Trump signs an executive order granting federal employees a day off on Christmas Eve.
Federal employees, rejoice—because Christmas is coming early this year! President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday, December 17, closing federal agencies on Christmas Eve and granting federal employees the day off.
“All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, the day before Christmas Day.”
This order applies to about 2.1 million executive branch employees, but according to the order, agencies “may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 24, 2019, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.” This means that should an employee be required to work, or choose to work on the new federal holiday, they are entitled to holiday pay—or an additional bonus pay equal to their regular salary rate.
Federal employees that have already scheduled annual leave for Christmas Eve will not be charged for the leave, and employees who are not regularly scheduled to work on December 24 will most likely be able to take another day off, in lieu of Christmas Eve.
Although many presidents grant federal employees an extra day off on Christmas Eve, the gift was highly unexpected this year. Since Christmas falls in the middle of the week, presidents typically only give a half-day off, if anything at all. In fact, the government has remained open six of the last nine times that Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday. So, be sure to cherish the gift and spend the holidays with the ones you love.
This isn’t the only gift Trump is giving federal employees this holiday season. The president is expected to sign the $1.4 trillion spending bill that the House passed on Tuesday, avoiding a shutdown and giving a 3.1 percent pay raise to civilian federal employees. The order also comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s acceptance of provisions to give 12 weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees with newborn babies.
The White House is expected to release more detailed information regarding the extra day off, so in the meantime, enjoy your gift and have a great holiday!