Diversity in the Workforce: Petition Filed Asking President Not to Give Feds Holiday on Dec. 24th

By on December 19, 2012 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 132 Comments

We have posted a couple of articles about a petition filed with the White House to give federal employees a paid holiday on December 24th (Christmas Eve). The petition has exceeded the required 25,000 signatures to receive a response from the administration. At the time of this writing, no response has been posted and there is no guarantee one will be posted before December 24th. If there is a response and an executive order is issued giving most federal workers the day off, we will let our readers know quickly. That petition has now received over 27,000 signatures.

One interesting development has occurred though. A reader wrote to FedSmith noting that he has posted a “counter-petition” asking President Obama to not give federal employees another holiday on December 24th. His petition is entitled “Permit us to use our annual leave on December 24th to be with family and friends, being thankful to have a job.” The petition is signed by Patrick C. from New York State so this petitioner is not the same person who wrote the original petition.

The sentiment he expresses in the petition is similar to one that some other readers also expressed on the FedSmith website with regard to the first petition that was filed. He writes in the petition: “Being thankful to have a job with the United States Government, serving our Army Warriors and their families, we wish to be able to use the generous amount of leave we receive as employees. We do not need to be given another holiday when so many people are looking for work.” It has received one signature since it was posted on December 18, 2012.

So, for those who strongly believe that December 24th should not be given an extra paid holiday on December 24th, you can sign the petition that would comport with your sentiments.

Regardless of your view on the issue, we wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. Arcturus6 says:

    For heaven’s sake, Obama signed an executive order making December 24 a holiday and then he took off for a vacation to Hawaii!  That trip will cost the American taxpayer around $6 million.  It seems that Camp David is not sufficient for his needs.  I suppose Michelle loves to shop in Hawaii as well.  I had just as soon worked Christmas Eve, it did not matter to me.  I am very thankful that I even have a job in these days and times.  As for the comments pro and con about the federal worker, these come with the territory friend.  People are going to voice their opinions about federal workers from now on.  That is what the First Amendment to the Constitution is all about. 

  2. Troy says:

    I would like to tell you all something.( robert,guest,,privetman,pasty….ECT)
    That Christmas is about one thing and one thing only being HAPPY.
    If someone gives you time off. Take it and be happy.
    If someone wants to Bitch about you taking time let him or her.
     As for the one that said that, we all take naps, drink coffee, come in late, and walk the halls. That sound like firsthand knowledge so get back to work.
    As for me, I work 7 days a week. I am happy that I have a job and that I have someone at home that loves me and I would like to see me more.  I am someone knows that morale plays a bigger part in the job and makes the world a better place to live in, then someone who like to complain that we, or they or I or the space aliens are getting two much that we do not deserve. (Look at Goggles work environment)
    Remember that someone died so that YOU and YOU can complain about who is getting too much at Christmas time.
    You are never very happy when you are cold, wet, hot, have not showered for days waiting for someone to try to kill you SO that you SO that You and You can try to crap on someone day.
    We all answer to someone eventually.  Trust me Its suck standing at that door with something on your mind that you can’t change(said,did,or didnt do).
      Merry Christmas to all and to all that have died and that to all that still draw a breath.  Merry Christmas my friends.  
    Merry Christmas to all and to all that have died and that to all that still draw a breath. 

    Merry Christmas my friends.  

  3. Maury says:

    While the nation mourns the lost of innocent children and the looming fiscal cliff, our president is out playing Spidey.

  4. Medrush says:

    I am very disappointed to see so many critical comments from ignorant trolls. I am a federal employee and function as a health care practitioner. Unfortunately there are many people (senators, members of congress, and other political no-nothings) that like to group us all into the category of “the average federal employee”. Not all federal employees earn six figure salaries, and some of us clinicians (nurses, physicians, etc) actually earn less than would an equal position in the private hospital sector. We are expected to work our share of holidays, we are asked to provide staffing 24 hours a day, and we deliver healthcare with pride, commitment and passion. I have worked in healthcare nearly 30 years and share my love of medicine with many of my federal co-workers. We have the best equipment, we have the most experience, and we have the best damn patient population. There are great rewards to caring for other human beings, and that feeling is especially strong when caring for our veterans. We have not had a raise or cost of living allowance for two years and yet we remain dedicated and driven. So before you go grouping us all into some fictitious stereotype that doesn’t exist, get the facts. When you go to sleep on Christmas Eve or enjoy a family get together on Christmas day, remember that we are working around the clock, and very capable of providing excellent healthcare to our nation’s heroes.

