After months of federal agency closures, and a wide expansion of teleworking and other remote work policies crafted in response to the novel coronavirus, the federal government is planning for a phased re-opening. This post was most recently updated on June 26, 2020, and it includes updates to the following agency plans: Department of Defense, IRS/Treasury, U.S. Census Bureau, NASA, Department of Energy, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Personnel Management, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and the EPA. In June, a number of agencies entered Phase One of their reopening plans. We will continue to update as agencies continue to release and modify their reopening guidance.
On April 20, 2020, the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Memorandum M-20-23 on “Aligning Federal Agency Operations with the National Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.”
In this Memorandum, OMB provides a framework to be used by federal agencies to develop policies and procedures for re-opening and a return to the federal workplace. Each federal agency must develop its own policies and procedures consistent with the Guidelines for Employers included in the Memorandum, as well as accounting for the agency’s own operational needs and the geographic area in which each agency operates. Like most states that have issued re-opening guidelines, the Memorandum contemplates a gating period in which the agency must see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases before proceeding to a phased re-opening. Agency policies and procedures for a phased re-opening must take into account the following criteria: