Back to Top

Excusing Federal Employees on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
CPM 2019-24
Excusing Federal Employees on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The President has issued an Executive order excusing executive branch non-Postal Service employees from duty on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, with pay and without charge to leave, except those who, in the judgment of the head of the agency, cannot be excused for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.  (See Attachment 1.)  For pay and leave purposes, December 24, 2019, will be treated as falling within the scope of statutes and Executive orders governing holidays. 

Most employees who are excused from duty on December 24th as a result of the President’s Executive order will receive the basic pay they would have received if no Executive order had been issued.  An employee who was previously scheduled to take annual leave on December 24th will not be charged annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours). (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.)  An employee who is required to work nonovertime hours on December 24th is entitled to holiday premium pay under 5 U.S.C. 5546(b). 

If an employee has scheduled “use or lose” annual leave for December 24, 2019, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (i.e., for most employees, January 4, 2020), the leave will be forfeited.  When “use or lose” leave is forfeited under these conditions, the law (5 U.S.C. 6304(d)) does not permit restoration of the leave. 

The attached questions and answers provide pay and leave administration guidance.  (See Attachment 2.)  For additional information, see the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) fact sheets on— 

The President’s Executive order excuses Federal employees from duty during a pay period (December 22, 2019-January 4, 2020) in which there are already two holidays—Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Thus, there will be three holidays within the same pay period – i.e., December 24 and December 25, 2019, and January 1, 2020.  For further information on the procedures for multiple holidays during a pay period, see the attached questions and answers and the fact sheet “Federal Holidays - Work Schedules and Pay” referenced above. 

Employees of the U.S. Postal Service and contractor employees should contact their supervisor (or contract officer) to obtain information on their pay and leave entitlements for December 24th. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at  Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for assistance. 

cc:   Chief Human Capital Officers, Deputy Chief Human Capital Officers, and Human Resources Directors 

Attachment 1: Executive Order

Attachment 2:  Questions and Answers on Pay and Leave Administration for December 24 and 25, 2019 (see 508-conformant PDF below)