Federal Employees Petition White House for an Extra Paid Holiday at Thanksgiving

By on November 17, 2015 in Pay & Benefits with 46 Comments

Image showing screenshot of "We the People" website

A petition has been started on the White House’s “We the People” website asking for an extra day off with pay around the Thanksgiving holiday for federal employees.

The petition specifically asks to have Friday, November 27 off. The Friday after Thanksgiving is also known as “Black Friday” because it is one of, if not the largest, shopping days of the year in which retailers offer shoppers a plethora of sales and deals to lure them into their stores. It also marks the official start of the Christmas shopping season.

While Black Friday is not officially a national holiday, some states offer state government employees the day off as a paid holiday. Maryland, for instance, lists it as a paid holiday, although it calls it “American Indian Heritage Day.”

The tersely worded petition states:

Federal employees have suffered years of little to no cost of living increases in their pay along with the strain of threatened shutdowns and the loss of pay during those times. Morale is at an all time low and a paid day off to spend with their families would go a long way towards making employees feel appreciated.

The author of the petition is referring to the annual pay raises granted to federal workers in recent years. Since 2008, the average annual pay raise for federal employees has been about 1.5%. However, that includes a 3-year stretch where no raise was given. For a more detailed looked at the history of pay raises given to federal workers, see Federal Pay Raises Through the Years.

The latest effort to petition for a pay related change was back in September when one petitioner asked the White House for a “meaningful pay raise” for federal employees. It ultimately went nowhere due to failing to get the required number of signatures needed for a response from the White House.

However, as we reported a few years ago, a petition that was started to get an extra day off at Christmas for federal employees may very well have influenced the final decision which ultimately granted the extra holiday.

As they say, it never hurts to ask.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.