Federal employees only officially have Christmas Day off of work as a rule, but peculiarities of the calendar for certain years mean that feds may be able to swing an extra day off of work for the holidays.

In 2018 Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday, leaving potential for Monday’s Christmas Eve to be declared an additional day off for federal employees, rather than the government having to incur the operating expenses of a single day between the weekend and Christmas.

In the last 50 years, there have been seven Christmas Days that fall on a Tuesday, and five of those years saw federal employees granted a full day off the Monday before:

  • 2012 — President Barack Obama issued an executive order Dec. 21 of that year closing all executive agencies on Christmas Eve with the exception of those that dealt with national security, defense or other public need.
  • 2007 — President George W. Bush issued an executive order Dec. 11 of that year closing all executive agencies on Christmas Eve with the exception of those that dealt with national security, defense or other public need.
  • 2001 — President George W. Bush issued an executive order Dec. 10 of that year closing all executive agencies on Christmas Eve with the exception of those that dealt with national security, defense or other public need.
  • 1990 — President George H.W. Bush issued an executive order Dec. 17 of that year that called for a half-day for federal employees at executive agencies on Christmas Eve.
  • 1984 — President Ronald Regan did not grant a holiday for Christmas Eve that year but gave federal supervisors the flexibility to release employees three hours early that day, if they chose.
  • 1979 — President Jimmy Carter issued an executive order Dec. 11 of that year closing all executive agencies on Christmas Eve with the exception of those that dealt with national security, defense or other public need.
  • 1973 —  President Richard Nixon issued an executive order Dec. 11 of that year closing all executive agencies on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve with the exception of those that dealt with national security, defense or other public need.

Based on past track records, there is a strong chance that federal employees will hear about a Christmas Eve day off sometime between Dec. 10 and Dec. 21, but it is by no means a guarantee.

President Donald Trump and federal employee groups have clashed over the past year over employee flexibilities and pay, which may sour relations concerning an additional holiday.

If feds do receive a day off, they will likely have to hear of it by executive order no later than Dec. 21, to give agencies the time to prepare for closure on the following Monday. Official operating statuses for federal agencies are listed on the Office of Personnel Management website.

Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.

Share:
More In Management
Majority of federal departments fail to achieve disability hiring goal
The report showed that of the 15 departments, 53.3% failed to meet the PWD hiring target and 60% failed to achieve the PWTD goal. When broken down by department subcomponents, the trend worsens with two-thirds of those surveyed failing to achieve either hiring goal in the same year.
Is Easter a federal holiday?
Traditionally, the president observes the date with an annual Easter egg roll for children on the White House lawn.
In Other News
Jackson heading for likely confirmation despite GOP darts
In her final day of Senate questioning, she declared she would rule “without any agendas” as the high court’s first Black female justice and rejected Republican efforts to paint her as soft on crime in her decade on the federal bench.
Jackson pushes back on GOP critics, defends record
Jackson responded to Republicans who have questioned whether she is too liberal in her judicial philosophy, saying she tries to “understand what the people who created this law intended.” She said she relies on the words of a statute but also looks to history and practice when the meaning may not be clear.
Vaccine mandate for federal employees awaits court ruling
A requirement that federal contractors and subcontractors require employee vaccinations is on hold. A federal judge in Georgia blocked that mandate nationwide and the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit appeals court is to hear arguments in that case April 8.
Report: Feds should create guidelines on less-lethal weapons
The report — released Friday by the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization dedicated to improving the professionalism of policing — examines how police departments handled the thousands of protests and civil unrest in the U.S. in the summer of 2020, after George Floyd was killed at the hands of officers in Minneapolis.
Senate confirms health care watchdog assailed by Trump
No Republicans objected to confirming Christi A. Grimm, a longtime civil servant to be HHS inspector general. Her division includes some 1,600 auditors, law enforcement agents, and management experts, and is known for its annual health care fraud takedowns. The voice vote came Thursday evening.
Load More