On March 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered all employees – not just those in the most affected regions – to begin working from home given the rapid spread of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”). CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger sent an email to all CFPB employees in the evening of March 17 stating that a prior telework arrangement that mandated Washington, D.C. and New York regional state employees to work remotely would now apply to all agency employees – and extended that deadline through Friday, April 3.
The Director ordered: “Starting Wednesday, March 18, the mandatory telework policy I first implemented for HQ and New York Regional Office staff will apply to all CFPB employees, regardless of work location.”
In doing so, the CFPB became the first federal agency to require telework for all of its employees, regardless of previous policies and procedures. The Director also permitted those who are unable to telework due to disruptions in childcare, school closures, or caring for relatives to take up to twenty hours of administrative leave per pay period.
On a related note, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum on March 15 on telework flexibility, and the Office of Personnel Management’s current operating status as of March 17 calls for maximum telework. The OMB encouraged agencies to consult with current operating guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (linked here) to maximize safe working environments and implement substantial mitigation strategies for the workplace.