Planning to Resign on Inauguration Day? Here’s What Will Happen to Your Pay

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By on January 10, 2017 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments

Image of the US Capitol building on inauguration day

Federal employees who are non-career appointees who resign from their positions on Inauguration Day have special considerations impacting their pay and benefits. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued guidance for these impacted employees.

OPM’s guidance applies to non-career appointees (e.g., Executive Schedule, non-career Senior Executive Service, Schedule C) who resign effective at noon, eastern standard time (EST), on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

These employees are entitled to compensation (including holiday pay) on January 20, 2017. It is up to each agency to determine the number of hours of pay for each non-career appointee based on the employee’s work schedule for that day, prior to the termination of his or her appointment at noon (EST).

Also, OPM notes that a General Schedule or other employee with a Schedule C appointment or a non-career member of the Senior Executive Service must meet the 80-hour biweekly work requirement to receive leave accrual for the January 8-21, 2017 pay period. A full-time employee must fulfill the requirement of 80 hours in a pay status during the pay period prior to noon on Friday, January 20, 2017, to receive accrual of annual and sick leave.

OPM provides several examples in the memo of situations in which an employee resigns on Inauguration Day and how agencies will handle the situation with respect to his or her pay and benefits.

A full copy of the memo with OPM’s guidance is included below.

OPM Memorandum to Agencies

Friday, January 6, 2017
CPM 2017-01

From: MARK D. REINHOLD, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, EMPLOYEE SERVICES

This memorandum is a special reminder to agencies of the policies regarding pay, work scheduling, leave, and certain benefits under title 5, United States Code, that will apply to noncareer appointees (e.g., Executive Schedule, noncareer Senior Executive Service, Schedule C) who resign effective at noon, eastern standard time (EST), on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

Affected employees are entitled to compensation on January 20, 2017 (including holiday pay or, as applicable, holiday premium pay) only for periods of time during which their Federal appointments are in effect.  Each agency is responsible for determining the number of hours of pay for each noncareer appointee based on the employee’s work schedule for that day, prior to the termination of his or her appointment at noon (EST).

Additionally, a General Schedule or other employee with a Schedule C appointment or a noncareer member of the Senior Executive Service must meet the 80-hour biweekly work requirement to receive leave accrual for the January 8-21, 2017, pay period.  A full-time employee must fulfill the requirement of 80 hours in a pay status during the pay period prior to noon on Friday, January 20, 2017, to receive accrual of annual and sick leave.

An employee who resigns receives a full day of retirement credit for any partial day of employment. The employee’s Federal Employees Health Benefit coverage continues until the end of the pay period in which the resignation occurred.  An additional 31 days of coverage is then continued at no charge.

The following are examples of various categories of noncareer appointees who resign at noon (EST) on January 20:

Example 1.  A General Schedule employee with a Schedule C appointment or a noncareer member of the Senior Executive Service who works in the Inauguration Day area is entitled to a holiday.  (The Inauguration Day area is defined as the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax in Virginia.)  The employee is entitled to pay only for the hours he or she would have been scheduled to work (but for the holiday) until noon on January 20.

Example 2.  A General Schedule employee with a Schedule C appointment or a noncareer member of the Senior Executive Service who works outside of the Inauguration Day area is not entitled to a holiday.  The employee is entitled to pay only for the hours he or she works (or takes leave) until noon on January 20.

Example 3.  Certain Presidential appointees are not covered by the leave system and do not have a scheduled tour of duty. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) believes it is appropriate to pay these individuals a half day’s pay (i.e., 4 hours) because the 12 hours between midnight and noon on January 20 represent half a day. Normally, leave-exempt Presidential appointees receive pay for 8 hours a day.

Example 4.  A General Schedule employee with a Schedule C appointment or a noncareer member of the Senior Executive Service may be permitted to work a flexible work schedule that would allow the employee to complete his or her 80-hour biweekly tour of duty before noon on January 20, 2017.  For example:

  • An employee may be allowed to schedule eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, and then use Inauguration Day, January 20, as the employee’s alternative work schedule (AWS) day off.  It is important to note that the employee would not be entitled to any holiday pay for Inauguration Day on January 20, since the employee’s AWS day off was scheduled on this day and an “in-lieu-of” holiday is not authorized.
  • An employee may be allowed to schedule eight 8.5-hour days, one 8-hour day on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, and a 4-hour day on Inauguration Day.  If the employee works in the Inauguration Day area and is entitled to a holiday on that day, the employee would either be granted 4 hours holiday pay or would work and receive appropriate pay (which would include holiday premium pay for a General Schedule employee).

In both examples, the employee meets the 80-hour biweekly work requirement and is able to accrue leave for the pay period.

Questions

Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at
pay-leave-policy@opm.gov.  Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for assistance.

© 2017 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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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.

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