The Office of Personnel Management is telling federal employees in the Washington, D.C., area, including civilians working at the Pentagon, to leave offices two hours early ahead of severe storms beginning Monday evening.

All employees must depart no later than 3:00 p.m. EST, OPM said in the announcement on Aug. 7.

Employees who are working at their office will receive weather and safety leave for the amount of time it takes them to commute home, at which point they must then complete the remainder of their workday via telework.

Those already teleworking or working remotely are expected to continue work, OPM said, and are generally ineligible for leave.

Employees who cannot telework will be dismissed from their office two hours earlier than their normal departure time but no later than the final departure time of 3:00 p.m. Leave will be granted for the remainder of the workday.

Those who are already on leave generally should continue to be charged leave or other paid time off, and workers who depart the office earlier than OPM directed may request unscheduled leave or other PTO.

“Such employees will not be granted weather and safety leave for any part of the workday,” OPM says.

For further changes to the government’s operating status, check OPM’s site here.

Roughly 15 million people are under a tornado watch on Monday in effect until 9 p.m.

“We are under a level 4 out of 5 risk,” the Capital Weather Gang tweeted, which is a weather watch service by The Washington post. “The last time that happened locally was June 13, 2013; the previous time before that was the June 29, 2012 derecho.”

Intense storms are forecasted with strong winds between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Other closures

All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. are closed at 3 p.m. due to weather.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Molly Weisner is a staff reporter for Federal Times where she covers labor, policy and contracting pertaining to the government workforce. She made previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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