6.630.4 Administrative Leave, Investigative Leave, Notice Leave, and Weather and Safety Leave

Manual Transmittal

April 24, 2020

Purpose

(1) This transmits new IRM 6.630.4, Administrative Leave. This IRM provides policy, standards, requirements, and guidance relating to the administration of Administrative Leave, Investigative Leave, Notice Leave, and Weather and Safety Leave.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 6.630.4.1, Program Scope and Objectives, incorporates Background, Authority, Roles and Responsibilities, Program Management and Review, Program Controls, Definitions, and Related Resources, as required by IRM 1.11.2, Internal Management Documents System, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process.

(2) IRM 6.630.4.2, General Provisions, introduces four new types of leave established by the Administrative Leave Act of 2016.

(3) IRM 6.630.4.3, Administrative Leave, provides an overview of administrative leave.

(4) IRM 6.630.4.4, Investigative Leave and Notice Leave, provides an overview of investigative leave and notice leave.

(5) IRM 6.630.4.5, Weather and Safety Leave, provides an overview of weather and safety leave, and it incorporates (in its entirety) policies and guidance from Interim Guidance Memorandum HCO-06-0118-2018, Weather and Safety Leave, dated May 10, 2018, with additional material changes as noted in (6) through (15) below.

(6) IRM 6.630.4.5.1(3) clarifies that telework employees are required to take reasonable steps to become telework-ready, and the manager may authorize travel during duty time to obtain necessary work equipment or files to enable employees to become telework-ready.

(7) IRM 6.630.4.5.1(6) adds that employees who are required to telework will not have their previously scheduled telework days changed or cancelled.

(8) IRM 6.630.4.5.5(3) clarifies the dependent care policy for employees who are teleworking.

(9) IRM 6.630.4.5.5.3(1)(e) clarifies, for employees participating in the IRS Telework Program, the early departure policy when employees working in the office leave prior to the time set for dismissal due to circumstances that could prevent safe travel home, adds an example, and clarifies time and attendance posting instructions.

(10) IRM 6.630.4.5.5.3(3)(c) clarifies leave (or other paid time off) policy when it is scheduled to begin at or after an early departure time and is rescinded by the employee because its intended purpose is frustrated by the same emergency that closes the office.

(11) IRM 6.630.4.5.5.5(1)(a) aligns IRS policy with regulatory language, including a requirement that managers must decide whether a telework employee may receive weather and safety leave, and clarifies that telework employees who are not telework-ready for the entire period of closure may be granted an equivalent amount of weather and safety leave.

(12) IRM 6.630.4.5.8(2) adds a list of workplace flexibilities for employees affected by a major disaster.

(13) IRM 6.630.4.5.8(4) adds information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees affected by a major disaster.

(14) IRM 6.630.4.5.10 clarifies the descriptions under the weather and safety leave time and attendance codes.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM replaces prior policies and guidance for administrative dismissals and office closures contained in IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty, specifically IRM 6.610.1.3.2 through 6.610.1.3.2.4. It obsoletes Interim Guidance Memorandum HCO-06-0118-2018, Weather and Safety Leave, dated May 10, 2018. It supplements emergency telework policies contained in IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program.

Audience

All business units

Effective Date

(04-24-2020)

Robin D. Bailey, Jr., IRS Human Capital Officer

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM provides policies and guidance for new, statutorily established, categories of leave entitled administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave. It may be supplemented by Human Capital Office (HCO) interim guidance. Read and interpret this guidance in accordance with applicable laws (5 United States Code (USC)), Governmentwide regulations (5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)), Treasury Human Capital Issuance System Directives and Orders, Comptroller General (CG) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Decisions, and other sources as appropriate.

  2. Audience: Unless otherwise indicated, the policies, authorities, and instructions contained in this IRM apply to all IRS business units. Bargaining Unit (BU) employees should also review negotiated agreement provisions relating to subjects in this IRM. Should any of these instructions conflict with a provision in the negotiated agreement, the agreement prevails for BU employees.

  3. Policy Owner: The IRS Human Capital Officer.

  4. Program Owner: The Worklife, Benefits, and Performance (WBP) Division, Awards, Compensation, and Leave Policy (ACLP) Branch.

  5. Program Goals: This IRM provides Servicewide policy and guidance on administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave to all business units to help achieve mission-critical goals.

Background

  1. This IRM provides policy and guidance on administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave.

Authority

  1. Laws: Title 5, USC, Government Organization and Employees, at: http://uscode.house.gov/.

    1. Chapter 65, Telework;

    2. §105, Executive agency;

    3. §301, Departmental regulations;

    4. §2105, Employee;

    5. §6302, General provisions;

    6. §6329a, Administrative leave;

    7. §6329b, Investigative leave and notice leave;

    8. §6329c, Weather and safety leave; and

    9. §7106, Management rights.

  2. Regulation: Title 5, CFR, Part 630, Absence and Leave, Subpart P, Weather and Safety Leave, at: https://ecfr.io/Title-05/sp5.1.630.p.

  3. Treasury Order: 102-01, Delegation of Authority Concerning Personnel Management, at: https://www.treasury.gov/about/role-of-treasury/orders-directives/Pages/to102-01.aspx.

  4. Delegation of Authority: Delegation Order 6-7, Temporary Office Closures Due to Inclement Weather, Imminent Health and Safety Issues, or Other Emergency Situations, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.6, delegates authority to Senior Commissioner Representatives (SCRs) and executive-level positions serving as SCRs in campus locations for their assigned geographic area of responsibility to:

    1. Evacuate employees and close offices due to inclement weather, imminent health and safety issues, or other emergency situations; and

    2. Dismiss employees from duty without charge to leave or loss of pay for short periods.

  5. Delegation of Authority: Delegation Order 6-11, Hours of Work, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.8, delegates to all managers, for employees under their supervision, the authority to establish tours of duty (including flexible and compressed work schedules), establish part-time work schedules, establish a basic 40-hour administrative workweek on five days other than Monday through Friday when necessitated by operating requirements, and establish special tours of duty for educational purposes in accordance with applicable statutes, executive orders, regulations, and policies.

  6. Delegation of Authority: Delegation Order 6-12, Absence and Leave, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.9, delegates authority to grant and approve excused absence (administrative leave) for authorized activities, as well as various types of leave (e.g., annual leave, sick leave, military leave), the earning and using of credit hours, use of previously earned compensatory time off, leave without pay (up to one year), etc., in accordance with IRS policies, applicable statutes, executive orders, and regulations.

