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OPM Issues Guidance on Christmas Eve Closure

Most federal workers will receive their usual basic pay.

President Trump’s surprise order closing the federal government on Dec. 24 gave most workers the gift of an extra day off over the holidays. But for some, it also raised questions about how the order would affect pay and annual leave benefits. On Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management had answers. 

Most feds—full-time employees on a standard work schedule—will receive their usual basic pay and employees who previously planned to take the day off will not be charged for leave. 

OPM Director Dale Cabaniss issued guidance for the heads of executive departments and agencies, spelling out the order’s impact on pay and leave benefits: 

If an employee has scheduled “use or lose” annual leave for December 24, 2019, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (i.e., for most employees, January 4, 2020), the leave will be forfeited.  When “use or lose” leave is forfeited under these conditions, the law (5 U.S.C. 6304(d)) does not permit restoration of the leave. 

For employees who work an alternative work schedule or work part time, the rules may vary depending on the circumstances. For details, see the fact sheet issued by OPM. Postal Service employees and contractor employees should contact their supervisors for information about how the order may affect them, Cabaniss said.