Many feds to still receive Inauguration Day holiday

Federal employees who work in the Washington, D.C., area will still get the day off work for the presidential inauguration, even as many of them continue to work from home, according to a memo issued by Office of Personnel Management acting Director Michael Rigas Dec. 17.

The memo stipulates that to qualify for a Jan. 20 holiday, feds’ normal duty stations must be located in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

For those employees who have continued or are scheduled to work in the office during that time, the Inauguration Day holiday will proceed as normal, but OPM had to modify some of the rules for those feds who have been teleworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To qualify for an Inauguration Day holiday, teleworking feds must have their normal duty site in the designated area and be scheduled to work at that site at least two days out of the pay period, were it not for the pandemic. Employees must also be operating from a telework location that is within reasonable commuting distance from their official duty location, defined as no more than 2.5 hours commuting or 125 miles away.

Inauguration Day falls on a Wednesday this coming year, and OPM has advised agencies to expand telework flexibilities for federal employees near Washington, D.C., the day before as well, to help reduce traffic and pedestrian congestion as officials work to close roads and secure perimeters for the inauguration.

OPM has encouraged agencies to grant employees who are not already teleworking the ability to do so Jan. 19 or to grant various forms of time off for employees who would be disrupted by inauguration preparations.

Inauguration Day will also mark the second holiday that week for many feds, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on the Monday before the inauguration. All full- and part-time employees normally scheduled to work that day are entitled to holiday pay instead.

For employees who would normally qualify for both the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and Inauguration Day holiday but are required to work instead, holiday premium pay applies.

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