OPM Creates Emergency Leave Program for Harvey Victims

President Trump meets with personnel working at the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas, Aug. 29. President Trump meets with personnel working at the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, Texas, Aug. 29. Barry Bahler/DHS

Nearly 60,000 federal employees work in the the region deluged by Harvey, the stalled tropical storm that first made landfall as a hurricane a week ago. On Friday, the Office of Personnel Management formally established an emergency leave transfer program to give those workers who need it time to get back on their feet.

Under the program, employees in the executive and judicial branches may donate unused annual leave to those affected by the storm. It's not clear how many feds are likely to participate in the program, either as donors or beneficiaries. An OPM spokesperson said data for the program is managed by each agency. 

There are other ways feds can help their colleagues hurting from Harvey. OPM has authorized a special solicitation for agencies to collect donations from federal workers to aid in relief efforts. The program will allow employees to make donations through their departments to charities assisting in storm response and recovery outside of the traditional Combined Federal Campaign. Agencies' fundraising efforts must conclude by Sept. 29.

"Many federal employees have expressed a desire to assist those in need in the region affected by this storm," McGettigan said.

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