Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
My official duty station has been my home for over 20 years, or that’s what I thought. I have always parked the government vehicle at my house, with proper authorization, and departed to various work places from there. I am now being told I am required to drive my personal vehicle to the office. I referred to the telework regulations that said if someone does not commute to the office at least once per week then the official duty station reverts back to your home. What is correct?
Unless you are on an official telework agreement, your work away from the office is not considered telework and your question cannot be answered by referring to the regulations governing telework. An Official Duty Station is designated by an agency. When your job requires you to work primarily in the field your home may be designated as your official duty station. However, it is unclear from your question if this is the case. You say you believe that your home was your official duty station, but also state that your SF-50 stated the city your office is located in the official duty station. You will need to clarify what location has been designated as your official duty station. In order to have your home designated as such, you would likely have had to fill out a form requesting the designation and receive supervisor approval.
Agencies have discretion to designate official duty stations and also to permit the use of a government vehicle at a personal residence. This is based on individual circumstances and must be approved by a supervisor or agency head. If an agency determines that the reasons behind granting authority to park a government vehicle at a personal residence are no longer valid, they agency may revoke the permission.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.
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