- By Eric Katz December 23, 2013
Federal employees will report for a full day of work Tuesday, with the Obama administration opting not to give any extra time off for Christmas Eve.
The decision does not come as a surprise. It is “consistent with historical precedent when Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday,” an official at the Office of Personnel Management told Government Executive. “The government has remained open on Christmas Eve for six of the last nine times since 1946 that Christmas Day has fallen on a Wednesday.”
One of the recent exceptions was 2002, when President George W. Bush gave feds a half day off on Tuesday, Dec. 24.
Obama did give federal employees an extra day off on Christmas Eve last year. But Christmas fell on a Tuesday in 2012, so closing the government the day before allowed federal employees to take a four-day weekend.
In addition to 2012, Obama gave federal employees a half day off on Christmas Eve in 2009, when Christmas fell on a Friday, but did not give any time off in 2010 or 2011.
The 2012 decision came after a petition on the White House’s We the People website asked the president for the extra vacation. Federal workers formed a similar petition this time around, but it failed to garner nearly the same level of support. As of Monday afternoon, this year’s petition had fewer than 5,000 of the 100,000 signatures it would need to prompt an official response.