Will federal employees get Juneteenth off in 2022? It is a new federal holiday as of 2021, so when can federal employees expect to get it this year?
Although the official date of the holiday is June 19, the date on which it is observed can vary if it falls on a weekend.
That is the case this year. June 19, 2022 falls on a Sunday, so for pay and leave purposes, federal employees will get the holiday on Monday, June 20 according to the Office of Personnel Management.
This is what OPM states with respect to federal holidays that fall on weekends:
If a holiday falls on a Saturday, for most Federal employees, the preceding Friday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(b).) If a holiday falls on a Sunday, for most Federal employees, the following Monday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See Section 3(a) of Executive Order 11582, February 11, 1971.) See also our Federal Holidays – “In Lieu Of” Determination Fact Sheet at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/work-schedules/fact-sheets/Federal-Holidays-In-Lieu-Of-Determination.
“In Lieu of” Federal Holidays
The scenario with the 2022 Juneteenth federal holiday is what is known as an “in lieu of” federal holiday. This is the official term coined by OPM for when a federal holiday lands on a weekend.
OPM states, “All full-time employees, including those on flexible or compressed work schedules, are entitled to an “in lieu of” holiday when a holiday falls on a nonworkday.”
However, OPM notes that this only applies to full-time federal employees. Part-time federal employees are excluded from this. OPM also notes, “Part-time and intermittent employees are not entitled to an ‘in lieu of’ holiday. If an agency’s office or facility is closed due to an ‘in lieu of’ holiday for full-time employees, the agency may grant administrative leave to part-time employees who are otherwise scheduled to work on that day. (See 63 Comp. Gen. 306 (1984).)”
OPM offers a much more detailed explanation about how this process works:
Q1. What day is the “in lieu of” holiday for a full-time employee when the designated holiday falls on a nonworkday?
A1. When a holiday falls on a nonworkday outside a full-time employee’s basic workweek, he or she is entitled to an “in lieu of” holiday. The general rule is that the “in lieu of” holiday is the workday immediately preceding the nonworkday on which the holiday fell. However, when the holiday falls on a Sunday nonworkday (or, for an employee whose basic workweek includes Sunday, a nonworkday (if any) designated as the employee’s in-lieu-of-Sunday nonworkday), the “in lieu of” holiday is the workday immediately following the nonworkday. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(b) and section 3 of Executive Order 11582, February 11, 1971.)
For employees whose basic workweek is Monday through Friday –
- If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday immediately before is the legal holiday.
- If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is the legal holiday.
For employees whose basic workweek is other than Monday through Friday, but does not include Sunday –
- If a holiday falls on one of the employee’s regular nonworkdays other than a Sunday, the employee’s workday immediately before that regular nonworkday is the legal holiday.
- If a designated holiday falls on a Sunday (nonworkday), the employee’s next workday is the legal holiday.
For employees whose basic workweek includes a Sunday, the agency may designate one of the employee’s nonworkdays within this tour of duty as a deemed Sunday (i.e., designated “in lieu of” Sunday) for the purpose of applying the “in lieu of” holiday rules. In these instances, the agency must determine which nonworkday would be considered the employee’s deemed or “in lieu of” Sunday. If a holiday falls on the designated in-lieu-of-Sunday nonworkday, the next workday after that nonworkday will be the “in lieu of” holiday. For example, if an employee has a 5-day Thursday-Monday workweek with nonworkdays of Tuesday and Wednesday, the agency could designate the second nonworkday, Wednesday, as the deemed or “in lieu of” Sunday. If the November 11th Veterans Day holiday fell on Wednesday, then the “in lieu of” holiday would be the next workday, which would be Thursday.
Thus, for employees whose basic workweek includes Sunday and who have a nonworkday designated as the deemed or “in lieu of” Sunday –
- If a holiday falls on a nonworkday that is not a deemed Sunday, the employee’s workday immediately before that regular nonworkday is the legal holiday.
- If a holiday falls on the employee’s deemed Sunday, the employee’s next workday is the legal holiday.
So the bottom line for federal employees is that in 2022, the Juneteenth federal holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20 rather than Sunday, June 19.
What is “Juneteenth”?
June 19, 1865 marks the day when slavery was officially ended in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1862 and went into effect January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas and ensured slaves there were freed that slavery was considered officially over.
On June 19, 1865, Union Major-General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 which reads:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
Juneteenth began being celebrated by people in Texas in 1866 with community-centric events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances.
On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth officially became a Texas state holiday. It became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.
How Many Federal Holidays Are There in 2022?
With the addition of the Juneteenth federal holiday starting in 2021, there are now 11 federal holidays in 2022. That is also the number federal employees get in a typical year.
However, there are some years where federal employees will have 12 holidays, at least if they happen to live in the Washington, DC area. Inauguration Day is a holiday for federal employees in the DC metro area following a presidential election. According to OPM, “Federal employees in the Washington, DC, area are entitled to a holiday on the day a President is inaugurated on January 20th for each fourth year after 1965.”