Pay and Benefits Watch: Christmas in July

Uncle Sam hopes you enjoyed your three-day Fourth of July weekend. Unfortunately, that's the last one you'll be getting for three years. In 2000, Independence Day falls on Tuesday, followed by Wednesday in 2001 and Thursday in 2002. That means your vacation day will fall smack dab in the middle of the week until 2003, when the Fourth will be on a Friday.

The Office of Personnel Management last week published a list of federal holidays for 2000 and 2001. There are 10 federal holidays a year. The quadrennial Inauguration Day is also a holiday for workers in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Unfortunately, Jan. 20, 2001 is on a Saturday so only weekend workers will get the day off. Unlike Veterans' Day and other federal holidays that are celebrated on Monday or Friday when they fall on the weekend, there is no such "in lieu" holiday for Inauguration Day.

Next year, if you include the New Year's Day holiday on Friday Dec. 31, 1999, federal employees will get eight three-day weekends. In 2001, federal employees will get just seven three-day weekends.

In 1997, President Clinton gave federal employees an extra day off, Dec. 26, because Christmas fell on a Thursday.

Here's a list of federal holidays in 2000 and 2001.

2000 Holidays

New Year's Day Friday, Dec. 31, 1999
Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Monday, Jan. 17
Washington's Birthday Monday, Feb. 21
Memorial Day Monday, May 29
Independence Day Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4
Columbus Day Monday, Oct. 9
Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 10
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 23
Christmas Day Monday, Dec. 25

2001 Holidays

New Year's Day Monday, Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Monday, Jan. 15
Washington's Birthday Monday, Feb.19
Memorial Day Monday, May 28
Independence Day Wednesday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3
Columbus Day Monday, Oct. 8
Veterans Day Monday, Nov. 12
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 22
Christmas Day Tuesday, Dec. 25
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