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 Home > News & Policies > September 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 12, 2001

Presidential Memo to Executive Departments and Agencies
September 12, 2001
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

SUBJECT: Excused Absence and Assistance to Federal
Employees Affected by the Attacks at the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon

I am deeply saddened and outraged by the loss of life and suffering caused by the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. I convey my deepest sympathy and heartfelt sorrow to our fellow Americans and their families who have been affected by these senseless acts of violence. Many parts of the Federal Government have been mobilized to respond to this tragedy.

As part of this effort, I ask the heads of executive departments and agencies having Federal civilian employees in the affected areas to excuse from duty, without charge to leave or loss of pay, any such employee who is prevented from reporting to work or faced with a personal emergency because of the terrorist attacks and who can be spared from his or her usual responsibilities. This policy should also be applied to any employee who is needed for emergency law enforcement, relief, or recovery efforts authorized by Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction.

I have directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Labor to establish teams of specialists to assist with Federal benefits and workers’ compensation claims of those employees who were injured or killed in the attacks.

Finally, I have directed OPM to establish an emergency leave transfer program to assist employees affected by this major disaster. The emergency leave transfer program will permit employees in an executive agency to donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who have been adversely affected by the attacks and who need additional time off from work without having to use their own paid leave.

                               GEORGE W. BUSH

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