  7. Delegation of Authority: Delegation Order 6-13, Authority to Certify Time and Attendance Records, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.10, delegates to all managers the authority to certify time and attendance records.

  8. Treasury Human Capital Issuance System: TN-18-001, Treasury Telework Program.

  9. Treasury Human Capital Issuance System: TN-18-003, Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Human Capital Officer is the executive responsible for this IRM and overall Servicewide policy for administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave.

  2. The HCO, WBP, ACLP Branch is responsible for developing, coordinating, and publishing the content in this IRM.

  3. The HCO, WBP, Worklife, Recognition, and Leave Sharing (WRLS) Branch administers the IRS Telework Program and the IRS Leave Sharing Program.

  4. The HCO, Workforce Relations Division (WRD), Labor Relations/Employee Relations Field Operations Office provides guidance and representation to managers in areas such as grievances, discipline, adverse action, and performance cases, and contractual obligations with the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). They assist managers with the complex challenges of balancing the needs of employees while accomplishing IRS’s mission-critical needs and are responsible for the policies concerning investigative leave and notice leave contained in this IRM.

  5. The HCO, Payroll and Personnel Systems (PPS) Division is responsible for providing systems, tools, and all related instructions to employees to properly record their hours of duty, work schedules, leave, holidays, etc., in the time and attendance system and on official source documents from which an employee is paid (i.e., time and attendance documents).

  6. The HCO, SCR/Continuity of Operations (SCR/CO) Office is responsible for issuing office operating status announcements and dismissing employees for short periods due to severe weather or other emergency conditions.

  7. A manager has the fundamental responsibility to ensure government resources are used efficiently and effectively, with minimum potential for waste, fraud, and mismanagement. As such, they must administer leave programs with integrity and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. A manager is accountable for:

    1. Administering and counseling employees on leave rules, regulations, and procedures in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and established policies;

    2. Approving/disapproving employees’ requests for leave, unscheduled telework, work schedules, etc., as appropriate, and in accordance with established policies and negotiated agreement provisions;

    3. Reviewing, approving, validating, and certifying the accuracy of official time and attendance records for their employees, including corrections and/or designating actors/proxies in accordance with Delegation Order 6-11, Hours of Work, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.8;

    4. Ensuring that employees submit appropriate documentation for absences, as required;

    5. Identifying, investigating, and correcting leave errors and abuse; and

    6. Working with business unit points of contact and/or appropriate HCO organizations, as needed, to report and/or manage issues for resolution.

  8. An employee's responsibilities include:

    1. Observing designated duty hours, complying with both leave and hours of duty rules, regulations, and established business procedures, and requesting and using leave in accordance with its intended purpose;

    2. Accurately reporting their work schedule, leave taken, and telework hours onto official time and attendance records;

    3. Providing appropriate documentation concerning absences, as required by established policies and negotiated agreement provisions;

    4. Reporting leave discrepancies to management and providing documentation to correct erroneous posting and/or leave balances; and

    5. Contacting management for assistance with any problems relating to time and attendance input or validation.

Program Management and Review

  1. This IRM provides policy guidance on administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave for the IRS. The WBP and WRD Divisions gauge effectiveness of these policies based on feedback from customers and program owners and analysis of data-driven reports. During review and publishing, sections may be revised, added, or deleted based in part on this process. The WBP Division plays an integral role in program management, review, and effectiveness by:

    1. Supporting the PPS Division to deliver biweekly paychecks through timely and accurate posting and processing of all time and attendance records;

    2. Providing administrative leave expertise to WRD so it can deliver related labor and employee relations support and guidance to IRS management, field, and business-based labor/employee relations staff, and all employees;

    3. Supporting WRD to deliver investigative leave and notice leave expertise to IRS management, field, and business-based labor/employee relations staff;

    4. Supporting the HCO SCR/CO organization when normal operations are interrupted by events beyond the control of management or employees or when the closing of an office is required or in the best interest of the Service;

    5. Providing weather and safety leave expertise to IRS management, field, and business-based labor/employee relations staff, and all employees; and

    6. Assisting WRLS with administration of the IRS Telework Program policies as related to office dismissals/closures and emergencies.

Program Controls

  1. The WBP Division develops and deploys, in collaboration with other HCO organizations and Servicewide stakeholders, policies, materials, and programs to increase awareness and understanding of the leave programs in this IRM. This includes education and outreach activities.

  2. The following activities help ensure program success:

    1. Conducting an annual review of this IRM for needed revisions/clarifications;

    2. Conducting annual policy compliance reviews to measure Servicewide compliance with WBP policies and assess risks;

    3. Publishing educational articles, such as Leaders' Alerts and IRS Headlines;

    4. Maintaining program intranet websites;

    5. Collaborating on interim guidance and standard operating procedures for policies related to this IRM;

    6. Assisting WRD with regulatory and policy guidance during term and mid-term negotiations and during grievance proceedings;

    7. Providing policy guidance with programming time and attendance systems;

    8. Partnering with General Legal Services for legal opinions on complex issues as they arise; and

    9. Reviewing, for adherence to policies, any articles, alerts, training modules, communications, etc., in collaboration with business partners, as needed.

Definitions

  1. Act of God means an act of nature, including hurricanes, tornados, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, snowstorms, and avalanches.

  2. Administrative leave means leave without a loss of or reduction in: 1) pay, 2) leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law, or 3) credit for time or service; and that is not authorized under any other provision of law.

  3. Agency means an executive agency as defined in 5 USC Section 105, excluding the Government Accountability Office. When the term “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means the agency heads or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make the given determination or take the given action. (Note: The Department of the Treasury has redelegated authority for the general administration of personnel matters to bureau heads (i.e., Commissioner of Internal Revenue) via Treasury Order 102-01, Delegation of Authority Concerning Personnel Management, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue has redelegated some of this authority to IRS managers via Delegation Order 6-12, Absence and Leave.)

  4. Emergency employee means an individual designated by management as critical to IRS operations and for whom weather and safety leave may not be applicable. To the extent practicable, managers should inform employees of their designation as emergency employees well in advance in anticipation of the possible occurrence of weather and safety-related conditions. If the manager wishes to provide for the possibility that an emergency employee could work from an approved telework site in lieu of traveling to the regular work site (e.g., official duty station) in appropriate circumstances, the manager should encourage the employee to enter into a telework agreement providing for that contingency. Different emergency employees may be designated for different circumstances expected to arise from these conditions (5 CFR Part 630.1605(b)).

