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Reversing Course, Trump Admin Allows Feds Working Through Shutdown to Take Leave Without Penalty

January 23, 2019 / Eric Katz

The Trump administration is providing significantly greater flexibility to federal employees working without pay during the shutdown, appearing to walk back guidance it issued last week that sought to crack down on employees calling out of work while they are not receiving paychecks. The new guidance, issued Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management, allows “excepted” employees for the first time since the shutdown began more than 30 days ago to “request time off based on their personal circumstances.” Those workers have two avenues for calling out: they can either request leave, which they will only be paid for once government reopens, or they can take “approved periods of absence” without requesting leave.