What Happens if a Holiday Falls on My Day Off?

By on November 2, 2016 in Pay & Benefits, Q&A with 0 Comments

Q:  I am a federal employee and need some clarity on holidays and day off.  For example: if the Holiday falls on a Monday and that’s my day off, does the Holiday move to Tuesday or does my day off move to Tuesday?  Some supervisors say the Holiday moves while other supervisors say the employee’s regular day off moves.

A:  The guidelines on ‘in lieu of a holiday days off’ are not included in the regulations, but they are discussed in OPM’s Fact Sheet on holidays. The regulations on holidays are in two places – 5 C.F.R. §§ 550.131-550.132 and 5 C.F.R. §§ 610.201-610.202

The rules basically are that if a holiday falls on an employee’s day off, then the day to be taken off, known as an ‘in lieu of day,’ is the day immediately before the employee’s day off on which the holiday falls.  For example, an employee working a Tuesday through Saturday schedule has a holiday fall on Sunday, following the guidelines the employee’s ‘in lieu of day off’ is Saturday.

The guidance goes on to say if the holiday falls on what would be the employee’s second day off (for an employee who works five days each week and has two consecutive days off), then the ‘in lieu of day off’ is the day after the holiday.  As an example, an employee working Tuesday through Saturday has a holiday fall on Monday, following the guidelines the employee’s ‘in lieu of day off’ is Tuesday.

I’ve never before heard a supervisor say that the employee’s regular day off moves, because that would require the employee’s work schedule to be changed.  In fact, the regulations dealing with establishing employee work schedules reminds supervisors that they will not use the occurrence of a holiday to “…affect the designation of the basic workweek;….”  (5 CFR 610.121(a)(1))   In short, the occurrence of a holiday by itself cannot be used as a reason to make changes to the employee’s basic workweek.

Wayne Coleman is a federal pay expert available to help your agency avoid premium pay claims through on-site training. Contact him for more information.

© 2016 Wayne Coleman. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Wayne Coleman.

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About the Author

Wayne Coleman is a senior consultant who has written about and provided training on overtime and premium pay, on the principles of FLSA coverage and exemption, and on related federal compensation issues at many different Federal agencies for almost 40 years. He can be reached at wayneslyhouse@comcast.net.

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