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Leave Guidance for December 26 Holiday

This is to advise you that President Bush signed an Executive Order on December 12, 2008, providing Executive branch employees with a holiday on Friday, December 26, 2008. This applies to all employees except those who, in the judgment of management, cannot be excused for reasons of national security, defense, or other essential public business. The Executive order provides that December 26, 2008, is to be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes as follows:

  • Employees previously scheduled to take annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours) on December 26 will be granted excused absence for the scheduled workday and will not be charged personal leave. (This policy does not apply to employees who receive annual premium pay for standby duty under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c) (1) or to firefighters who are covered by the special pay provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5545b.).

  • Employees on flexible work schedules are entitled to a maximum of 8 hours of excused absence on December 26, which is to be credited towards their 80-hour basic work requirement. Employees schedule to work a 9-hour day (or more based on the flexible schedule) on either December 25 or 26, must make up the 1 or 2-hour difference in the daily tour with a charge to accumulated personal leave (e.g., annual leave, credit hours, compensatory time, compensatory time for travel, etc.,). Employees who make arrangements to work extra hours during other regularly scheduled workdays to make up these differences must do so prior to the holiday.

  • Employees on compressed work schedules are entitled to excused absence for the number of scheduled work hours on December 26. For example, an employee scheduled to work 9 hours on December 26, is to be granted 9 hours of excused absence that day.

  • Part-time employees are only entitled to excused absence for the number of scheduled work hours on December 25 and December 26. If they are not scheduled to work on December 25 or December 26, they are not entitled to any pay for that day. Further, there is no authority to grant an “in-lieu-of holiday” to a part-time employee.

  • Employees who are entitled to “in-lieu-of” holidays are to observe the holidays on the scheduled workday immediately preceding the holidays. This is true even if the “in-lieu-of” holidays fall in a different pay period. For example, full-time employees whose regularly scheduled non-workday ("AWS day off") is December 25 are entitled to an "in-lieu-of" holiday. For most employees this holiday will be on Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Full-time employees whose scheduled non-workdays are both December 25 and 26 are entitled to two "in-lieu-of" holidays. In most cases, theses "in lieu of" holidays will be observed on December 23 and 24, 2008.

  • Employees with previously approved “use or lose” annual leave for December 26 may reschedule the leave for use (with supervisory approval) before the end or the leave year (Sunday, January 3, 2009). Otherwise, the leave is forfeited and cannot be restored.

  • Employees who are required to work non-overtime hours on December 25 and/or December 26 are entitled holiday premium pay under 5 U.S.C. 5546(b). Employees on flexible work schedules are entitled to up to 8 hours of holiday premium pay if they are required to work on December 25 and/or 26, and employees on compressed work schedules are entitled to holiday premium pay for the number of hours they are scheduled to work that day (e.g., 8, 9, or 10 non-overtime hours). (See 5 CFR 610.407.).

Employees on leave without pay pending disability, in receipt of workers' compensation, on military leave or suspension, or in a non-pay status on the last hour of the workday immediately before and the first hour of the workday after the holiday are not entitled to excused absence and remain in their current status.

The excused absence for the December 25 and 26 holiday or for an employee’s ”in-lieu-of” holiday is to be recorded as “Federal Holiday” in webTA.

Questions about the holidays are to be directed to your servicing human resources office or visit our Leave webpage for Commerce employees.