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'Liberal Leave' for Federal Government on Thursday

By Ed O'Keefe

Washington-area federal offices will operate with an unscheduled leave or "liberal leave" status on Thursday -- a day likely already abbreviated or scheduled as a vacation day for some federal workers.

The Office of Personnel Management announced the decision early Thursday. The policy means employees who cannot report for work may request previously unscheduled time off for all of Thursday, if necessary due to the weather. Workers must notify their supervisors of the decision. Emergency employees are expected to report for work on time as usual.

Forecasters anticipate a wintry mix and slippery travel early Thursday in the Washington area, thanks to freezing air temperatures and cold ground temperatures.

New Year's Eve is not a scheduled holiday for federal workers, but New Year's Day is one of ten annual days off. Besides, as colleague Monica Hesse reports Thursday, it's a mostly quiet week at Washington offices anyway.

Thursday is the fourth time OPM has issued unscheduled leave for Washington-area federal workers in 2009 and the second time in two weeks. OPM Director John Berry -- who decides when to close D.C.-area federal offices -- elected to close federal offices due to the weather last Monday, gave liberal leave last Tuesday and did the same once each in March and January.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | December 31, 2009; 5:41 AM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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