policy, employees must contact their agencies to request annual leave, leave without pay, and the use of previously earned compensatory time off or credit hours under an alternative work schedule. The city of New York was supposed to decide late Tuesday whether federal employees in New York should report for work Wednesday, according to a GSA official. Federal buildings across the country will be open for business today, GSA said. In Los Angeles, federal offices were open to employees with identification cards, but not to the public. Conflicting media reports in Los Angeles led some federal workers to stay home anyway. All federal office buildings in Washington, including the White House and U.S. Capitol, were evacuated Tuesday after two airplanes crashed in to the World Trade Center in New York and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Pentagon employees are expected to report to work today, but Defense officials can independently decide to close that facility, according to OPM. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld decreed Tuesday that the Pentagon will be open for business today. "The Pentagon is functioning. It will be in business," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press briefing Tuesday.

Federal workers can get more information by visiting www.opm.gov or calling (202) 606-1900.

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