4-Day Holiday Weekend for Federal Employees at Christmas

President Obama has issued an executive order giving federal employees an extra holiday this year on Friday, December 26.

Federal employees will be delighted to receive a Christmas present, of sorts. President Obama has signed an executive order Friday giving federal employees the day after Christmas off.

67% of FedSmith readers had predicted that the president would take this action in a recent survey and, as it turns out, they were correct. (See FedSmith.com Users Expecting an Extra Day Off at Christmas This Year.)

This means that most federal offices and agencies will be closed on December 26th. Since Christmas is on a Thursday this year, the executive order means that federal workers will have an extra paid holiday on Friday, December 26th.

The order allows agencies to make an exception “for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”

President Obama last closed the government for a day on December 24, 2012 which was on a Monday.

Below is a copy of the executive order.


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

December 5, 2014


– – – – – – –


By the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Friday, December 26, 2014, the day after Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 of this order.

Sec. 2. The heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 26, 2014, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.

Sec. 3. Friday, December 26, 2014, shall be considered as falling within the scope of Executive Order 11582 of February 11, 1971, and of 5 U.S.C. 5546 and 6103(b) and other similar statutes insofar as they relate to the pay and leave of employees of the United States.

Sec. 4. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall take such actions as may be necessary to implement this order.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



December 5, 2014

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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. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47