On December 2nd, we posted an article about a petition that was filed on the White House website requesting that the president issue an executive order giving federal employees an extra holiday this year since Christmas Eve falls on Monday, December 24th. The next day, the same item was carried in various media outlets giving the petition plenty of media publicity.
Hundreds of comments have been submitted on the two articles we have run on this topic. (Update on the petition was published last week.) The most popular response (i.e., the response which received the most “like” votes from readers) was from Paula who wrote: “This is crazy. Lets just be grateful we have jobs! With an eye toward federal workers now, it’s unadvisable to ask for anything more.” Not surprisingly, there were also many responses such as this one from Ladybug Chesapeake that read: “We haven’t had a cost of living raise in years! Yes, we deserve Christmas Eve off as an extra paid holiday.”
As of this morning, more than 25,000 people have signed the petition requesting that December 24th be made a paid holiday for federal employees. There is supposed to be an automatic review of the petition by the White House staff and a response to the petition when 25,000 people sign it. Of course, there is no guarantee there will be a response prior to December 24th or that the petition would be granted in any event.
The reason for the petition is that federal employees do, on occasion, receive an extra day off whether the administration currently in power is Democrat or Republican. Presidents can (and often have) granted extra time off by issuing an executive order. The reason for these decisions is that it is supposed to be cost effective. Many or most federal employees are already taking these days off so the few that report it actually costs more to operate the buildings than the amount of work that will be produced on those days. Of course, many people just like having the day off with pay and, no doubt, the energy savings are not uppermost on their list of concerns as they get ready to open presents on Christmas Day and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
We will, of course, let our readers know if and when President Obama does issue an executive order giving federal employees an extra holiday or, at least, if a response is issued by the White House prior to December 24th.
In any event, we wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas, regardless of whether there is an extra holiday granted on December 24th.
Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47