Will Federal Employees Get Extra Time Off at Christmas?
Since Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, feds are likely to just get off that Friday.
Federal employees often wonder around this time of year whether they will get extra time off around Christmas, and the answer usually depends on where December 25 falls within the week.
Since Christmas is on a Saturday this year, federal employees will get off Friday, December 24 instead. “If a holiday falls on a Saturday, for most federal employees, the preceding Friday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes,” said the Office of Personnel Management on its website. Meanwhile, “If a holiday falls on a Sunday, for most federal employees, the following Monday will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave.”
When asked for further comment and if federal employees could get extra time off this year besides Christmas Eve, OPM directed Government Executive to its webpage for past and present holiday schedules.
The last time Christmas fell on a Saturday was in 2010 and before that 2004. Those years federal employees did not get any extra time off other than the preceding Friday, FEDweek reported.
The speculation about extra time off is often greater when Christmas falls on a weekday. In 2019, President Trump surprised federal employees by giving them Dec. 24 off despite the fact that Christmas fell on a Wednesday. Trump also gave Christmas Eve off in 2018, to allow the federal workforce a four-day weekend.
“[President] Obama did not give any extra time off around Christmas in 2010, 2011 or 2013, but gave a half day off in 2009 and a full day off in 2012,” Government Executive reported in 2015. “In recent history, presidents have generally given at least a half day off when the timing allows for an extended weekend.”
The next time Christmas will land on a Saturday is in 2027.