  5. Employee means an individual as defined by 5 USC Section 2105, but not intermittent employees. Intermittent employees are not eligible for any of the types of leave covered by this IRM (i.e., administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, or weather and safety leave).

  6. Excused absence is the term previously used to describe an authorized absence from duty without charge to leave or loss of pay. It is largely replaced with the new statutory types of leave established by the Administrative Leave Act of 2016 (i.e., administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave).

  7. Investigative entity means 1) an internal investigative unit of an agency granting investigative leave under 5 USC Section 6329b, 2) the Office of Inspector General of an agency granting investigative leave under this section, 3) the Attorney General, and 4) the Office of Special Counsel.

  8. Investigative leave means leave without loss of or reduction in: 1) pay, 2) leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law, or 3) credit for time or service; and that is not authorized under any other provision of law and in which an employee who is the subject of an investigation is placed.

  9. IRS Telework Program is a program that permits eligible IRS employees to work at home or at other approved locations remote to the assigned post of duty (POD). The policies, procedures, and guidelines for the program are found in IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2, and in Article 50 of the National Agreement at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/d11678--2018-10-00.pdf (for BU employees).

  10. Minimum charge means the minimum time-charge increment for the posting of annual and sick leave (i.e., 15 minutes), which also applies to the other types of leave covered in this IRM (e.g., administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, weather and safety leave).

  11. Notice leave means leave without loss of or reduction in: 1) pay, 2) leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law, or 3) credit for time or service; and that is not authorized under any other provision of law and in which an employee who is in a notice period is placed.

  12. Notice period means a period beginning on the date on which an employee is provided notice required under law of a proposed adverse action against the employee and ending on the date on which an agency may take the adverse action.

  13. Official Duty Station (ODS) means the official location of the position of record. The ODS is documented on the Notification of Personnel Action (Standard Form 50). The ODS, official work site, regular work site, official POD, and IRS facility are often used interchangeably.

  14. Office Operating Status Announcement is a formal announcement, usually issued by the SCR or OPM, whenever it becomes necessary to close an office, delay the opening, grant an early dismissal, etc., because of weather or other safety-related condition.

  15. Paid Time Off means a period of time that an employee is on an approved paid absence from work. It includes paid leave, previously-earned credit hours, previously-earned compensatory time off, and time-off award hours.

  16. Participating in a telework program means an employee is eligible to telework and has an established arrangement under which the employee is approved to participate in the IRS Telework Program, including on a routine or situational basis. Such an employee who teleworks on a situational basis is considered to be continuously participating in the Telework Program even if there are extended periods during which the employee does not perform telework.

  17. Telework employee means an employee who is approved to participate in the IRS Telework Program and who can safely travel to and work at an approved telework site.

  18. Telework-ready employee means an employee with an approved telework agreement who has the necessary equipment (e.g., laptop) and necessary work files (paper or electronic) at their telework location (or transportable to the telework location) to perform required duties at the telework location at the time of an office closure or at other times.

  19. Telework site means a location where an employee is authorized to perform telework, as described in 5 USC Chapter 65, such as an employee's home.

  20. Tour of Duty (TOD) means the hours during the day (a daily TOD) and the days of an administrative workweek (a weekly TOD) that constitute an employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

  21. Weather and safety leave means paid leave provided under the authority of 5 USC Section 6329c to employees who are prevented from safely traveling to or safely performing work at a location approved by the agency due to a weather or other safety-related condition.

  22. Weather or other safety-related condition means an act of God, terrorist attack, or another condition that prevents an employee or group of employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location (5 USC Section 6329c and 5 CFR Part 630.1603).

Related Resources

  1. IRS Source at https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/EmergencySafety/OfficeClosures.aspx.

  2. IRS Source Timekeeping and Leave web page at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/Timekeeping/Leave.aspx.

  3. OFP Leave Codes on the Timekeeping Help web page at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/Timekeeping/Timekeeping%20Help.aspx.

  4. HCO Leave web page at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/compbenefits/compleave/leave.asp.

  5. IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.610.1.

  6. IRM 6.630.1, Absence and Leave, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.630.1.

  7. IRM 6.752.1, Disciplinary Suspensions Section 1, Disciplinary Suspensions of 14 Calendar Days or Less at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.752.1.

  8. IRM 6.752.2, Adverse Action, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.752.2.

  9. IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2.

  10. IRS Dismissal and Closure Procedures (Status of IRS Operations Decision Table) at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Linked%20Documents%20Library/IRS-Dismissal-Closure-Procedures.pdf.

  11. OPM’s Governmentwide Dismissal and Closure Procedures at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/reference-materials/handbooks/dcdismissal.pdf.

  12. Document 11678, National Agreement between Internal Revenue Service and National Treasury Employees Union, at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/d11678--2018-10-00.pdf (for BU employees).

General Provisions

  1. The Administrative Leave Act of 2016, enacted under section 1138 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Pub. L. 114-328, 130 Stat. 2000, December 23, 2016), was enacted because Congress believed the use of administrative leave sometimes exceeded reasonable amounts and resulted in significant costs to the Government. Congress wants agencies to (1) use administrative leave sparingly, (2) consider alternatives to use of administrative leave when employees are under investigation, and (3) act expeditiously to conclude investigations and either return the employee to duty or take an appropriate personnel action. Congress also wants agencies to keep accurate records regarding the use of administrative leave for various purposes.

  2. The Act added three new subparts to Title 5 USC that provide for specific categories of paid leave and the requirements that apply to each:

    1. Subpart N, Administrative Leave (5 USC 6329a);

    2. Subpart O, Investigative Leave and Notice Leave (5 USC 6329b); and

    3. Subpart P, Weather and Safety Leave (5 USC 6329c).

Administrative Leave

  1. Per 5 USC Section 6329a, administrative leave is permitted, at an agency’s discretion, but subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, when an agency determines that no other paid leave is authorized under any other law.

  2. Under the statute, OPM has the authority and requirement to prescribe regulations to carry out the new statutory provisions of 5 USC Section 6329a, including the appropriate uses and the proper recording of administrative leave. The regulations, once published, will provide a framework for agency compliance with the new statutory requirements.

  3. The statute provides that an agency may place an employee on administrative leave for no more than ten total workdays (80 hours) in any calendar year for full-time employees and the prorated equivalent for part-time employees.

  4. The IRS policies for excused absence (administrative leave) contained in IRM 6.610.1.3 and 4 remain current until OPM issues implementing regulations, and IRS policies are updated. Policy changes will not apply to BU employees until bargaining obligations, if required by law, are met.

