White House Responds to Petition for Christmas Eve Holiday

By on December 21, 2012 in News, Pay & Benefits

As we have previously noted, a petition was filed with the White House on December 1st requesting that President Obama issue an executive order giving federal workers a holiday on December 24th.

As we noted earlier, it was not possible to determine if the petition had any impact on the decision.

However, the White House has now officially responded to the petition which received 28,257 signatures, presumably from federal employees who were in favor of having the extra day off of work. And, it appears, the petition was read and was possibly a factor in the decision to issue the Order which did not come out until the afternoon of December 21st.

The response states:

OFFICIAL OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT RESPONSE TO give federal employees a day off on Monday, December 24, 2012 (Christmas Eve).

Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on Monday, December 24, 2012
By John Berry

Thank you for using We the People. Since you expressed interest in this issue, I want to make sure you are aware that earlier today, President Obama issued an executive order that all executive branch departments and agencies of the federal government will be closed on Monday, December 24, 2012 and their employees excused from duty.

The response includes the full text of executive order giving federal employees the day off on December 24th with a link to the OPM website is signed by OPM Director John Berry.

Presumably, the response was held back for a short time until the Order was posted on the White House website and after the OPM memo was issued to agencies. You will have to decide for yourself if this means the petition played a decisive role in the decision.

© 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. PFred60 says:

    Why is this even posted? This whole deal happened in 2012!! So much negativity on this website is ridiculous!!! We’ve had horrible, if any, raises for 3 + years and people whine about how much we make. Another issue is the Prez asking SES employees to be paid MORE? WTH!!? They make way more than they should now and do half the work of most of us GS 9’s and under. We were lucky to get $15 a paycheck more over the past few years and a couple years, it was negative because of the cost of everything else going up and our wages staying the same. This did NOT make up for rising healthcare costs, cost of living increases, life insurance, etc. $15 a paycheck is a HUGE insult. Anything less than $100 a paycheck is an insult as far as I’m concerned, especially since we’ve seen next to nothing for so long. We have bills too!!

    • retired worker fed says:

      This site reflects feelings in this country to a large degree. There is a huge gulf in this country between the Democrats and the Republicans. It started with the Republican Revolution in 1994 and has continued to get wider. The formation of the tea party is a reflection of that revolution. I believe the Republican Party has moved farther to the right.
      Both parties used to have a wide variety of opinions. The Republicans used to have very few liberals with more moderates, moderate conservatives, and more conservatives. The Democrats had more liberals, and more moderates, with a few moderate conservatives. The Republicans have purged their liberals, moderates, and some moderate conservatives and replaced them with more extreme conservatives.
      This results in more extreme positions taken. This makes it more difficult to compromise. This is what you see on the national scene and on this site.
      Your complaint is valid. I have no solution.

  2. RETVET03 says:

    Merry Christmas all!  Scrooges need not reply….

  3. Msmauney says:

    If we get 28,000 signatures could we get Obama to resign? 

  4. Badfed says:

    Now let’s all run out and sign a petition to make Barry, and all his lineage, leaders for in perpetuity.

    Primogeniture!!!!  The rule of Kings!

  5. The Slatons says:

    Be careful what you ask for. Congress is looking to cut dollars everywhere and this is just another reason for them to focus on the Federal workforce. In the old days we just saved AL for days like the 24th, but this generation of the federal workforce petitions the White House…..my how times have changed.

    • Dmjclewis says:

      Some federal agencies do not have a liberal leave policy for the holidays, if we did we would all have used our AL. This decision enabled all of my co-worker in my office to have the day off. For that I am very grateful.

  6. Taxpayer says:

    None of you Goobers should ever complain about your pay.  Your free vacation day is like getting paid to do nothing.  Oh!?!???!!!!, many of you already do that.

