CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Business

October 1, 2013

Work-from-home links go dark for furloughed employees during shutdown

WASHINGTON — Government workers may not only be physically cut off from their offices in the event of a federal shutdown — their digital ties could be severed, too.

According to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget issued last week, furloughed employees are not allowed to do any work, including "via mobile devices or remote computer connections."

That means no checking email. No working remotely. And no BlackBerrys or other government-issued smartphones.

The memo states that it's up to each agency to determine how to enforce the digital restrictions. But furloughed employees will have to turn in their smartphones during a four- hour shift Tuesday to put their affairs in order and turn in the phones, according to Washington Post reporter Lisa Rein.

Agencies can't even rely on sending messages about when workers can get back on the job via mobile devices or "home access to work email," the memo says.

The OMB cites the Anti-Deficiency Act — the same act that will keep workers out of their physical offices — for the digital shutdown. As with other government work, there are some exceptions to which positions will still be allowed to use virtual space, such as work that protects lives or vital property.

Government workers have already faced the prospect of turning in their PDAs, and The Post's Karen Tumulty reported in 2011 that workers were anticipating going through withdrawal symptoms such as hearing phantom rings and vibrations from empty pockets. That dependence has only grown in the past two years, and a majority of American smartphone users keep their phones on or near them at least 22 hours a day, according to an 2012 study from the research firm IDC.

The shutdown could also affect government websites, according to the memo, because workers will not be able to update those online pages during a shutdown. There will be exceptions on an agency-by-agency basis. Essential systems can stay up, as can back-end technical systems and other systems needed to maintain the functionality and security of those systems. Also, any site that does not require someone to maintain it can remain online, the memo said.

Agencies can also extend the deadlines for any paperwork or applications due to the government if such submissions are put on hold during a shutdown.

While websites are shut down, the memo suggests, agencies should put a standard notice on their landing pages letting visitors know that the information on the websites may not be up to date.

1
Text Only
Business
  • Long-term unemployed are still strong hires, study shows

    People who have been out of work for an extended period, once hired, tend to be just as productive on the job as those with more typical work histories, according to an analysis of almost 20,000 employees.

    April 4, 2014

  • CEMS groundbreaking CEMS holds groundbreaking

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cook Social Worker of Year.jpg Cook chosen as Public Social Worker of the Year

    Angel Cook of the Cullman County Health Department was selected as Public Health Social Worker of the Year for 2014. She was recognized March 7 at the Public Health Social Work Seminar held in Montgomery.
     

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_google.jpg First Apple, now Google hit with kids' app lawsuit

    Last month, 4- and 5-year-old brothers in New York quickly spent $65.95 in real money to buy virtual goods in Marvel's Run Jump Splash game on the family tablet. They were able to rack up the charges without entering a password. And for that, the boys' mother has joined a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google, accusing the company of deceiving consumers about its in-app purchase system, which critics say makes it too easy for kids to spend money on their Android devices.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alfa honors Ford.jpg Alfa Insurance honors local agent

    Alfa Insurance Agent Whit Ford of West Point received the Distinguished Service Award – Bronze Level for 2013 during the company’s annual awards ceremony in Birmingham.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • biz_target.jpg Target seeks new technology head after data breach

    Target Corp., still reeling from a security breach that exposed the personal information of tens of millions of customers, is seeking a new top technology executive to help prevent future attacks.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140306-AMX-STAPLES6.jpg Staples to close 225 stores as online competition hurts sales

    Staples Inc., the largest U.S. office-supplies chain, will close as many as 12 percent of its North American stores and cut as much as $500 million in costs as online competition continues to hurt sales.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five things you should know about the Netflix-Comcast deal

    Now Comcast and Netflix have announced that they will directly interconnect their networks, rather than having Netflix traffic flow first through a third-party network. With this, another layer of Internet architecture - interconnection and peering - is under the microscope.

    February 28, 2014

  • thomspon to relocate.jpg Kristin (Brown) Thompson with Strong LLC relocating to NYC to open new office

    Strong Advertising Agency, announced that Kristin, a 2007 Cullman High School graduate, has opened a new office in Manhattan and working in the New York/New Jersey area serving as the marketing contact for advertising clients for merchandising and creative content development. She began working at Strong, LLC in Birmingham as an Account Executive Assistant in 2012 and was promoted to Account Executive after 6 months of employment.
     

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 01.jpg US News names its 'Best Cars for the Money'

    U.S. News & World Report Wednesday announced its annual Best Cars for the Money list on its Best Cars website.

    February 13, 2014 1 Photo