HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — President Obama issued an executive order Dec. 11, giving most federal employees a half day off on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 – including those at Hill Air Force Base.
In simple terms, the executive order means the last part of the day Dec. 24 is treated as a holiday for all “executive branch departments and agencies of the federal government.”
However, “heads of executive branch departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must remain on duty for the full scheduled workday on December 24, 2015, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”
For most employees receiving the extra time off the biggest question is: “How does this affect my leave?”
According to an Office of Personnel Management memo, sent out by the Air Force Personnel Center, employees are excused without charge to leave, even those who are already scheduled to take annual leave during the last half of the scheduled workday on Thursday, December 24. They will not be charged leave for the last half of the scheduled workday.
However, it’s a little different for “use or lose leave.” If an employee has scheduled “use or lose” annual leave for the last half of the scheduled workday on Thursday, December 24, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (i.e., for most employees, January 9, 2016,) the leave will be forfeited.
It is also worth noting that those employees who are on Compressed Work Schedules are entitled to receive their rate of basic pay for half of the total number of hours they were scheduled to work Dec. 24, i.e., if the half-day holiday falls on a 10-hour basic workday, the employee’s holiday is 5 hours (see Q & A number 6). Should you require clarification or have additional questions on the matter, you may contact your servicing Employee or Labor Relations Specialist in the CPS.