Investigative Leave and Notice Leave

  1. Per 5 USC Section 6329b, investigative leave and notice leave provide the employing agency with the means of removing an employee from the workplace and keeping the employee away from the workplace while the agency investigates the employee and/or during the notice period of a proposed adverse action against that employee. Investigative leave and notice leave are not employee entitlements, but employees who are under investigation or who have received a notice of a proposed adverse action may be placed on this type of paid leave.

  2. Under the statute, OPM has the authority and requirement to prescribe regulations to carry out the new statutory provisions of 5 USC Section 6329b, including the appropriate uses and the proper recording of investigative leave and notice leave. Once regulations are published, the IRS will revise and implement internal policies to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements pertaining to this leave. These policies will not apply to BU employees until bargaining obligations, if required by law, are met.

  3. The IRS policies for these types of absences are administered by WRD, via the servicing Labor Relations Specialist, and will remain current until OPM issues implementing regulations, IRS policies are updated, and bargaining obligations, if required by law, are met.

Weather and Safety Leave

  1. Per 5 USC Section 6329c, weather and safety leave is permitted, at an agency’s discretion, but subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, when an agency determines weather or other safety-related conditions prevent employees from safely traveling to or from work or safely performing work at an approved location (typically the ODS or telework location) due to:

    1. An act of God;

    2. Terrorist attack; or

    3. Other applicable condition.

  2. The OPM regulations at 5 CFR Part 630, Subpart P, Weather and Safety Leave, provide agencies with an additional framework and the requirements for granting and recording weather and safety leave. Agencies have discretion, subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, agency policies, and lawful collective bargaining agreements, to grant this type of leave.

  3. There are no time limitations with respect to this type of leave.

  4. Weather and safety leave applies to employees as defined in 5 USC Section 2105, but does not apply to intermittent employees.

Telework Employees

  1. Except as provided in (a) and (b) below, employees who are participating in the IRS Telework Program, and who can safely travel to and work at an approved telework site, may not be granted weather and safety leave under 5 CFR Part 630.1603 or agency policy. Employees who are eligible to telework and participating in the IRS Telework Program under applicable agency policies are typically able to safely perform work at their approved telework site (e.g., home), since they are not required to work at their regular worksite (5 CFR Part 630.1605(a)).

    1. If, in the manager’s judgment, the weather or safety-related conditions outlined in IRM 6.630.4.5(1) and (2) above could not reasonably be anticipated, then weather and safety leave may be approved to the extent the employee was not able to prepare for telework (see IRM 6.630.4.5.1(4) below) and is otherwise unable to perform productive work at the telework site (5 CFR 630.1605(a)(2)(i)).

    2. If the employee is prevented from safely working at the approved telework site due to circumstances arising from one or more of the weather or safety-related conditions outlined in IRM 6.630.4.5(1) above, applicable to the telework site, the manager may, at their discretion, provide weather and safety leave to the employee (5 CFR Part 630.1605(a)(2)(ii)) or may direct the employee to travel to the employee’s regular worksite (or if the employee is Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU), to an alternative worksite) provided they may safely travel. See IRM 6.630.4.5.9 below for additional information.

  2. A manager may decide not to approve weather and safety leave when the conditions in IRM 6.630.4.5(1) and (2) above do not prevent the employee from safely traveling to or safely performing work at a regular work site (e.g., ODS), even if the affected day is a scheduled telework day (5 CFR Part 630.1605(2)(2)(iii)).

  3. When an employee with an approved telework agreement may reasonably anticipate that a weather or other safety-related condition may force the closure of their IRS facility, the employee must take reasonable steps (within an employee’s control) to become telework-ready (i.e., take necessary work equipment and necessary work files to their telework location, for the anticipated day(s) the facility may be closed). In such circumstances, managers may authorize employees who are not in their POD to travel on administrative time (duty time) to their POD to obtain necessary work equipment or files to become telework-ready.

  4. For a manager to decide whether the exceptions in IRM 6.630.4.5.1(1) (a) or (b) above apply, the manager must evaluate whether the weather or safety-related conditions outlined in IRM 6.630.4.5(1) could be reasonably anticipated and whether the employee took reasonable steps (within the employee’s control) to prepare to perform telework at the approved telework site. For example, if a significant snowstorm is predicted, the employee may need to prepare by taking home any equipment (e.g., laptop computer) and work needed for teleworking. To the extent an employee is unable to perform work at a telework site because of failure to make necessary preparations for reasonably anticipated conditions, a manager may not approve weather and safety leave. The employee is then required to use other appropriate paid time off or leave without pay (LWOP) (5 CFR Part 630.1605(a)(3)).

  5. Unscheduled telework hours worked due to a weather or safety-related office closure or unscheduled telework announcement will not count against the employee’s maximum number of hours permitted under the telework agreement. The unscheduled telework day will count toward the two-day per pay period requirement to report to the POD. See IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2, for more information.

  6. Employees who are required to telework will not have their previous scheduled telework days changed or cancelled.

Emergency Employees

  1. Management may designate emergency employees who are critical to IRS operations and for whom weather and safety leave may not be applicable. To the extent practicable, managers should inform employees of their designation as emergency employees well in advance in anticipation of the possible occurrence of the conditions set forth in 5 CFR Part 630.1603. If the manager wishes to provide for the possibility that an emergency employee could work from an approved telework site in lieu of traveling to the regular work site (e.g., ODS) in appropriate circumstances, the manager should encourage the employee to enter into a telework agreement providing for that contingency. Different emergency employees may be designated for different circumstances expected to arise from these conditions (5 CFR Part 630.1605(b)).

  2. Emergency employees must report to work at their regular worksite (e.g., ODS) or another approved location as directed by the manager, unless:

    1. The manager determines that travel to or performing work at the worksite is unsafe for emergency employees, in which case the employees may be required to work at another location, including a telework site as provided above, and as appropriate (5 CFR Part 630.1605(b)(1)); or

    2. The manager determines that circumstances justify granting weather and safety leave to emergency employees (5 CFR Part 1605(b)(2)).

Administration of Weather and Safety Leave

  1. Agencies must use the same minimum time-charge increments for weather and safety leave as they do for annual and sick leave under 5 CFR Part 630.206 (i.e., increments of 15-minutes) (5 CFR Part 630.1606(a)).

  2. Employees may be granted weather and safety leave only for hours within the employee’s TOD. For full-time employees, that tour is the 40-hour basic workweek as defined in 5 CFR Part 610.102 or the basic work requirement established for employees on an alternative work schedule (i.e., flexible or compressed work schedule) as defined in 5 USC Section 6121(3) (5 CFR Part 630.1606(b)).

