Weather Recommendation February 4, 2021: Open with 1 Hour Delayed Arrival

TO: All Agency Heads and Postal Service Officials, Twin Cities Metropolitan Area

FROM: Johnny Maxon, Chair, Federal Executive Board of Minnesota

SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 2021FEB All Hazards Communication Plan for Federal Agencies in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area

The following policy is the latest revision of the previous Federal Executive Board (FEB) policy regarding notifying the Federal Community of emergencies including terrorism activities and/or potentially hazardous weather situations. ALL PREVIOUS POLICIES ARE VOID. This statement is an effort to clearly define the roles of the Federal Executive Board and individual agencies to responding to emergencies including hazardous weather and man-made situations.

The FEB will serve as a central point for gathering accurate information and disseminating it to agencies regarding emergency situations including potentially hazardous weather conditions in the Twin Cities metro area. We will do this by consulting with relevant Federal, State and Local Governmental agencies. We will then communicate this information via the FEB website, FEB email, Everbridge notification system and other internal communications and media sources depending on circumstances and time of the emergency or onset of hazardous conditions. Federal agencies outside the metro area should follow your own system developed by your managers or the public recommendations for Minnesota State Agencies/Employees.

Emergency Situations may include:

  • Local or Regional DHS NTAS Imminent Threat Alert (highest)
  • Widespread power outages affecting Federal government installations
  • Other emergency situations, terrorism and man-made disasters
  • Pandemic influenza outbreak or other widespread public health emergencies

Hazardous weather conditions may include:

  • Deep snow with capability for prolonged blocking of traffic
  • Intense icing conditions on highways or streets
  • Treacherous winds or continuing high velocity gusts
  • Floods
  • Tornado Warnings or extensive post-Tornado damage

The FEB will announce a recommendation for dismissal and closing procedures, based on the terms used by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s status of government operations. Once informed of this information and recommendation, agencies will be responsible for invoking their own emergency/hazardous weather policies. Decisions such as whether to dismiss or not dismiss employeesremain within an individual agency’s discretion.

The best way to check on the status of any FEB Emergency and/or Weather Warning is to check the FEB Website https://minnesota.feb.gov. In the event of a weather recommendation, the FEB will post a red banner visible at the header ofthe FEB website, notifying if a recommendation has been made. Another means to check on the status of a warning is to call the FEB Weatherline at (612) 713-7333. DO NOT CALL ANY OTHER FEB TELEPHONE NUMBER AS THE MESSAGE WILL ONLY BE LEFT ON THE WEATHERLINE (612) 713-7333.

We request that all of your employees are fully informed as to your agency’s emergency and hazardous weather policy on a timely basis.

Should you have any further questions regarding the FEB’s Emergency/Hazardous Weather Warning Policy, please call the FEB Office at (612) 713-7200.

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD

OF MINNESOTA

ALL HAZARDS

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN

FOR THE TWIN CITIES

METROPOLITIAN AREA

Part I: PURPOSE

This All Hazards Emergency Communication Plan (herein referred to as the Plan) outlines the Federal Executive Board (FEB)’s role in emergency situations, identifies responsibilities and provides an interagency communication strategy that may be used by Federal Agency leadership for workforce operating status purposes. Per the FEB Strategic and Operational Plan (2018-2022), an updated copy of this Plan is required to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) annually.

Emergency situations are confined to those involving Federal Government agencies as a whole, and do not focus on an individual employee. Emergency situations, as defined by this Plan, are those of sufficient magnitude which present a hazard or danger to the safety of Federal employees. This includes all hazards, but is not limited to, an adverse weather condition (earthquake, fire, flood, heavy rain, high winds, hurricane, ice, snow, tornado, tropical storm), active shooter, disruption of power/water, a national security event, protests, and other emergency situations.

