WASHINGTON – The head of the largest federal employee union is criticizing the Office of Personnel Management’s decision requiring employees to take personal leave if they are unable to report to work due to the unprecedented shutdown of the Metrorail system.
“Employees who rely on Metro to commute to work should not be forced to use personal leave because of Metro’s decision to close its doors,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
“While many employees are able to work from home, that’s not an option for most federal and D.C. government employees. That’s especially true for employees at the lower end of the pay scale.
“OPM forced these employees to make a no-win decision: lose a day of paid leave that could otherwise be used to spend with new children, attend graduations and family reunions, or care for sick relatives; or spend money out of their own pockets to get to work using expensive cabs or parking.
“Due to the unprecedented and unexpected nature of this situation, OPM should have authorized the use of administrative leave for affected employees. I am calling on OPM to reverse its decision and grant administrative leave to all employees who were unable to report to work due the Metro shutdown.”