  3. Employees may not receive weather and safety leave for hours during which they are on other preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off. Managers should not approve weather and safety leave for an employee who, in their judgment, is cancelling preapproved leave or paid time off, or requesting to change a regular day off (RDO) under an alternative work schedule for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave (5 CFR Part 630.1606(c)).

Records and Reports

  1. Records: Accurate records of the placement of employees on weather and safety leave must be maintained (5 CFR Part 630.1607(a)).

  2. Reporting: In IRS data systems (including the time and attendance system) and in data reports submitted to OPM, weather and safety leave granted under 5 USC Section 6329c and 5 CFR Part 630, Subpart P, must be reported as a category of leave separate from other types of leave (5 CFR Part 630.1607(b)).

Emergency Dismissals and Office Closures - Office Operating Status Announcements

  1. When it becomes necessary to close an office because of weather or other safety-related conditions (i.e., an act of God, terrorist attack, or another condition that prevents an employee or group of employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location), reasonable efforts will be made to inform all employees by private or public media, including email, the IRS Emergency Hotline, and other methods as appropriate and available. Such notice will be made as soon as practicable. Per IRM 6.610.1.3, Administrative Leave and Dismissals, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.610.1.3, and Delegation Order 6-7, Temporary Office Closures Due to Inclement Weather, Imminent Health and Safety Issues, or Other Emergency Situations, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=1.2.2.7.6, SCR/Commissioner Representatives and executives serving as SCRs have the delegated authority to close offices and dismiss employees for short periods due to severe weather or other emergency conditions. The SCRs (or other authorized officials) may declare offices to be:

    1. Open with a delayed arrival time;

    2. Open with the option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave;

    3. Open with an early departure; or

    4. Closed for an entire day.

  2. Employees participating in the IRS Telework Program who have the necessary equipment and work files to perform work at the telework location (i.e., those who are telework-ready) are generally expected to telework during such emergencies, reducing the need for weather and safety leave. The IRS Emergency Telework Policy is contained in IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2, and negotiated agreement provisions for BU employees are contained in Article 50 of the National Agreement at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/d11678--2018-10-00.pdf.

  3. Employees with a telework agreement are permitted to telework even if there are dependents/family at the telework site. However, any interruptions or time spent giving care to such individuals during the employee’s TOD will not be considered hours of work. The employee is expected to account for such non-work hours as soon as practicable with appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Weather and safety leave will not be granted in these situations.

  4. Employees in travel status (on official travel) during working hours continue working when there is an office operating status announcement affecting their ODS. However, if the emergency makes it impossible for the employee to safely work or perform other duties, they must contact their manager as early as practicable to explain the circumstances and determine if weather and safety leave may be granted.

  5. The following provisions apply in general but may not cover every possible scenario/contingency. See the IRS Dismissal and Closure Procedures (Status of IRS Operations Decision Table) at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Linked%20Documents%20Library/IRS-Dismissal-Closure-Procedures.pdf for specific scenarios and frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers.

Office is Open
  1. When an office operating status announcement is “Open,” “Open with option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave,” or “Open with delayed arrival with option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave,” employees who are scheduled to work in the ODS are expected to report consistent with the office operating status announcement.

  2. When the option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave is provided via office operating status announcement issued by the SCR (or by OPM for Washington, DC, Beltway employees), employees who otherwise are expected to report to the office on that day may opt to request unscheduled telework (if they are participating in the IRS Telework Program and if they have necessary equipment and work) or may request unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. If opting for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave, the day will count toward the two-day per pay period in-office reporting requirement that applies to employees on a Frequent IRS Telework Agreement. See IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2, for more information.

    Note: If the unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave option is not provided by the office operating status announcement and the employee on a Frequent IRS Telework Agreement requests to perform unscheduled telework that day, they must generally meet the two-day per pay period in-office reporting requirement and may need to reschedule their in-office day.

Office is Open with Delayed Arrival
  1. When the office operating status announcement is “Open with delayed arrival” (either by number of hours or actual clock time (i.e., two hours or 10:00 a.m.):

    1. Weather and safety leave is granted up until the time of the delayed arrival only to those employees scheduled to report to the ODS who report for duty. The intent of weather and safety leave is to allow time for safe travel to the office when a weather or other safety-related condition prevents an employee or group of employees from safely traveling to work. Employees scheduled to work in the ODS who are unable to report because the weather or other safety-related condition made travel unsafe may be eligible for a limited amount of weather and safety leave for part or all of their workday. Employees are obligated to contact their manager as early as practicable to explain the circumstances and provide an estimated time of arrival at work. See IRM 6.630.4.5.5.4 for additional requirements and information.

    2. Employees who are scheduled to telework begin work on time and do not receive weather and safety leave for the time approved for the delayed arrival unless they are experiencing an emergency condition (e.g., evacuation order, flooding, roof collapse) at the telework site that prevents them from safely completing their work assignments. These employees must contact their manager as soon as practical to determine their eligibility for weather and safety leave and to receive further instructions. See IRM 6.630.4.5.9 for additional requirements and information.

    3. The standard day shift start time for employees on gliding work schedules is considered 7:30 a.m. for purposes of determining the amount of weather and safety leave that may be granted, unless employees and their managers have agreed to a different start time and such agreement is memorialized in writing (e.g., email, memorandum, letter.)

    4. Employees who were scheduled for leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off the entire day, generally remain on leave or paid time off and are not granted weather and safety leave. However, an employee who is on scheduled leave or paid time off for the entire day but chooses to come in at the start of their TOD following a delayed arrival, will contact their manager via telephone or will follow any other mutually agreed upon process to advise the manager of their intent to come in to the office, will receive weather and safety leave up until the time of the delayed arrival, and will have the remainder of the scheduled leave or paid time off cancelled.

Office is Open with Early Departure
  1. Employees participating in the IRS Telework Program (i.e., those who have current telework agreements):

    1. Employees working at the telework site when their ODS closes early continue to work their entire TOD and are not granted weather and safety leave unless a weather or other safety-related condition impacts the telework site and makes it unsafe to continue working (e.g., evacuation order). Employees are obligated to contact their manager as early as practicable to explain the circumstances. See IRM 6.630.4.5.9 for additional requirements and information.

    2. Employees who are working in the office are required to take their equipment and work files to their telework location to finish their TOD.

