UPDATE- Ensuring the Continued Performance of the Mission of the Department of the Interior during the Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


To:               All Department of the Interior Employees

From:          Susan Combs, Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget

Subject:      UPDATE – Ensuring the Continued Performance of the Mission of the Department of the Interior during the Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Purpose and Scope

This memorandum extends, through April 30, 2020, the terms of the Secretary of the Interior’s March 22, 2020 memorandum to all employees, with the following additional guidance for employees who want to explore leave options that may be utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. It applies to all employees of the Department of the Interior (Department).

Continued Performance of Duties Via Telework and Available Leave Options

In accordance with past and present guidance from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and State and local authorities, the Secretary has determined that Department employees not performing or supporting mission essential functions or mission critical functions away from their residence should continue to telework. The direction for supervisors to instruct employees under their supervision to telework (if telework ready), or to encourage employees to enter into telework agreements in accordance with recent guidance from the Department’s Office of Human Capital (Telework FAQ), remains in effect.

For those employees who are: (1) unable to telework, (2) unable to work safely from their approved duty stations, or (3) able to telework but unable to complete all daily telework assignments, supervisors are to explore flexible work schedules and consider granting various forms of leave that may be available to Department employees consistent with recent guidance issued or approved by the Department's Office of Human Capital. Depending on the relevant circumstances, leave options may include: use of excused absence administrative leave, sick leave or other forms of personal leave, weather and safety leave, leave requested pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act, and emergency paid sick leave requested and authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Employees are reminded that guidance on the Department’s COVID-19 SharePoint site is updated several times a week and should be checked regularly.

This memorandum is effective immediately. It will remain in effect until it is amended, superseded, or revoked.

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