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Update on the Federal Government Status for Employees Located in the Washington, DC, Area Surrounding the Inauguration

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
CPM 2021-06
Update on the Federal Government Status for Employees Located in the Washington, DC, Area Surrounding the Inauguration

The United States Federal Government remains open for business. As mentioned in the recently issued memo CPM 2020-17, December 17, 2020, there will be many inaugural activities that will take place before and after the Presidential oath of office is administered on Wednesday afternoon, January 20, 2021.  January 20 is a Federal holiday for employees in the capital region, as covered in the memo, in addition to January 18 for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. In addition, there will be significant traffic disruptions that will occur from January 15 through 22, due to road, street, and bridge closures; vehicle restricted zones; mass transit changes and station closures; motorcades; and the establishment of security perimeters.  Federal employees who work in the downtown Washington, DC, area and its vicinity should be prepared for commuting delays. 

To help alleviate traffic congestion and minimize distraction to law enforcement and security officials, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is urging agencies to permit employees who might otherwise report to the normal agency worksite during this period to use all available workplace flexibility options.  Accordingly, OPM strongly encourages agencies to allow such employees to telework, where possible, to keep the Federal Government operating while helping to minimize traffic congestion and support law enforcement efforts during these events.  Employees may also request to use their alternative work schedule day off, annual leave, leave without pay, previously earned compensatory time off, and/or earned credit hours under a flexible work schedule on January 15 through 22. 

Those employees planning to commute into the metropolitan area, including those who may be onboarding or offboarding from respective Federal agencies, should allow extra time going to and from work and ensure that they have their appropriate identification, such as their PIV or CAC card, available to gain access to their building.  Employees are encouraged to monitor local news media for announcements on street closures for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, disruptions to public transportation, building closures, or any possible changes to the Washington, DC, area Federal Government operating status.  Agencies should use all communications tools they have in place, such as hotlines, social media, and website updates, to inform employees of any relevant, agency-specific issues. 

Agencies should direct any questions on Inauguration security planning and impacts to the United States Secret Service.  Information on DC public transportation changes and delays will be available at