'Twas the Federal Four Day Weekend Around Christmas

December 10, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - President Bush is filing the stockings of federal employees, ordering executive branch agencies to close on Friday December 26.

Employees can reschedule any annual leave they have scheduled for December 26 and no federal workers will be charged annual leave for that day. However, for employees that scheduled use-or-lose leave for the day after Christmas that cannot be reschedule, it will be forfeited, according to a GOVEXEC.com report.

For some federal workers though, they may find nothing but coal on December 26, as agency heads still have the authority to order some essential employees to their posts on that day.

The decision to award the extra holiday came earlier than last year when President Bush waited till December 19 to award a half-day off for Christmas Eve, which fell on a Tuesday. In 2001, federal employees enjoyed an extra day of vacation when the President issued an executive order on December 6 granting the Christmas Eve off.

Historically, federal employees are only granted Christmas Eve off when it happens to fall on a Monday, as was seen in 2001. The last time federal employees received a December 24thoff that was not on a Monday, Mamie Eisenhower was conducting Christmas tours of the White House.

On the other hand, New Year’s Eve looks busy for federal employees this year, as the president usually only gives the day off when it falls on a Friday. The last time an extra non-Friday December 31 st was given off to federal employees was 1973. Not surprisingly, New Year’s Eve fell on a Monday that year.