Part II: SCOPE

This Plan applies to Federal agencies and installations in the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota’s (FEB-MN) jurisdiction and applies to an employee’s official duty station, not a telework location. The Plan models OPM’s “Governmentwide Dismissal and Closure Procedures.” This Plan is not intended for employees of the U.S. Postal Service, State and Local Government, or private sector entities, including Federal contractors. This does not apply to an employee designated as “Emergency” personnel. Application of this guidance must be consistent with the provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements and/or other controlling policies, authorities, and instructions.

Part III: FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD AUTHORITY

Federal Executive Boards were established on November 13, 1961 by Presidential Memorandum. As outlined in Part 960 of Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Federal Executive Boards shall be responsible for . . . emergency operations, such as under hazardous weather conditions, responding to blood donations needs, and communicating related leave policies.” (Reference: 5CFR Part 960.107)

Part IV: FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD ROLE IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

The FEB Network’s critical communication role is outlined in the following documents:

  • OPM FEB Operations memorandum, Subject: Protocol for Reporting During Emergencies to the Office of Personnel Management” (Reference: October 1, 2018).
  • FEB Role in Emergency Situations (Reference: September 2018)
  • Memorandum of Understanding Between OPM and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (Reference: August 1, 2008).
  • Given a weather-related or unusual situation affecting our geographic area, the FEB-MN will provide up-to-date, accurate and consistent information so local Federal agency leaders can make informed decisions on an operating status for their Federal agency employees. This includes information available from the National Weather Service (NWS), local public safety and law enforcement officials.

The FEB-MN Staff will convene a call with the NWS, watch Minnesota Department of Transportation road conditions, and monitor other weather and road condition indicators to make a recommendation on operating status for the Twin Cities metro area. After the recommendation is determined, an email message will be distributed to FEB-MN agency heads and designated emergency contacts. The recommendation will be posted to the FEB-MN website https://minnesota.feb.gov and a recorded message will be available on the FEB-MN Weatherline at (612-713-7333).

While the FEB can make a recommendation, please note that each local Federal agency head makes the final workforce status decision for their agency employees and should report that workforce status decision to their agency Headquarters.

The FEB-MN will provide, at a minimum, daily status reports, via email or telephone, to OPM when a local emergency event in an FEB jurisdiction affects Federal business operations (per the OPM FEB Operations memorandum, Subject: Protocol for Reporting During Emergencies to the Office of Personnel Management).

Part V: OPERATING STATUS RECOMMENDATIONS:

The operating status recommendations described below will be used during weather events and other emergencies. While a recommendation heading may indicate there is an option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework, agencies retain the discretion to not allow the option of unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework for some or all employees due to mission requirements.

  1. OPEN

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are OPEN.

Employees are expected to report to their worksites or begin telework on time. Normal operating procedures are in effect.

  1. OPEN WITH THE OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are OPEN and employees have the OPTION for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK.”

Non-Emergency Employees must notify their supervisor of their intent to use unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. In accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law), non-emergency employees have the option to use:

  1. earned annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or sick leave, as appropriate;
  2. leave without pay;
  3. their flexible work schedule day off or rearrange their work hours under flexible work schedules; or
  4. unscheduled telework.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksites on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

  1. OPEN – XX HOUR(S) DELAYED ARRIVAL– WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are OPEN under XX HOUR(S) DELAYED ARRIVAL and employees have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than XX hour(s) later than they would be expected to arrive.”

Non-Emergency Employees who report to the office will be granted weather and safety leave for up to XX hour(s) past their expected arrival time. In accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures (including required notification of the employee’s supervisor) and subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law), non-emergency employees have the option to use:

  1. earned annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or sick leave, as appropriate;
  2. leave without pay;
  3. their flexible work schedule day off or rearrange their work hours under flexible work schedules; or
  4. unscheduled telework.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksites on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) who choose not to report to the regular office must be prepared to telework, take unscheduled leave or other paid time off, or a combination—thereby accounting for the entire workday. In general, weather and safety leave is not available to telework employees who do not report to the regular office. Treatment of telework employees is subject to applicable law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off (e.g., compensatory time off, credit hours)—including an employee who requests unscheduled leave or other paid time off—should be charged leave or other paid time off and not receive weather and safety leave.