    3. Employees required to travel to their approved telework location during regular duty hours to finish the day teleworking will be granted weather and safety leave for the time required to travel. Travel time is posted to either Organization Function Program (OFP) Code 990-59511 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Severe Weather) or OFP Code 990-59512 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Other Building Issue), as appropriate.

    4. Employees who wish to depart prior to the early departure time and not finish the TOD teleworking, may request to use unscheduled leave for the remainder of the day (e.g., annual leave, LWOP) or other paid time off.

    5. Employees who anticipate circumstances that could prevent them from safely traveling home if waiting until the departure time set by the office operating status announcement, consistent with workload and staffing needs, may be granted weather and safety leave from the time they leave work until they arrive at the telework location to finish their TOD teleworking. Employees must provide their manager with reasonably acceptable documentation. Employees post travel time that occurs while the office is still open to OFP Code 990-59513 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Open, Cannot Safely Report) and either OFP Code 990-59511 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Severe Weather) or 990-59512 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Other Building Issue) for any travel time that occurs after the official departure time.

      Example: An ice storm is expected to hit the area late afternoon. An early departure is formally announced at 2:00 p.m. with the time for dismissal set for 3:00 p.m. A weather alert is received shortly after the early departure announcement reporting that the bridge an employee needs to cross to get home will be closing at 2:30 p.m. due to treacherous conditions. The employee, who participates in the IRS Telework Program, requests to leave immediately so they can safely travel home. They pack up their equipment and work files, and their manager grants them weather and safety leave from the time they depart the ODS (2:15 p.m.) until the time they arrive at the approved telework location (3:15 p.m.). They then finish the remainder of their TOD (until 4:30 p.m.) working at the telework location. The employee posts their time as follows: 2:15 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. to 990-59513 (Weather and Safety Leave - Office Open); 3:00 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. to 990-59511 (Weather and Safety leave - Office Closed); and 3:15 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. to regular work codes.

    6. Employees must complete the remaining hours in their workday by either teleworking or taking leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off.

    7. Managers may not extend the workday to account for the travel time to the telework location.

    8. If there is insufficient time to require an employee to finish their TOD at the telework site, as determined by the manager, they may be granted weather and safety leave for the period from the departure time to the end of the TOD.

  2. Employees not participating in the IRS Telework Program (i.e., those who do not have telework agreements):

    1. Employees not participating in the IRS Telework Program who are working in their ODS up until the departure time will be granted weather and safety leave for the period from the departure time to the end of their TOD.

    2. Employees who wish to depart prior to the early departure time may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off for the remainder of the day and, generally, do not receive weather and safety leave.

    3. Employees who anticipate circumstances that could prevent them from safely traveling home, if waiting until the early departure time set by the office operating status announcement, consistent with workload and staffing needs, may be granted weather and safety leave from the time they leave work through the remainder of the TOD, provided they provide the manager with reasonably acceptable documentation. (If approved, post approved weather and safety leave to OFP Code 990-59513 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Open, Cannot Safely Report) for the absence prior to the time set for dismissal. Post either OFP Code 990-59511 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Severe Weather) or 990-59512 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Other Building Issue) for the time after the official dismissal, as appropriate.)

      Example 1: Torrential rains are hitting the area, and news alerts indicate the road where an employee lives will be closed shortly due to flooding. To ensure the employee can safely travel home, the manager may grant them weather and safety leave to depart the ODS prior to the time set for early dismissal. The early departure announcement was made at 2:00 with an early dismissal time of 3:00 p.m. The employee leaves the office at 2:15 p.m. in order to arrive home before the road closure. They post 990-59513 (Weather and Safety Leave - Office Open) from 2:15 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. and post 990-59511 (Weather and Safety Leave – Office Closed, Severe Weather) for the remainder of their TOD.

      Example 2: Heavy snow is starting to fall and at 2:00 p.m., an early dismissal is announced with the time of departure set for 3:00 p.m. An employee requests weather and safety leave to depart the office at 2:00 p.m., citing the need to stop at the grocery store to stock up on food and pick up a prescription before going home. Weather and safety leave is not appropriate in such a case; however, the manager may approve other leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off if the employee wishes to depart early, and the employee remains on that leave or paid time off for the remainder of the TOD.

  3. Employees on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off:

    1. Employees on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off for the entire day are not granted weather and safety leave for the early departure hours.

    2. Employees on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off for a partial day who departed prior to the early dismissal time also remain on leave or other paid time off unless they were scheduled to return to work after the early departure time. In that case, they post leave for the time scheduled to be on leave and are granted weather and safety leave from the time they were scheduled to return from leave.

      Example 1: A non-telework employee is scheduled for annual leave to attend their child’s school play from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., an early dismissal is announced for their ODS with immediate departure. The employee would have returned to work at 3:00 p.m. but for the early dismissal. The employee posts annual leave from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and posts weather and safety leave from 3:00 p.m. until the end of their TOD.

      Example 2: A Telework Program participant, in the same scenario as Example 1, is required to finish their TOD teleworking upon return from leave if they are telework-ready (i.e., has the necessary equipment and work files at their telework location) and if not prevented from safely working at the telework site. If not telework-ready, or if prevented from safely working at the telework site, the employee may be granted an equivalent amount of weather and safety leave (i.e., from 3:00 p.m. until the end of their TOD).

    3. Employees working in the office who have leave or other paid time off scheduled to begin at the start of the early departure time, or thereafter, but who no longer require it because its intended purpose is frustrated (e.g., a cancelled medical appointment or a cancelled flight to a vacation destination), may rescind the time off and receive the same amount of weather and safety leave that is granted to other employees in the office. The manager should request information or documentation to show that granting weather and safety leave is appropriate.

Office is Open, but Employee Cannot Report
  1. When the ODS is open, employees who are scheduled to work in the ODS are expected to report or, if the option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave is provided in the SCR office operating status announcement, may opt to request unscheduled telework (if they are participating in the IRS Telework Program and have the necessary equipment and work) or may request unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Employees scheduled to work in the ODS who are prevented from safely traveling to work due to weather or other safety-related condition, may be eligible for a limited amount of weather and safety leave for part or all of their workday. Employees are obligated to contact their manager as early as practicable to explain the circumstances and provide an estimated time of arrival at work. Acceptable explanations and/or documentation must be submitted to address the efforts made to reach work and to substantiate the inability to report for work due to unsafe conditions; however, this documentation requirement may be waived for absences of four hours or less. Optional Form 10837, Request for Weather and Safety Leave Due to Emergency Conditions, may be used for this purpose and can be found at http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/pdf/f10837--2018-06-00.pdf, or employees may provide other documentation to their manager.

