Federal Employees Unlikely to Get Extra Time Off Around Christmas

As the holiday season swings into high gear, federal employees may be wondering if they will get any extra time off to finish their Christmas shopping. The answer this year is likely to be “no,” unless President Obama is feeling especially generous.

Christmas falls on a Sunday this time around, and federal workers will have Monday, Dec. 26 off as a holiday. In years where Christmas is on a Tuesday or Thursday, presidents have often given civil servants an extra day off to create a four-day weekend. Presidents also sometimes give employees a half-day off for Christmas Eve, when Christmas is on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.

Indeed, last year when Christmas fell on a Friday, Obama gave federal workers four hours off on Thursday, Dec. 24. But he did not give federal employees any time off in 2011, the most recent year in which Christmas fell on a Sunday. 

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