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Labor Dept. freaks over MLK 'Jobs March,' advises day off, even without pay

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Jobs,Labor,Martin Luther King

The Labor Department, arguably the main focus of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech 50 years ago, is in a frenzy over the traffic Wednesday's 50th anniversary "March for Jobs and Justice" will cause, warning workers to telework or take the day off -- even if it's unpaid.

In an internal email that some see as richly ironic, employees at the Frances Perkins Building at the bottom of Capitol Hill are advised to skip town due to the congestion that the symbolic jobs march by Labor's HQ will cause. Elsewhere around the federal government, workers are being urged to telework to avoid traffic tie ups around town.

Below is the memo from Labor:

Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013

Subject: March on Washington / Workplace Flexibilities - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This message is intended for all DOL employees in the Washington, D.C. area.

As many of you know, Wednesday, August 28, marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. While most of the commemorative events have taken place near the Lincoln Memorial, the "March for Jobs and Justice" planned for Wednesday morning will include a brief stop outside the Frances Perkins Building sometime after 9 am.

While the precise timing of the events are always fluid, according to the Office of Personnel Management employees who work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area should expect delays and travel disruptions during the morning and evening commutes. The Federal Government in the Washington, DC, area will remain "Open" on August 28.

To help alleviate traffic congestion, there are several human resources flexibilities that will allow employees to continue to work, rearrange their work schedule, or take leave. These include:

Telework - Employees with a signed telework agreement may request supervisory approval to perform unscheduled telework if it's not their regular scheduled telework day.

Compressed Work Schedule - Employees on a compressed work schedule may request supervisory approval to use their day off.

Leave - Employees may request supervisory approval to take annual leave, leave without pay, and/or previously earned compensatory time off, earned credit hours or time off award.

If you have any questions please contact your servicing human resources office.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.