Here are some updates:
Andy Faile sent printer guidance out on March 23, 2020. The guidance stated “If you have a personal printer not listed below that you would like to connect to your docking station or laptop, please contact the OCIO Service Desk (2-9000) for assistance.” Many employees have reported that the Service Desk has not been very helpful. We have received some clarification: if you have a personal printer not on the pre-approved list, then first try to plug it in and see if it works. If not, call the CIO Service Desk (2-9000) to see if they can make it work but be forewarned that the Service Desk will not download and install any drivers onto your computer due to cyber security and stabilization concerns.
We continue to ask management to provide printers (as well as monitors) to employees.
End of the Quarter
We know many employees are worried about their performance under the given conditions. We asked management to send out a message last week letting employees know if they would get any time adjustments and how performance warnings would be handled. None of this guidance has passed clearance. We have been told retroactive adjustments may be made and that the performance of employees would be looked at to ensure that a warning was not created due to the current situation.
Management insists that these decisions will be done on a case-by-case basis rather than blanket guidance which POPA requested.
Families First Coronavirus Act
POPA found some guidance for federal workers from Department of Labor. We have put the poster they developed for federal workers on our website (www.popa.org) under the “Coronavirus Information” and POPA news feed. We will still need guidance from OPM and the USPTO on how this will be enacted. In the meantime, the poster might provide you some additional information on the leave provided for in the Act. When looking at the information be aware that federal employees at the USPTO are covered under Title II of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Part Time Guidance
POPA has been told that there is additional guidance for part-time employees on the POPA Part Time Program which will be announced once it has been cleared.
Please continue to send questions and concerns to POPAhelp@popa.org. Again, we highly encourage you to send emails to Andy Faile, Drew Hirshfeld, Laura Peter and Andrei Iancu about the concerns and situations you face.