OPM Issues Guidance for Christmas Eve Holiday

December 20, 2019

The Executive Order declaring Tuesday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday is welcome news for many federal employees but it does raise some questions regarding pay and leave. Today, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance and information. Here are some of the most common questions.

Are employees who are scheduled to take annual leave on Tuesday, December 24, charged leave for that day? No. Employees who are scheduled to take annual leave on Tuesday, December 24, will not be charged leave for that day.

Will employees forfeit “use or lose” annual leave scheduled for Tuesday, December 24? Yes. If an employee has scheduled “use or lose” annual leave for Tuesday, December 24, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (January 4, 2020, for employees on the standard biweekly pay period cycle), the leave will be forfeited. When “use or lose” leave is forfeited under these conditions, the law does not permit restoration of the leave.

This creates a pay period with three holidays, correct? Yes. This year three holidays will fall within the same pay period. A full- time employee on a flexible work schedule is entitled to 8 hours of pay on a holiday when the employee doesn’t work. Therefore, when three 8-hour holidays fall within the same pay period, full time employees on a flexible schedule under which employees work more than 8 hours a day must make arrangements to work extra hours during other regularly scheduled workdays, take annual leave or use credit hours or compensatory time off, in order to fulfill the 80 hour bi-weekly requirement.

What about In Lieu of Holidays (ILOH)? All full-time employees, including those on flexible or compressed work schedules are entitled to an “in Lieu of “ holiday when a holiday falls on a non-workday or RDO. In such instances the ILOH is the workday preceding the non-workday.

You may have more questions? NTEU suggests you review the extended guidance OPM released by clicking here or check with your supervisor.

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© 2016 by National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 137, Miami, FL

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