At the present time, there is no universal guidance from the White House on whether government contractors are permitted to telework. There are 430 departments, agencies and sub-agencies in the U.S. Federal Government. Currently, each individual agency is issuing its own unique guidance. For example, On March 17, 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration moved to mandatory telework with the exception that mission-essential personnel will continue to be granted access on-site.
On March 18, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved to mandatory telework for all eligible federal employees and contractors until further notice. On March 18, 2020, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, led 62 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to issue an Executive Order mandating telework for all eligible federal employees and contractors. “We believe more can and should be done to ensure the health of our federal workforce, our contractor workforce, and our nation. Telework participation must be mandated.” Thus, until or unless there is such an Executive Order, a contractor whose employees desire to telework should seek to obtain approval for teleworking from its Contracting Officer. A Contracting Officer “should” approve a contractor’s employees to telework where such work is suitable for doing so.