OPM Issues Pay and Leave Guidance for Christmas Eve Holiday

December 23, 2020 4:41 PM
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Two candles adorned with a red Christmas bow next to pine branches and two Christmas ornaments on a wooden surface

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The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance on how pay and leave will be handled for the extra holiday granted to most federal employees on Christmas Eve.

President Trump issued an executive order earlier in the month granting a four day weekend for most federal employees. OPM’s guidance stipulates how the additional holiday will work for pay and leave purposes.

OPM said in its guidance:

Most employees who are excused from duty on December 24th 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) for his or her scheduled workday. (This policy does not apply to employees who receive annual premium pay for standby duty under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) or to firefighters who are covered by the special pay provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5545b.)  An employee who is required to work nonovertime hours on December 24th is entitled to holiday premium pay under 5 U.S.C. 5546(b). 

OPM added that federal employees are being excused from duty during a pay period in which there are already two paid holidays (Christmas and New Year’s), so this additional guidance stipulates that there will now be three holidays.

OPM’s guidance also said that Postal Service employees and contract employees should check with their supervisors for guidance on how the extra holiday applies to them.

Closing of Federal Government Departments and Agencies on Thursday, December 24, 2020

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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.