Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James has issued guidelines to heads of federal agencies and departments on measures they can take to mitigate the effects of Hurricane Charley on the federal work force.
"I am deeply concerned about the potential loss and destruction that Hurricane Charley and its aftermath may cause to areas of Florida and the East Coast, especially following so closely to Tropical Storm Bonnie," says James.
"President Bush recognizes the generosity and responsiveness of his team of federal employees, and I strongly encourage managers to grant excused absence to employees who are requested to assist in authorized emergency law enforcement, relief, and clean-up efforts in affected communities by federal, state, or other officials having jurisdiction and whose participation in such activities has been approved by their employing agency.”
In her memorandum, James stated her desire to bring agency heads up-to-date on actions being taken in preparation for Hurricane Charley. "These actions with respect to Hurricane Charley, are consistent with our guidance in previous natural disasters such as Hurricane Isabel last year," says James.
In the memorandum, James reminded agency heads of the options available to immediately assist them in hiring additional federal staff to respond quickly to this disaster. In addition, James asked heads of agencies and departments to excuse from duty without charge to leave or loss of pay federal employees who are affected by Hurricane Charley and its aftermath and who can be spared from their usual responsibilities.
"I encourage you to exercise this authority in the event any employee performs emergency overtime work in connection with Hurricane Charley and its aftermath."
James suggested agency Chief Human Capital Officers contact their OPM Human Capital Officer for needed assistance, and agency employees should contact their agency human resources office if they have questions or concerns regarding personnel matters. According to the latest OPM personnel statistics, there are an estimated 74,000 federal employees in Florida.