  2. Managers will consider the following factors when determining if an employee will be granted weather and safety leave and uniformly applied to all employees within the area affected by the weather or other safety-related condition include the following:

    1. The ability to telework, if participating in the IRS Telework Program;

    2. The employee resides within, or travels through, an area affected by the weather or other safety-related condition;

    3. The mode of transportation normally used by or reasonably available to the employee;

    4. Efforts taken by the employee to come to work;

    5. The success of other similarly-situated employees;

    6. Any physical disability of the employee; and

    7. Any local travel restrictions or evacuation orders.

  3. In cases where the office is open and the SCR office operating status announcement does not provide the option for unscheduled telework, employees may, if participating in the IRS Telework Program, request to telework (if they have necessary equipment and work files). If approved, employees on a Frequent IRS Telework Agreement must still meet the two-day per pay period in-office reporting requirement and may need to reschedule their in-office day. See IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2, for more information.

  4. If employees are unable to report due to a declared disaster area, see IRM 6.630.4.5.8, Major Disaster Declarations, below.

Office is Closed
  1. Employees participating in the IRS Telework Program (i.e., those scheduled to telework or those not scheduled to telework who are telework-ready):

    1. Are expected to telework when their ODS is closed, begin work on time, work their entire TOD, and do not receive weather and safety leave unless, in the manager’s judgment: (1) the weather or other safety-related condition could not reasonably be anticipated and the employee is otherwise unable to perform productive work at the telework site; or (2) the employee is prevented from safely working at the approved telework site due to circumstances arising from the weather or other safety-related condition applicable to the telework site.

    2. In making the determination in (1)(a) above, the manager must evaluate whether the weather or other safety-related condition could be reasonably anticipated and whether the employee took reasonable steps (within the employee’s control) to prepare to perform telework at the approved telework site. For example, if a significant snowstorm is predicted, the employee may need to prepare by taking home any equipment (e.g., laptop computer) and work needed for teleworking. To the extent that an employee is unable to perform work at a telework site because of failure to make necessary preparations for reasonably anticipated conditions, a manager may not provide weather and safety leave. Managers may authorize employees who are not in their ODS to travel on administrative time (duty time) to their ODS to obtain necessary work equipment or files to become telework-ready. If the employee is not telework-ready for all or part of the TOD when a weather or safety-related condition forces the closure of the IRS facility, and they could not have reasonably anticipated the weather or safety-related condition, the employee may be granted an equivalent amount of weather and safety leave.

    3. Alternatively, employees may request unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off.

    4. Employees participating in the IRS Telework Program who are prevented from safely working at the telework site are obligated to contact their manager as early as practicable to explain the circumstances. See IRM 6.630.4.5.9 for additional requirements and information.

  2. Employees not participating in the IRS Telework Program (i.e., those who do not have telework agreements) will be granted weather and safety leave for the entire TOD if scheduled to work that day (i.e., not on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off). See IRM 6.630.4.5.6 below if the employees are on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off.

Preapproved Leave or Other Paid Time Off

  1. Employees may not receive weather and safety leave for hours during which they are on other preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off.

  2. Employees who are requesting, in the manager’s judgment, to cancel preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave, should remain on leave or paid time off and not be provided weather and safety leave.

  3. However, when the weather or other safety condition prevents the use of the preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off for its intended purpose, it may be cancelled. If the employee is not participating in the IRS Telework Program, they may be provided weather and safety leave. If the employee is participating in the IRS Telework Program, they would generally be expected to telework; however, they may also cancel preapproved leave or paid time off and be granted the same amount of weather and safety leave as other employees if:

    1. the intended purpose of the leave or paid time off is frustrated by the same weather and safety-related condition forcing the office closure; and

    2. the employees are not telework-ready. The manager should request information or documentation to show that granting weather and safety leave is appropriate.

      Example 1: An employee is on vacation in a distant location when offices are closed. Any request to cancel preapproved leave or paid time off would be for the purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave as the employee is not available to work at the regular worksite and is not affected by the weather/safety emergency. Therefore, any request to cancel such leave or paid time off may not be approved.

      Example 2: An employee is in the middle of a six-week period of scheduled, unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to recover from a serious illness. This employee has no intention to report to work on the day of a weather/safety emergency, and if such an employee requested to cancel the unpaid leave on the day of the weather/safety emergency, it would clearly be for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave. Therefore, any such request may not be approved.

      Example 3: An employee is unable to leave for vacation because flights are cancelled due to a weather/safety emergency. The employee may cancel their preapproved leave or other paid time off as the cancellation is not for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave. If IRS offices are closed and the employee is participating in the IRS Telework Program, they would be expected to telework, if telework-ready. If the employee is not participating in the IRS Telework Program, or if they are, but are not telework-ready, they may be provided weather and safety leave. If offices are open or operating on delayed arrival that day, the employee would follow normal procedures based on the office operating status announcement.

  4. If an employee is scheduled to use sick leave for a medical appointment and the appointment is cancelled due to a weather or safety-related condition, the legal basis for the sick leave has been eliminated, and the sick leave must be cancelled. Employees must account for the hours by requesting to charge them to another type of leave (e.g., annual leave, LWOP, weather and safety leave (if appropriate)) or to other paid time off, or employees may, if participating in the IRS Telework Program, request to perform unscheduled telework in lieu of using leave.

Changes to Alternative Work Schedules (AWS)

  1. Weather and safety leave should not be approved for an employee who, in the manager’s judgment is changing their AWS RDO for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave.

  2. Employees do not receive an “in-lieu-of” AWS day off when a closure occurs on the scheduled RDO. The RDO is treated the same as any other non-workday (Saturday and Sunday for most employees).

  3. See IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.610.1 and Article 23 of the National Agreement at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/d11678--2018-10-00.pdf for additional information regarding when changes may be made to an RDO.

Major Disaster Declarations

  1. When a disaster area has been declared (by the President, OPM, or other appropriate authority), requests for weather and safety leave, beyond what may have been granted by the IRS and/or OPM based on safety considerations, may be submitted by employees. These requests will be reviewed, approved, or disapproved on a case-by-case basis through the management chain by a designated business unit executive as follows:

    1. Employees must be unable to safely report to work and, if participating in the IRS Telework Program, unable to safely telework, specifically due to the disaster, and the inability to report to work or telework is beyond their control. See IRM 6.630.4.5.5.4(2) for the various factors that will be considered. The ability of the employee to safely report to another POD on a temporary basis may also be considered.

