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Feds Send Obama an Early Christmas Wish: An Extra Day Off

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Christmas is still more than two months away, but one federal employee is not leaving anything to chance when it comes to time off around the December holidays.  

A petition published on the White House’s We the People website Monday asks President Obama to grant federal employees an extra holiday on Dec. 26, as a “good gesture to improve the morale of the federal workforce.” Since Christmas falls on a Thursday this year, the extra day off would create a four-day weekend around the holiday.

The petition – started by an employee in Oklahoma City – notes that such a move would not be without precedent. The two most recent years Christmas fell on a Thursday were 2003 and 2008. In both cases, President George W. Bush gave federal employees a four-day weekend.

President Obama did not offer feds any extra time off around the holidays last year, when Christmas fell on a Wednesday. But he did give them Christmas Eve off to create a four-day weekend in 2012, when Christmas was on a Tuesday.

To bolster the argument for an extra day off, this year’s petition also said some military bases are closing on Dec. 26 and forcing employees to take leave.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the petition had only gained 20 signatures toward the 100,000 needed by Nov. 19 to prompt a response from President Obama. But with Halloween candy still on the shelves, there is plenty of time. Typically, any extra days off are not announced until December.

(Image via  / Shutterstock.com)

Amelia Gruber covered management and contracting for Government Executive for three years before becoming an editor. She also has worked as an editor at Roll Call newspaper and as a research assistant at the Urban Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, with a major in economics, and a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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