4. OPEN – DELAYED ARRIVAL –EMPLOYEES MUST REPORT TO THEIR OFFICE NO LATER THAN XX:XX – WITH OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are OPEN under a DELAYED ARRIVAL where employees must REPORT TO THEIR OFFICE NO LATER THAN XX:XX and have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK.”

Non-Emergency Employees who report to the office will be granted weather and safety leave for the hours between the employee’s typical arrival time and the reporting time specified in the announcement, except that such leave is reduced if the employee arrives at work before the announced reporting time. In accordance with their agency’s policies and procedures (including required notification of the employee’s supervisor) and subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law), non-emergency employees have the option to use:

  1. earned annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or sick leave, as appropriate;
  2. leave without pay;
  3. their flexible work schedule day off or rearrange their work hours under flexible work schedules; or
  4. unscheduled telework.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksite on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) who choose not to report to the regular office must be prepared to telework, take unscheduled leave or other paid time off, or a combination—thereby accounting for the entire workday. In general, weather and safety leave is not available to telework employees who do not report to the regular office. Treatment of telework employees is subject to applicable law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off (e.g., compensatory time off, credit hours)—including an employee who requested unscheduled leave or other paid time off—should be charged leave or other paid time off and not receive weather and safety leave.

5. EARLY DEPARTURE – XX HOUR(S) STAGGERED RELEASE

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area should depart XX HOUR(S) earlier than their normal departure times and may request UNSCHEDULED LEAVE to depart prior to their staggered departure times.”

Non-emergency Employees at the Worksite:

Weather and Safety Leave. Non-emergency employees who are not telework program participants will be dismissed from their office XX hour(s) early relative to their normal departure times and will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours remaining in their workday.

Telework Requirements. In general, non-emergency employees who are telework program participants will receive weather and safety leave only for the amount of time required to commute home. Once these employees arrive at home, they must complete any remaining portion of the workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Departure Prior to Early Departure Time. Non-emergency employees who depart prior to their staggered early departure times may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday. A telework program participant who departs prior to the early departure time generally must account for the remaining hours in the tour of duty by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Emergency Employees are expected to remain at their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) already performing telework when an early departure is announced generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination, in accordance with law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off—including an employee who has requested unscheduled leave before an early departure is announced—should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off during the scheduled time and should not receive weather and safety leave.

6. EARLY DEPARTURE – XX HOUR(S) STAGGERED RELEASE– ALL EMPLOYEES MUST DEPART NO LATER THAN XX:XX

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area should depart XX HOUR(S) earlier than their normal departure time and may request UNSCHEDULED LEAVE to depart prior to their staggered departure time. All employees MUST DEPART at no later than XX:XX at which time Federal offices are CLOSED.”

Non-emergency Employees at the Worksite:

Weather and Safety Leave. Non-emergency employees who are not telework program participants will be dismissed from their office XX hour(s) early relative to their normal departure time or at the final departure time (as applicable) and will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours remaining in their workday.

Telework Requirements. In general, non-emergency employees who are telework program participants will receive weather and safety leave only for the amount of time required to commute home. Once these employees arrive at home, they must complete any remaining portion of the workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Departure Prior to Early Departure Time. Non-emergency employees who depart prior to their staggered early departure time or the final departure time may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday. A telework program participant who departs prior to the early departure time generally must account for the remaining hours in the tour of duty by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Emergency Employees are expected to remain at their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) already performing telework when an early departure is announced generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination, in accordance with law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off—including an employee who has requested unscheduled leave before an early departure policy is announced—should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off during the scheduled time and should not receive weather and safety leave.

7. IMMEDIATE EARLY DEPARTURE

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are CLOSED and on-site employees should depart IMMEDIATELY.”

Non-emergency Employees at the Worksite:

Weather and Safety Leave. Non-emergency employees who are not telework program participants will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours remaining in their workday.

