Double Day Off
In January, Washington-area federal employees will receive two days off in one week.
Some federal employees will receive two paid holidays within a single pay period in January.
On Dec. 17, the Office of Personnel Management sent a memo to agencies and executive departments announcing that Inauguration Day--Thursday, Jan. 20--will be a holiday for federal employees in the Washington area. The inaugural parade and celebrations typically shut down long stretches of the city's streets.
Employees who are not scheduled to work on Jan. 20, however, will not receive a compensatory day off, OPM said.
The inauguration holiday falls three days after Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, which is celebrated as a federal holiday on Monday, Jan. 17.
OPM noted that since the Martin Luther King holiday and Inauguration Day both fall within the same pay period, Washington-area employees who use alternative work schedules that involve working more than 8 hours per day will need to adjust their schedules. They will have to make arrangements to work extra hours during other regularly scheduled workdays or take leave in order to meet their 80-hour biweekly commitment.
The relevant pay period begins on Jan. 9 and ends on Jan. 22.
More Defense Personnel Potshots
Congressional criticism over the National Security Personnel System just keeps on coming.
A Dec. 20 letter from 127 House members sharply criticizes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James for keeping details of the new personnel system away from federal labor unions.
"We are writing to express our concern that the department may be about to publish the proposed National Security Personnel System in the Federal Register later this month, before discussing the proposal with the elected representatives of the department's civilian workforce," the lawmakers wrote.
In November, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said the Defense Department's refusal to share details of the plan with unions violated federal law and the intent of Congress.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., led the effort in the House to draft the Dec. 20 letter. The letter asked Rumsfeld and James to respond by Dec. 31.