Federal workers are being encouraged to work from home or take time off if possible from Sept. 22-24, when Pope Francis visits Washington, D.C., and addresses a joint session of Congress.

The Office of Personnel Management, the agency that allowed hackers to steal information on 22.1 million current, former and prospective government workers, said federal employees should try to avoid the expected crowd coming to see the pope if they can. OPM predicted big increases in traffic and road closures, as well as crowded buses and trains.

The agency said having thousands of extra government officials in the city would only make it harder for law enforcement to keep control of the situation.

"To help alleviate traffic congestion and minimize distraction to law enforcement and security officials, agencies are urged to permit employees to use their workplace flexibility options," OPM said.

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