Trump Gives Federal Employees Extra Holiday on Christmas Eve

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By on December 19, 2018 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments

Picture of two Christmas gifts wrapped in silver paper with red ribbons in the snow next to pine tree leaves

President Trump is giving most federal employees another holiday this year. The new Executive Order reads:

All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Monday, December 24, 2018, the day before Christmas Day.

As is usually the case, agency heads “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 24, 2018….”

December 24th falls under the guidance in Executive Order 11582 which pertains to holidays of the federal government.

Guidance from OPM

As usual, The Office of Personnel Management is assigned the job of implementing the Executive Order. OPM issued a memo today with details on how to implement the extra holiday. It includes a number of frequently asked questions federal employees are likely to have about how the additional holiday impacts their pay.

The memo reads, in part:

Most employees who are excused from duty on December 24th as a result of the President’s Executive order will receive the basic pay they would have received if no Executive order had been issued.  An employee who was previously scheduled to take annual leave on December 24th will not be charged annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours).  (This policy does not apply to employees who receive annual premium pay for standby duty (5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1)) or firefighters who are covered by special pay provisions (5 U.S.C. 5545b).)  An employee who is required to work nonovertime hours on December 24th is generally entitled to holiday premium pay (5 U.S.C. 5546(b)).  Refer to the attachment for further guidance.

If an employee has scheduled “use or lose” annual leave for December 24, 2018, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (i.e., for most employees, January 5, 2019), the leave will be forfeited.  When “use or lose” leave is forfeited under these conditions, the law (5 U.S.C. 6304(d)) does not permit restoration of the leave.

Executive Order for Christmas Eve Holiday, 2018

© 2019 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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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

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