  5. F Ricco32 says:

    Its pretty sad that we are so concerned about one paid day for a workforce that is under paid. I could care less if I get the day off or not. Since the president has been in office the average federal employee who makes 35,000 a year has not gotten a pay increase since he’s been in office. Maybe we should start focusing on the self employed and privated sector who do not pay there taxes timely or dont pay there taxes at all. We should also focus our time on people who are on welfare driving Bmw’s and own houses sucking the system dry.

  6. Chill Out says:

    Sadly, the negativity around the article to not permit employees to have the day off before Christmas without taking leave just shows why federal employees need the day off before Christmas as a holiday.  It has become so toxic at work and throughout the Govt. that everyone hates each other and is so negative, this is how mental illness starts and frustrates everyone else for the outcomes.  Everyone just chill…  it’s just a day, it’s just a holiday that Americans have blown out of proposition to what the real meaning is anyway.  This Administration spends all the time anyway, so what’s one more day?  We are thankful we have a job, we have paid our debt to the deficit, we have had our salaries frozen for 2 yrs. and have always been underpaid from the private sector.  I don’t care to hear how everyone thinks we are overpaid and that we don’t work.  Get in my shoes and see how hard I work before you spew your non-sense.  I work hard  for public service.  It’s just a petition for God Sake…  this Administration doesn’t listen to the people anyway. Federal employees deserve the extra day off but they are willing to work as usual too.  You’re all so hateful. Good luck with that in your future in whatever you do….

  7. Black_Diamond says:

    just take annual leave

  8. Fed up fed says:

    Then cut all of the holidays except for veterans day July 4th and christmas The others are meaningless anyway or just do a rif and be done with it all Ill take a yr of salary and unemployment to boot Everyone else is living off of my money anyway Why not me 🙂 Bah humbug everybody

  9. Qweenbnwa says:

    I am sorry, but I am a Federal employee and we shouldn’t be asking for anything more.  We already get a lot of holidays that other businesses don’t get.  That is what our leave is for.  Take it off , if you want the day off!  I would give up Columbus Day for the Christmas Eve if I had the choice though!    I am taking it off to be with my family.  I save my leave every year for use around the holidays, so do that if you want it off!  Just saying, you better appreciate what we have because it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  By the way, I am on my own time,  just saying!  Have a Merry Christmas!

  10. Kristin says:

    I thought that the point of the previous petition (asking that we be granted the day off) was that it was less expensive to pay the Admin Leave than to pay the overhead for plus wages for the few people who aren’t already using leave for the day, and that the amount of work that those few would accomplish during the day wasn’t worth the cost of paying them. 

  11. fed up fed says:

    and martin luther king day is a holiday ?  columbus day ? presidents day ? how many more worthless holidays do we have…. id trade all of them for real holidays.. or my pay to be unfrozen.

  12. Black_Diamond says:

    if i go in Monday, i gaurentee i will do no work, nor will anyone else out of anger

  13. Best Guest Ever says:

    Really hope that the president gives us Monday, if only because doing so would make the right-wing anarchists in this comment thread spend the entire day crying bitter, bitter tears.

  14. Kj48ak2088 says:

    I was employed in DOD in the recreation field for 20 years and my wife was a nurse for 35+ years. What are holidays?? Someone has to keep the hospital and fitness center operating because they are open so our soldiers and family members are taken care of. Don’t complain!! Be glad that you have a job.

    • Best Guest Ever says:

      Thanks, Grandpa. If I have to go in on Monday I’m going to dedicate the third hour of completely goofing off to you.

  15. Augie says:

    I thought there was a business reason why occasionally they give federal employees Christmas Eve off. Like agencies are liberal with allowing large number of employees to schedule their annual or other kinds of leave during that time and so most agencies are operating on a limited staff so the operating costs of heating large building that hardly have any staff outweigh the costs of wages. Could be a well spread myth but if Fedsmith can debunk this that would be great too.

  16. newbie says:

    only government employees would engage in this nonsense.  

  17. Badfed says:

    Since a federal worker’s compensation (all aspects of compensation) are derived from all taxpayers (I know fed’s are also taxpayers) extra day’s off short the taxpayers.  This is taking from the taxpayers without their consent.

