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Federal employees missing work during shutdown could be marked as AWOL

January 23, 2019

Federal workers who are required to work during the partial government shutdown but are failing to do so risk being classified as absent without leave.

A memo sent from the director of the Office of Personnel Management to heads of department and agencies on Friday explained that employees missing work should be marked as AWOL.

“If an employee is excepted from furlough, and therefore required to work during the shutdown yet has failed to do so, he or she would be considered AWOL during the period of any such unauthorized absence,” the memo read.

According to the OPM memo, agency heads can choose to notify employees of their AWOL status, but that action varies by agencies. It said officials must use their discretion “based on the facts and circumstances” of individual situations to determine the consequences of going AWOL.

The notification comes as the Transportation Security Administration reported that 10 percent of agents had unscheduled absences on Sunday.

The partial government shutdown has stretched into the fifth week.

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