  7. Marley says:

    Thank you. I appreciate all that signed petition.. t hank you for the time to spend with family and friends. Afterall, who wants to be visted by ghosts of Christmas past? There seems to be a lot of Scrooges

  8. won dow says:


  9. Mnmnjnf4 says:

    Does anyone know what day is given to you if your tour is Wednesday to Sunday ? My co workers are off on the Monday eve.
    Am I entitled to a day off?
    Thanks, happy holidays

    • RetiredVA says:

       In the past, this type of admin leave was only for that particular day.  If it was not your scheduled work day, you did not receive another day off.  I would guess that nothing has changed and you don’t get a day off.

    • Mfromphilly1 says:

       Nope, you’re already off that day so you get shafted 🙁 Use to happen to me till I went M-FR

  10. Mimi says:

    I would like to challege this newpaper to put together the name of who passed the laws to increase retirement by 5%.  Please write down the names and states they represent so WE THE PEOPLE will know not to vote for them again.  Please.

    • steve5656546346 says:

      Your post illustrate why the US must go bankrupt:  for you are not the only American who does not want to give up benefits from the Government–and votes!
      Of course, at least you earned your benefits, but those who receive other benefits are just as determined.  And most Americans get more from the Federal government than they pay in. 

      • Harbor says:

         A benefit from the government is the huge tax break the rich and big corps get. As a fed I’m giving up my right to strike and already gave up raises for almost 3 years. They want more money? They need to stop giving away money to countries that don’t like us. Plus I think it’s time for the churches and Indians casinos pay their fair share since they pay zero.

        • guestwo says:

          first you don’t have a right to strike.
          Next, you did not give up raises.  You never got one so how can you give up something you never got?  As for churches the power to tax is the power to destroy. 
          Same for Indian Casinos plus they are on land belonging to sovereign nations.  How about giving back to the Indians all of their land that was taken?  
          How do you like that “tax?”

      • RETVET03 says:

        What did we get out of Afghanistan and Iraq?  That will cost us about 4 Trillion, not to mention lives, arms, legs, shattered lives.  What did we get out of that?

        • guestwo says:

          Your right.  We should have sat back and waited for another 9/11. But hey for doing nothing you also get Benghazi, the bros in Egypt.  Terrorists in Mali, Yemen,  and other neighborhoods. 

          • RETVET03 says:

            “Your post illustrate why the US must go bankrupt: ” is who and what I was addressing.  Oh, yes, and I guess I proved the point, the Elephant in the room these tea party people and doomsayers forget to mention while they’re complaining about how all those seniors and children a leeching off the system.  And who said do nothing?  Typical…could have done for far, far less cost and it wouldn’t  have lined the pocket books of certain people in the oil and contracting business.

          • guestwo says:


          • Conservative Democrat says:

              Well retired Vet who is now a double dipper, I would like to remind you since you believe that class warfare stuff put out today by the do nothings that Corporations and individuals provide all the taxes to keep us going while you now with that Government job are not producing anything for the economy . This has nothing to do with Tea PARTY AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ECONOMICS  101.
            We can not continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar spent by the government.
            Since You are  a retired Vet , just like I am then go out and get a real job that benefits the  economy.

          • RETVET03 says:

            First of all, explain to me how I am a “double-dipper”.

        • Snewcombe says:

          Americans are blessed; so many men and women want to serve their country. There are any clauses or only for US monetary gains or exchange of goods and services. Many foreign countries our military and civilian brothers and sisters receive order to go weren’t elaborate vacations. The leadership deems it necessary to for various actions. I believe in God and believe we are held accountable for our actions. Each one of us has the power to voice opinions safely, given by the Constitution.  Our country roots are so deep and span into other countries. North America flourished due to the variety of cultures, not just one, American culture is a melting pot of many and without that diversity we could’ve experience the travesty of other countries. The price we pay is emotionally and financially, physically priceless there is no dollar sign or appropriate value on the cost. World Wars, Civil War took many of our brothers and sisters on various coasts. When I read of the various issues of the cultures and our government and United Nation deems it necessary to provide appropriate assistance, I pray for soldiers, families and the guidance during deployment.  USA has pulled thru so many financial travesties and will continue to do so; we are fighters and will die continuing the fight for our country future.  There are trillions our leaders in our vast past have created but they didn’t spend the trillions without our government acknowledgement.  Attempt to worry about our family and growing communities, our kids are the future, they need our attention now not later. There are so many of us have turned our backs on the kids and focused on unending government issues. Let’s try to create a happy medium… because our country is dependent upon the kids you see every day. Let’s ensure our kids remain a control factor in the USA future.

