The White House is set to have all of its employees return to work in-person in the building starting in July as COVID-19 pandemic safety measures begin to loosen for President Joe Biden’s staff.
A memo, a copy of which was obtained by Axios, sent to the White House Office and Office of the Vice President informs staff that they "will transition to full time on campus work during the window of July 6 to July 23."
It adds that there are exceptions for "extenuating circumstances," but does not specify what would qualify.
"Any staffer with an extenuating circumstance that makes working in person not possible may, in consultation with their manager, continue to work remotely until those circumstances change," the memo states.
Anywhere from 80-90% of White House employees switched to working from home under Biden, according to Forbes, after the Office of Management and Budget at the end of January told staffers to make "every effort" to work remotely and limited federal buildings to allow one-quarter of their employees inside at any one time. Forbes notes that under former President Donald Trump, many federal employees were working in-person during the pandemic, with 60% of all federal employees working remotely during the "peak" of the outbreak last year.
The Washington Post reported last month that the Biden administration was considering plans to allow federal workers to continue working remotely.
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., the highest ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said last month that "COVID-19 cases are plummeting across the country and it’s past time for the federal workforce to return to their places of work. Prolonged remote work is harming Americans’ access to federal agencies and is costing taxpayers."
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