OPM tells sick feds to stay home, and telework

Centers for Disease Control

In the face of an unusually brutal flu season, the Office of Personnel Management reminded feds of the many options they have if they do come under the weather.

OPM Director John Berry sent a memo on Jan. 18 to chief human capital officers encouraging agencies to use a number of “workplace flexibilities” if employees get the flu virus. He told feds to look into taking sick leave and using telework options and alternative work schedules to help combat possible downtime from illness. The memo was an update to guidance released in September, when OPM recommended that federal employees and contractors take the flu vaccine to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

Berry still emphasized the importance of the flu vaccine in averting sickness. “Vaccination remains the best way to prevent influenza and is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older,” Berry wrote. “But given current widespread disease, it is also an appropriate time to remind agencies of considerations in the workplace that could reduce the chances of transmission.”

If sick employees do come to the office and pose a risk to other workers, then supervisors have the authority to send them home, the memo said.

The Government Accountability Office released a report in August criticizing some federal agencies for being ill prepared for a pandemic flu outbreak, but noted that many departments had improved their planning since 2009.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.