    • Conservative Democrat says:

       Yes please do I will be voting for them and the majority of people who want to keep this country alive will be doing the SAME THING!
       If you don’t like the benefits or the Job then do America the favor of leaving the civil service.

  11. Mimi says:

    Most do not care about getting the day off – consolation prize from stealing from their employees.

    • tired of the whiners here says:

       MIMI , the job and it’s employment is at the pleasure of the employee .
       You don’t own that job and it isn’t yours to keep.
       I wonder just how often you steal from the employer?
       If Nothing else you have a miserable attitude with means you are not the kind of employee I want My taxes to be paying for .

  12. Stevesgsg says:

    Makes sense for a lot of agencies to close their doors.  Very few people are reporting in that day.  It would be completely unproductive in our agency, with key people missing, nothing can move foward.   Nobody in their right mind schedules appointments with outside agencies, both government and non-goverment, on the 24th anyway.  Closing the doors saves money with reduced electric costs and enhances security.

    • Exporter of American Products says:

        You are completely wrong, try getting a job and work in the Import export business , this Holiday now cost me $8000 because I had to pay for your holiday when I had scheduled business. Air Planes and ships don’t wait for holidays.
       Also just how much money in salary was wasted when compared to the real cost of electricity and etc to keep the offices open ?
       Probably 1/1000 of the real cost .
       Try and actually be responsible and try to run the government as a business .

      • grannybunny says:

        The government — by definition — cannot be “run…as a business.”  Government performs functions that are not performed by private entities, because there is no profit in them.

  13. $15300432 says:

    Well the precident has been set, Now let him respond to the 5 states that have asked to secede

    • grannybunny says:

      What response is necessary to traitors?

      • guestwo says:

        Try learning the definition of words before using them!  A traitor one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty.  Secession is not being a traitor.  Order a dictionary for Christmas.  Have it sent by USPS.  Should arrive within 1-2 months.

        • grannybunny says:

          Read the Constitution.

          • guestwo says:

            Legal ignorance is bliss and thy name is …Treason is the betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies. Like I said, learn the definition of words before sing them. 

          • grannybunny says:

            Secession is the ultimate treason; have you forgotten the Civil War?

          • RETVET03 says:

            Don’t want to be on the other side of your statement but unilateral succession is unconstituional.  On the other hand, if the federal government were to give permission for a state to seceed, that would be legal.

          • guestwo says:

            Learn your Constitution and history.  The states wanted to secede.  Lincoln would not let them.  Secession and treason are separate.  Why am I wasting my time discussing this with somone who thinks the USPS is the greatest in the world?

      • $15300432 says:

        That you’ll join them in their noble quest

    • RETVET03 says:

      I guess you forgot about the 4 times Bush did it; then again I’d be giving you too much credit no doubt you knew, you just lied as usual.

  14. Guest says:

    Typical with this “misadminstration”.  Filled with a bunch of morons at the high levels that don’t know how to manage anything or communicate with each other.  We got an email this morning from the Ag Secretary granting 3 hours early dismissal and then an hour or so later the President’s message.  It’s inconceivable that they aren’t on the same page.  I was hoping for a change in November, unfortunately we’re stuck with another 4 years of this crap.

  15. Samson1987 says:

    Dept of Interior sent out an email that employees were only getting 3 hours administrative leave. Does OPM’s announcement apply to only some agencies or Federal employees in the DC area? 

    • LaborAttorney says:

      He caught the agencies by surprise.  I wonder if the word went out this week there would be no extra day and then he changed up.  My agency sent out a notice granting two hours early dismissal earlier this week but the head of the agency followed up this afternoon with the president’s message granting the full day.

  16. guest says:

    doesn’t really say, does it?