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Philadelphia Regional Benefit Office

Work Status for Employees

 

Situation Update

Last updated on Friday, February 14, 2014

The Philadelphia Regional Benefit Office is open and operating normal hours.

During a VA-declared emergency:

If you cannot make it to work and are unable to contact your supervisor, then go to the VA Employee Emergency Information website to post information about your status in this emergency.

VA Employee Helpline:

During emergencies, VA employees may call 1-866-233-0152 for assistance and information about VA facilities.

Weather Emergency Guidance

Employees are reminded to follow the policy written below and to continue to call (215) 842-2000 number as well as local news reports, particularly KYW news radio (1060 AM).  Employees requesting paid leave to excuse themselves from the work effort due to weather conditions should follow leave procedures and submit their request to their supervisor for approval. 

When the weather conditions are bad enough to cause you to believe that the office (VA Regional Office, VA Insurance Center, and VA Information Technology Center) may be closed or that we may delay the opening, your first source of information should be to contact the office.  Decisions will normally be made about 5:30 AM to 5:45 AM.  The "bad weather" message will not be available before 5:30 AM. The telephone number to call is (215) 842-2000.  Please do not call the number prior to 5:30 AM.  This is our general office telephone number.  You will hear one of the four messages contained in the boxes shown below:

WHEN THE OFFICE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL

You will hear one of the two messages shown below when the office will be open for business as usual.  Each message begins with the word "Welcome."  The first message is the normal nights and weekend closed message, and is played outside of normal business hours.  The second message is the normal open message.  This is played during normal business hours. 

When you hear either of these two messages you should REPORT TO WORK at your normal time:

"Welcome to the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs.  Our normal hours of operation are from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays.  Our visiting hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM."

-OR-

"Welcome to the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs.  If you are calling from a touch-tone phone and know the 4-digit extension of the party you wish to reach, please enter that 4-digit number now."

WHEN THE OFFICE IS CLOSED DUE TO A WEATHER EMERGENCY

You will hear message shown below:

"Due to hazardous weather conditions, the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs will be closed today, [DATE].  Emergency personnel should report to work at their regularly scheduled times.  We will reopen on the next business day."

Note: When you hear the above message, only designated emergency personnel should report to work.  Teleworkers are unaffected by office closures.

WHEN THE OFFICE HAS A DELAYED OPENING

You will hear message shown below:

"Due to hazardous weather conditions, the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs will open today, [DATE] at [TIME].  Designated emergency personnel; however, should report to work at their regularly scheduled times."

Note: When you hear the above message you should make every reasonable effort to come to work at the time given in the message.  Designated emergency personnel should report to work at their normal time.  Teleworkers are unaffected by office closures.

Note: If your normal starting time is after the emergency opening time announced above, report at your usual time. You will be dismissed 8 1/2 hours after your reporting time unless you are on a Compressed Work Schedule. Then, you will be dismissed according to the number of hours you were scheduled for that day.

OTHER INITIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION

Our office is a member of the group of local federal agencies who together with the Federal Executive Board (FEB) can make joint decisions about office closings and delayed openings because of the weather.  If a decision is made to close or delay the opening of the offices belonging to this group, the FEB will request KYW radio (1060 AM) to make the announcement shown below.  The announcement will be specific.  If you hear this announcement or if you think you heard something similar to this announcement, you should call 215-842-2000 to confirm the radio announcement.  KYW usually broadcasts closing messages at 20 minutes and 50 minutes after each hour:

"All federal agencies that are part of the Philadelphia Federal Executive Board's Emergency Weather Plan will be closed today except for emergency personnel."

Note: If you hear the above radio announcement, you should call 215-842-2000 to confirm the office status.  The telephone message is the official means of notification to employees for office closings and delayed openings. 

Again, remember that you should call 215-842-2000 for your official source of information.