Telework Requirement. In general, non-emergency employees who are telework program participants will receive weather and safety leave only for the amount of time required to commute home. Once these employees arrive at home, they must complete any remaining portion of the workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Departure Prior to Immediate Departure Time. Non- emergency employees who depart prior to the immediate departure time may request to use unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off. Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday. A telework program participant who departs prior to the early departure time generally must account for the remaining hours in the tour of duty by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination.

Emergency Employees are expected to remain at their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) already performing telework when an immediate departure is announced generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination, in accordance with law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off—including an employee who has requested unscheduled leave before an immediate departure policy is announced—should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off during the scheduled time and should not receive weather and safety leave.

8. OFFICE CLOSURE

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are CLOSED. Emergency employees and telework employees continue to work.”

Non-emergency employees generally will be granted weather and safety leave for the number of hours they were scheduled to work. However, weather and safety leave will not be granted to employees who are:

  • emergency employees who are required to report for duty;
  • telework program participants (with certain narrow exceptions);
  • on official travel outside of the duty station;
  • on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off; or
  • on an Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) day off or other non-workday.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksite unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Telework Employees (i.e., employees who are participating in a telework program, including those who perform telework regularly and those who telework on an ad hoc basis) generally may not receive weather and safety leave. They must account for the entire workday by teleworking, taking unscheduled leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off, or a combination, in accordance with law, regulations, agency policies and procedures, and any applicable collective bargaining requirements (as consistent with law).

Leave. In general, an employee on preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or other paid time off should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off and should not receive weather and safety leave.

9. SHELTER-IN-PLACE

“The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota recommends Federal agencies in the Twin Cities metro area are under SHELTER-IN-PLACE procedures and are CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.”

Employees Located at Agency Worksite. All employees should follow their agency’s emergency procedures for shelter- in-place. Employees should remain in their designated safe area until they are notified by agency officials that they may return to the office or leave the worksite.

Telework Employees performing telework (e.g., at home) are expected to continue working when there is a shelter-in-place incident at their regular office unless affected by the emergency or otherwise notified by their agencies.

Part VI: SUMMARY

The FEB will:

  • Maintain a database of emergency contact information for local agency heads and their designated emergency contacts;
  • Work closely with the NWS, and GSA, and DHS/FPS when appropriate, for accurate, up-to-date and consistent information;
  • Provide local agency heads with accurate, up-to-date and consistent information so that informed decisions can be made about agency operations;
  • Consult with the NWS when a “notice event” is forecasted and issue a recommendation when warranted;
  • Facilitate communication with agency contacts when deemed appropriate;
  • Provide status reports to the OPM FEB Team during “no-notice” and “notice” events.

The FEB does not have the authority to:

  • Close Federal buildings or Federal facilities;
  • Speak on behalf of an individual Federal agency (to the media, Federal employees or the general public);
  • Have final decision-making authority regarding the status of Federal agency operations;
  • Designate “emergency” employees.

Part VII: Federal Agency Responsibilities:

Each agency will make decisions regarding their own Operating Status. Agencies are responsible for determining closure, dismissal, and leave policies for employees on shift work and alternative work schedules (flexible or compressed work schedules). Agencies are responsible for maintaining and implementing an appropriate plan to notify employees of all emergencies, and provide written emergency procedures to employees. The procedures should tell employees “how” they will be notified and provide a detailed explanation of the terms used in the notification and/or announcement. Agencies are responsible for having up-to-date Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP), Occupant Emergency Plans and are responsible for the accountability and reporting of personnel status to their Headquarters. Agencies should incorporate “Telework arrangements” into their agency emergency planning so that eligible employees may use Unscheduled Telework in the event of emergencies. At least annually, agencies should identify personnel and notify them in writing that they are designated as an “emergency employee”. The term “emergency employee” is used to designate those employees who must report for work in emergency situations.

This policy is effective as ofOctober 1, 2019 and will remain in effect until superseded. All previous FEB-MN All Hazards Policies are canceled.