    I have a good idea.  Everyone report for duty December 24th like always.  Put in the whole shift like you are paid to do.  No matter what the president says.  Consider it a Christmas Present to the nation.  

  18. stop in the name of pete says:

    read Harry Reids lips-no cuts to federal retirement cola and no cuts to social security cola since those were earned and those folks are old and retired-go get the ones who work for petes sake that make more than 400k a year and it will not hurt them-they work-they can afford it without a blink of the eye and will not have to eat cat food and die without health care, running water, or electricity to make ends meet for petes sake!

  19. Civil Servant says:

    I’m a federal employee – I can prove that the equivalent of my job outside government is twice what I get paid (I’m a professional analyst).  I previously worked outside government for 20 years and can tell you I got much more time off, more benefits, and did less work there than I ever have working civil service.  We civil servants haven’t had a pay raise in over two years, when we can get one – an appraisal bonus is held to 1% of our base pay, we are looking at up to 20 days furlough with no pay in 2013, and due to the hiring freeze I currently do the work that 3 did just last year.  I’m tired, I’m overworked, I’m stressed out, my head hurts, my body hurts, my eyes hurt from staring at the friggin computer 9 hours a day, and my job isn’t being done like it should be (thus the government is getting less for less).  Personally, in the civil service positions I’ve held around the U.S. I have observed that the average civil servant works harder than most others in non-government jobs  – and puts in more hours.  Two of my sons are serving in the sandbox right now.  Another is out of work and can’t support his family.  My daughters are working part time jobs because they can’t find full time employment.  Health insurance rates and taxes have gone so high I literally take home LESS THAN HALF of my paycheck each month.  There will be a skeleton crew at my office on the 24th – very little work will get done because our co-workers and customers will be out of office.   Maybe I don’t deserve the 24th off with pay, but it sure would be a nice bit of goodwill right now.  Remember, I’m  a taxpayer too – one more year of no pay increase and bankruptcy could be in sight.  Then rather than contributing to the tax base, I just might be one of those taking advantage of it through welfare and public aid.  I don’t think gettting the 24th off with pay should be expected, but I do feel that Obama should give it some serious consideration at this point.

    • Wenper71 says:

       Dude I feel your pain. That’s why I say that the private sector and those big corporations owe us a big “thank you for your service.” It’s unbelievable how some people still still have the attitude of “oh I’m so thankful for my job that I’m not even worthy of it”. When will the Feds  demand some respect?

  20. Just an employee says:

    I’m so grateful for this article. I’m a federal employee and am so tired of the entitlement attitide.

    I’m also tired of being forced into Secret Santas and Christmas parties. That’s not diversity. For one they should be called “Holiday” celebrations and you shouldn’t be blacklisted and/or forced to disclose your religious beliefs if you do not want and/or beliefs don’t allow you to participate.

  21. guest says:


  22. guest says:

    The Social Security Administration employees would like to use their leave to take the 24th off.  However, the office must remain open and only a limited number of people are granted the time off.  Do you think most of the federal employees just want a free day? Try researching the federal agencies that the employees don’t have the option to use their leave.

  23. ImusJunkit says:

    Concur – Not needed.  Most employees are on use or lose leave with no room to receive the time off; and those who are not have already used it, or are storing it up for future use.  All are personal decisions that should not be skewed for this.

  24. Footballfreak599 says:

    I am grateful to have a job and blessed to be one of those people who actually loves what I do. I hardly ever take leave, I think up until today, I’ve taken 5 days of leave for the entire year…a day here, a day there.  I end up taking personal leave around the holiday’s because my supervisor stresses the importance of using leave to refresh and recharge. As federal employees, we get so many benefits as it is, I didn’t sign the petition to receive December 24th as a holiday….I wanted to take the day off so I am using personal leave.

    I am thankful, grateful, blessed to have a job when so many American’s do not,  we get more days off than most private sector workers so stop complaining.

  25. TiredFE says:

    That’s funny!!  Only 24,923 signatures to go to reach the 25,000.  This has gotten way out of hand.  Some people just need to get a life.  Won’t matter to me.  I don’t plan to work that day and have adequate annual leave but it does concern me that some people don’t have that choice.   

  26. John Helm says:

    The petition for having Christmas Eve off is not very smart; we should not be asking or demanding it.  It has been given to use in the past when Christmas Eve is on a Monday and I think we would have had a better chance of receiving the day off if we would have stayed quiet about it.  I for one will take leave if is not given and will not be upset about using my leave to be with my family.