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Leave Guidance for December 24, 2009

On December 11, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order ordering Federal Departments and Agencies to close and excuse their employees from duty for the last half of the scheduled workday on Thursday, December 24, 2009.

The following recaps Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pay and leave guidance for the half-day holiday on December 24, 2009:

Employees on previously approved/scheduled annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time, or credit hours) during the half-day holiday on December 24 will not be charged personal leave for the half day. (This does not apply to employees in receipt of annual premium pay for standby duty under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) or to firefighters who are covered by 5 U.S.C. § 5545(b)). Employees who have scheduled use or lose annual leave on this day, and are unable to reschedule the leave for use before the end of the leave year (January 2, 2010), will forfeit the annual leave. There is no authority that permits restoration of leave forfeited under these conditions.

Full-time, part-time, and other eligible employees who are regularly scheduled to work on this day will receive the half day off as a Federal paid holiday. Employees who are required to work on the half-day holiday will receive their base pay for their regularly scheduled tour of duty and holiday premium pay for their non-overtime holiday work.

The following applies to employees in special situations:

Employees on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) pending disability, in receipt of Workers Compensation, on military leave, or on suspension are not entitled to the half-day holiday and will remain in their current status.

Part-time employees are entitled to basic pay for any holiday, including the half-day holiday on December 24, if they are regularly scheduled to work on that day.

Part-time employees are not entitled to an in-lieu-of holiday when a holiday falls on a non-workday.

For full-time employees on Alternative Work Schedules (AWS), when the holiday falls on a non-workday outside of the employee’s basic workweek, the day to be treated as the in-lieu-of holiday is the workday immediately before the non-workday. This is true for employees on flexible or compressed work schedules. For the purpose of this guidance, the half-day holiday means the last half of an employee’s regularly scheduled tour of duty on December 24. Thus, employees on flexible schedules, including a flexible 5/4-9 schedule or other flexible schedules in which employees work more than 8-hours a day, are entitled to a maximum of 4 hours of excused absence for the half-day holiday. This means that employees on flexible schedules who normally work more than 8 hours on the half-day holiday must account for the 1 or 2 hour difference by working an extra hour or two, respectively, during the same pay period, or by a charge to accrued annual leave, compensatory time, LWOP, or credit hours. Employees on compressed schedules are entitled to excused absence for half of the total number of non-overtime hours regularly scheduled for that day. (Employees on maxiflex schedules in which scheduled work days and arrival/departure times are not established, should refer to OPM’s AWS Handbook at http://www.opm.gov/oca/aws/index.htm.)

Contact your Servicing Human Resource Office (SHRO) for further guidance on this matter. In addition, FAQs provided by OPM can be found by clicking here.