The Land :: www.TheLandOnline.com

Community News Network

October 1, 2013

Work-from-home links go dark for furloughed employees during shutdown

WASHINGTON — Government workers may not only be physically cut off from their offices in the event of a federal shutdown — their digital ties could be severed, too.

According to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget issued last week, furloughed employees are not allowed to do any work, including "via mobile devices or remote computer connections."

That means no checking email. No working remotely. And no BlackBerrys or other government-issued smartphones.

The memo states that it's up to each agency to determine how to enforce the digital restrictions. But furloughed employees will have to turn in their smartphones during a four- hour shift Tuesday to put their affairs in order and turn in the phones, according to Washington Post reporter Lisa Rein.

Agencies can't even rely on sending messages about when workers can get back on the job via mobile devices or "home access to work email," the memo says.

The OMB cites the Anti-Deficiency Act — the same act that will keep workers out of their physical offices — for the digital shutdown. As with other government work, there are some exceptions to which positions will still be allowed to use virtual space, such as work that protects lives or vital property.

Government workers have already faced the prospect of turning in their PDAs, and The Post's Karen Tumulty reported in 2011 that workers were anticipating going through withdrawal symptoms such as hearing phantom rings and vibrations from empty pockets. That dependence has only grown in the past two years, and a majority of American smartphone users keep their phones on or near them at least 22 hours a day, according to an 2012 study from the research firm IDC.

The shutdown could also affect government websites, according to the memo, because workers will not be able to update those online pages during a shutdown. There will be exceptions on an agency-by-agency basis. Essential systems can stay up, as can back-end technical systems and other systems needed to maintain the functionality and security of those systems. Also, any site that does not require someone to maintain it can remain online, the memo said.

Agencies can also extend the deadlines for any paperwork or applications due to the government if such submissions are put on hold during a shutdown.

While websites are shut down, the memo suggests, agencies should put a standard notice on their landing pages letting visitors know that the information on the websites may not be up to date.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
The Land's Twitter Feed