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Message from the DLA Human Resources Director

(Issued 03/22/2020)

Many state and local governments are implementing “lock down,” "stay at home," or "shelter in place" orders for citizens and temporary closures of "non-essential" businesses and services to combat the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Some of these states have large numbers of DLA employees. It's critical for our DLA workforce to understand that we are part of the Defense Industrial Base Sector, which has been identified as a Critical Infrastructure Sector by Department of Homeland Security.  This means we perform a mission-essential function for our nation, and our employees who must report to a DLA duty site are exempt from such restrictions. A memorandum from Hon. Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, explains the status of the Defense Industrial Base during this type of emergency.

Even though many DLA employees are teleworking to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 throughout our communities, large numbers of DLA civilian employees, military members, and contractors are still required to report to a DLA duty site to perform mission-critical functions. These functions must continue, not only to support the nation's response to COVID-19, but also to maintain military readiness.  DLA cannot "close," and although COVID-19 may cause us to reduce the number of people reporting to physical worksites, we have an essential job to do for our warfighters and the nation.

DLA is "in the fight" in this war on coronavirus, while also sustaining the support to our warfighters.  Even as most citizens are asked to stay home, many DLA workers will be asked to continue reporting to work to perform these essential functions. We will implement every possible measure to protect our workforce and their families, through enforcing social distancing, maximizing telework, using shift schedules where feasible, increasing efforts to clean and sanitize all DLA workspaces, and ensuring those who are sick stay home.

You will hear more from your chain of command for your particular function and location, but as a member of the DLA team, you are part of the nation's "critical infrastructure," and the nation needs us more than ever right now.

Brad Bunn
Director, DLA Human Resources (J1)
Defense Logistics Agency
 

message from the DLA Director

(Issued 03/16/2020)

DLA All Hands:  we have all been following the nation’s extraordinary response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and in the past few days, federal government leaders have authorized significant measures to stop the spread of the virus throughout our communities, including restricting travel, implementing social distancing measures, and expanding workplace flexibilities. I want to assure you that DLA has been following these developments closely and is aligned with the Department of Defense in ensuring we protect our most valuable asset: our people and their families. This change in posture means that we will take all necessary actions to minimize the possibility of the spread of COVID-19. As DLA continues to execute our mission essential functions in support of the Military Services, Combatant Commands, and other customers, I am directing the following measures, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

Maximizing Telework:

  • All telework-ready DLA civilian employees are authorized to situationally telework until further notice.  Employees should contact their supervisors to discuss their intent to situationally telework, to include impact on mission essential and customer support functions, and continue making daily supervisory contact to receive any further guidance and work assignments.
  • Military members are authorized to telework and should consult with their supervisors on their status.  Military members are subject to local leave only, which is defined as a three (3) hour recall. 
  • Employees eligible for telework but not on an approved agreement are encouraged to sign up for a situational telework agreement.  I am directing DLA Human Resources to grant exceptions to policy for certain eligibility requirements in order to maximize our telework-ready workforce.
  • Telework-ready means the employee occupies a telework-eligible position, the employee is on an active telework agreement (either regular/recurring or situational) and has the necessary equipment and work to do from their alternate worksite (i.e. home).  
  • Teleworking employees may be subject to recall to the duty site if they perform mission essential functions requiring onsite presence.
     

Weather & Safety Administrative Leave for Higher Risk Populations:

  • Employees not eligible for telework and who self-identify as being at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19, including older adults and individuals who have chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or compromised immune systems and pregnant women may request Weather & Safety Leave, a type of administrative leave for excused absences with no charge to annual leave.
  • Supervisors do not need to require certification by a medical professional and may accept self-identification by employees that they are in one of these populations.  In considering requests for this administrative leave, supervisors will consider the mission-critical nature of the employees’ work.
     

Social Distancing 

  • Employees reporting to work must practice social distancing.  Social distancing means actions taken to reduce the probability of contact between persons to minimize transmission of a highly-contagious illness. This includes limiting non-essential contact with others and taking steps to maintain a distance of six feet from others when possible.
  • Meetings should be conducted virtually to the greatest extent possible, and the number of people in physical meeting rooms should be limited in order to carry out the six feet social distancing policy.
  • All DLA-sponsored large gatherings (e.g., in-person town halls) will be canceled, postponed, or accomplished through virtual means.
  • Please look for alerts from your installation leadership on measures being taken for common areas, including cafeterias, fitness facilities, and general purpose meeting spaces.
     

Travel Restrictions

In accordance with recent Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) policy memos, all non-essential travel is cancelled through May 11, 2020.  Mission essential travel must be approved by Commanders or Deputy Commanders, and comply with OSD travel restriction guidance.
 

What You Should Do

  • Stay informed.  Check the DLA website frequently, as we’ll be updating it as the situation evolves.
  • Follow guidance provided by the CDC:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Stay home when you are sick and follow CDC guidance
  • Communicate with your supervisor.  If you have been advised by your health care provider or if you meet CDC criteria for quarantine or “stay at home” with self-monitoring, please inform your supervisor so we can ensure you are carried in the appropriate leave or duty status.  Provide your supervisor with contact information (telephone, email, etc.) in the event we need to contact you during off-duty hours.
  • For those teleworking, ensure you are “telework-ready,” have a current telework agreement; have technology that allows you to telework, such as a DLA laptop or personal computer, an internet connection, and access to the DLA network; and sufficient productive work available in consultation with your supervisor. Telework-ready employees should communicate daily with their supervisors on their status and assigned duties and accomplishments.  
  • If you are not telework-ready and wish to telework, speak to your supervisor about how to meet the requirements.
     

If you have questions, please review the guidance and FAQ on the DLA coronavirus webpage and your chain of command.

If you are DLA employee in a unique situation or do not see your issue addressed in the FAQ, send your question to askhr@dla.mil.

I realize this is an unusual and constantly evolving situation, and I appreciate your patience and resilience, as well as your dedication to continuing to serve our valuable customers while also taking steps to prevent spread of COVID-19.  We’ll be providing more updates as the situation evolves.

MAXIMUM SAFETY….WARFIGHTER FIRST!

DARRELL K. WILLIAMS
LTG, USA
Director
Defense Logistics Agency
8725 John J. Kingman Road
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6221