President gives federal employees extra Christmas holiday

President Bush on Tuesday ordered executive branch agencies to close on Friday, Dec. 26, giving most federal employees a four-day Christmas weekend.

Agency heads still have the authority to order some essential employees to their posts on the day after Christmas, according to an executive order issued Tuesday.

The decision to award the extra holiday came earlier than last year when President Bush waited till Dec. 19 to award a half-day off for Christmas Eve, which fell on a Tuesday. But in 2001, Bush made the announcement a little earlier, on Dec. 6, awarding employees a full day off on Christmas Eve, which fell on a Monday that year. Generally, when Christmas falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, as it does this year, presidents give federal employees an extra full day off.

Employees can reschedule any annual leave they have scheduled for Dec. 26. No employees will be charged annual leave for that day. If employees scheduled use-or-lose leave for Dec. 26 and can't reschedule it, they'll have to forfeit it. For most employees, use-or-lose leave must be used by Jan. 10, 2004.

Now, how about an extra day after New Year's Day, which falls on Thursday this year? Don't hold your breath. The last time feds got an extra day at New Year's was in 1973, when President Nixon gave employees a full day off on Dec. 31. Christmas and New Year's Day both fell on a Tuesday that year.

Federal employees got half days off on New Year's Eve in 1957, when New Year's Day 1958 was on a Wednesday; and 1953, when New Year's Day 1954 was on a Friday. When New Year's Day 1955 fell on a Saturday, employees who usually worked on Saturday got a half-day off on Friday, New Year's Eve 1954.

Brian Friel contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.