    2. Employees requesting additional weather and safety leave once offices reopen are required to provide an explanation and/or documentation in support of the claim. Employees may use optional Form 10837, Request for Weather and Safety Leave Due to Emergency Conditions, for this purpose found at http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/pdf/f10837--2018-06-00.pdf, or provide other documentation to their manager.

    3. Requests will be reviewed and approved or disapproved through the management chain by a designated business unit executive, in consultation and coordination with the SCR and the local Labor Relations Specialist(s) for the geographic area(s) of the disaster. This is to ensure consistent approval or disapproval of these requests across business unit lines.

  2. Workplace flexibilities to assist employees include:

    1. Temporarily modified TODs (subject to the provisions of IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty, for NBU employees and BU employees where provisions do not conflict, and Article 23 of the National Agreement for BU employees);

    2. Unscheduled telework;

    3. Unscheduled leave;

    4. Earning or using of credit hours to adjust work schedules;

    5. Advanced annual leave; and

    6. LWOP.

  3. The Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) can provide employees additional time off to attend to personal matters resulting from a disaster emergency. If an ELTP is established, employees may apply for donated annual leave. Additional information on the ELTP is found at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/Timekeeping/DispItemForm.aspx?ID=7 and in IRM 6.630.1.11.3, Emergency Leave Transfer Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.630.1.11.3.

  4. The EAP is a no cost, confidential counseling service available to assist employees and their families in these difficult situations. Managers may contact the EAP to request Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for traumatic events that impact the workgroup. Services are available via the toll-free number 800-977-7631. Information on the EAP (including the mobile app) is found at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/WorkLifePrograms/EmployeeAssistanceProgram.aspx, Article 27 of the National Agreement at: http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/d11678--2018-10-00.pdf (for BU employees), and IRM 6.800.3, Employee Assistance and Worklife Referral Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.3.

  5. Additional disaster emergency guidance for managers and employees may be extended through Servicewide communication channels including the Office of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners, or IRS Human Capital Officer for incidents that impact significant portions of the Service for an extensive period (e.g., hurricanes, wild fires, pandemic influenza). Managers should also reference i-Manage at: https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/SitePages/MgtFlexDisasters.aspx for disaster guidance and management flexibilities.

Emergency at the Telework Site

  1. When a teleworking employee experiences a weather or other safety-related condition (e.g., evacuation order, flooding, roof collapse) that prevents them from safely working at their telework site, the employee must contact their manager as soon as practicable.

  2. The employee may be directed to travel to the employee’s regular worksite (or if the employee is NBU, to an alternative worksite), provided they may safely travel under the circumstances, to complete their workday. If directed to travel during regular duty hours, they will receive administrative time (duty time) to cover the travel time. Managers may not extend the workday to account for the travel time to the regular or alternative worksite.

    Example: A teleworking employee whose TOD is 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is directed to the office at 10:00 a.m. and arrives at 10:30 a.m. The employee receives administrative time for the travel from 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and completes their TOD at 4:00 p.m. The manager may not extend the employee’s workday to 4:30 p.m. to account for the travel time to the office.

  3. If the employee is not directed to report to their regular worksite, the employee may be granted weather and safety leave. To be granted weather and safety leave under this provision, the employee may submit Form 10837, Request for Weather and Safety Leave Due to Emergency Conditions, or other appropriate documentation (e.g., email) in support of their claim. See also IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program, at: http://irm.web.irs.gov/link.asp?link=6.800.2

  4. Employees at a telework site (or other alternate worksite) who experience an emergency that prevents them from safely completing their work assignments, and the ODS is closed, may be provided weather and safety leave upon providing appropriate documentation in support of that claim. Employees may submit Form 10837, Request for Weather and Safety Leave Due to Emergency Conditions, or other appropriate documentation (e.g., email) in support of their claim.

Records and Time Reporting

  1. To comply with statutory and regulatory reporting requirements, managers must ensure an accurate accounting of when an employee is provided weather and safety leave. See Exhibit 6.630.4-1 below for time and attendance system reporting codes.

  2. Weather and safety leave is posted in 15-minute increments.

  3. See Exhibit 6.630.4-1 below for weather and safety leave time and attendance system reporting codes. Additional time and attendance leave OFP codes may be found by clicking the OFP Leave Codes link on the Timekeeping Help web page at: https://irssource.web.irs.gov/Lists/Timekeeping/Timekeeping%20Help.aspx.

Weather and Safety Leave Time and Attendance Reporting Codes

OFP Code and Title Description
990-59511 - Weather and Safety Leave - Office Closed, Severe Weather Post when an employee is absent on approved weather and safety leave because the office is closed due to severe weather - can be full day closure, early dismissal, or delayed arrival situation (generally for use by non-telework employees).
990-59512 - Weather and Safety Leave - Office Closed, Other Building Issue Post when an employee is absent on approved weather and safety leave because the office is closed due to a safety-related building issue not related to weather (e.g., terrorist attack, lack of water, no heat) - can be full day closure, early dismissal, or delayed arrival situation (generally for use by non-telework employees).
990-59513 - Weather and Safety Leave - Office Open, Cannot Safety Report Post when the office is open, and the employee is absent on approved weather and safety leave because they cannot safely report due to weather or other safety-related condition that prevents safely traveling. This code is also used to post weather and safety leave when an early departure is announced, and an employee is approved to leave prior to the time set for dismissal due to anticipated circumstances that could prevent safe travel home. Because the office is still open at the time such employee departs, they post this code from the time they leave until the time the office officially closes, or, if a telework employee, until the time they arrive at the telework site, but not past the official closing time. Non-telework employees then post either 990-59511 or 990-59512, depending on the reason for the office closure (weather or other building issue) for the remainder of the day. Telework employees post either 990-59511 or 990-59512, depending on the reason for the office closure, for any additional travel time occurring from the official closing time until they arrive at the telework site, and then post regular work time for the remainder of their TOD.
990-59514 - Weather and Safety Leave - Telework Site Unsafe, Office Closed Post when a telework employee is absent on approved weather and safety leave because the telework site is unsafe, or the employee could not anticipate the emergency to prepare to telework and the employees ODS is closed (for telework employees).
990-59515 - Weather and Safety Leave - Telework Site Unsafe, Office Open Post when a telework employee is absent on approved weather and safety leave because the telework site is unsafe, and the employee’s ODS is open, but the manager does not require the employee to report to the ODS (e.g., too late in the day) (for telework employees).