No separate paid holiday for feds on Inauguration Day

Construction to structures at the United States Capitol have been going on since November. Construction to structures at the United States Capitol have been going on since November. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Inauguration Day coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr. Day will deprive Washington, D.C., area federal employees of one paid holiday, according to The Washington Post.

D.C area federal employees looking forward to their quadrennial paid holiday will be left disappointed this year because of a quirk in the calendar. Normally, Inauguration Day, legally mandated to occur on Jan. 20, would have given capital area feds a paid day off to help reduce traffic, and help with logistics and security in the city.

However, with Jan. 20 falling on a Sunday this year, the public ceremonies were moved to Jan. 21, which is already a legal public holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Office of Personnel Management said that if Inauguration Day falls on a non-workday, as it does this year, “there is no provision for an ‘in lieu of’ holiday.”

According to a statement from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, this is the seventh time that Jan. 20 has fallen on a Sunday, the last time being Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985. The statement also said that it was the second time that Martin Luther King Jr. Day had coincided with a presidential inauguration, the first time being President Bill Clinton’s second term ceremonies.

Rest assured, President Obama is still planning on fulfilling his constitutionally mandated duties by swearing in during a private ceremony on Jan. 20.

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