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  1. Orr, Jason M. MPH
  2. Leider, Jonathon P. PhD


Voluntary separations can exact heavy tolls on organizations that affect their efficiency or effectiveness. This historical retrospective investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced federal employees' intention to leave for reasons other than retirement. We examined the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) with a particular focus on agencies likely heavily impacted by the pandemic, including the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We used inferential statistics and a logistic model to identify correlations for intent to leave, considering changes related to the pandemic. Intentions to leave notably increased after the pandemic for most respondents, and overall intentions to leave were lower for USDA, HHS, and EPA staff than for all federal employees. Reasons included perceived unavailability of protections from COVID-19 exposure, disruptions to work by the pandemic, and increased work demands due to the pandemic.