Obama gives feds Christmas Eve off

Thinkstock

This story has been updated with background and details.

All executive departments and agencies will be closed Christmas Eve, giving federal employees a four-day weekend, President Obama declared Friday in an executive order.

Obama allowed for some exceptions to the holiday, where necessary. “The heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on Dec. 24, 2012, for reasons of national security, defense or other public need,” the order stated.

Employees required to work on Monday will be “entitled to pay at the rate of his basic pay, plus premium pay at a rate equal to the rate of his basic pay,” according to rules on holiday pay for federal workers. 

The order does not apply to U.S. Postal Service employees. Mail will be delivered as usual Monday and post Offices will be open -- though closing early -- a USPS spokesman confirmed. 

Obama’s order follows in the tradition of granting federal employees a four-day weekend when Christmas falls on a Tuesday, as it does this year. President Bush did the same in 2001 and in 2007. The announcement is typically made earlier in December, with previous orders issued Dec. 5 and 6, respectively.

This year, some federal employees attempted to force Obama’s hand, taking to an online petition to drum up support for the extra holiday. That petition recently received its 25,000th signature, passing the threshold to guarantee a response from the White House. At the time of the order, there was still no official petition response on the White House’s We the People website. The order, however, seemed to fully address the issue.

Obama gave federal employees a half day on Christmas Eve in 2009, when it fell on a Thursday and Christmas on a Friday. He did not order any extra holiday time in 2010 or 2011.

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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