Ho, ho, ho!

Secretary Skorton has authorized the excused absence of Smithsonian federal and trust employees on December 24th. Enjoy!

US Capitol with Christmas tree in foreground

Federal workers will have Monday off for Christmas Eve. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By Executive Order, all Federal Agencies and departments will be closed on Monday, December 24. This means that Monday will also be a Federal holiday.  I have authorized the excused absence of Smithsonian federal and trust employees on December 24th.

Smithsonian’s museums and the National Zoo will open as usual on Monday.

Those staff deemed necessary employees should report to work at their scheduled time. Because this is a holiday, staff working that day will earn premium pay.

Other staff, not deemed necessary for public operations, will not need to report to work on Monday. Ask your supervisor for direction if you are uncertain of your status.

Daytime and evening events can proceed as planned based on the discretion of the unit director.

Leave guidance follows and questions should be directed to the Office of Human Resources or your unit administrative staff.

OHR Guidance

For pay and leave purposes, this period of time will be treated as falling within the scope of Statutes and Executive orders governing holidays.  An employee who performs any work during his or her regularly scheduled basic (i.e., non-overtime) tour of duty on that day will generally receive holiday premium pay in addition to his or her regular pay.  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) for that day.

If an employee has scheduled use or lose annual leave for December 24th, and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before the end of the leave year (i.e., January 5, 2019, for most employees), the leave will be forfeited.  When use or lose leave is forfeited under these conditions, restoration of the leave is not permitted.

To facilitate completion of the Pay Period 26 timecard (December 23 – January 5), the following leave guidance applies for the December 24th holiday:

  • For full-time employees on an alternative work schedule (AWS) whose regularly scheduled non-workday is Monday December 24th, he or she is entitled to an “in lieu of” holiday.
  • Full-time employees are entitled to an “in-lieu-of” holiday, including those on flexible or compressed work schedules, if December 24th, falls on a non-workday.  Such employees should observe the holiday on the scheduled workday immediately preceding the holiday.
  • Employees scheduled to telework on Monday December 24th, are excused from duty.
  • Part-time employees otherwise scheduled for work are excused from duty and receive basic pay for the number of hours regularly scheduled for that day.  Part-time employees not scheduled to work on this day are not entitled to any pay for this holiday.  If this holiday falls on a non-workday, part-time employees are not eligible for an “in lieu of” holiday.
  • Employees must be in a pay status, or in a paid time off status (i.e., leave, compensatory time off, compensatory time off for travel, or credit hours) on a scheduled workday either before or after the holiday to receive pay for the holiday.  Employees in a non-pay status immediately before and after the holiday may not receive pay for the holiday.
  • Employees who work an intermittent work schedule do not receive pay for Federal holidays if they do not work.

WebTA Processing Instructions:

  • The December 24th holiday, or the employee’s “in-lieu-of” holiday (e.g., December 21) should be recorded as holiday leave using the “Paid Federal Holiday Time” leave option in WebTA.

If you have questions about your schedule and/or leave, please contact your supervisor or HR liaison.  Questions regarding time and attendance may be directed to your timekeeper or to the Payroll Help Desk at 202-633-7260.  Policy questions regarding leave administration may be directed to Paige Jones, Office of Human Resources, at or 202-633-6316.

Posted: 20 December 2018
About the Author:

David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. A board-certified cardiologist whose specialty is congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging, Skorton is also an avid jazz musician and a passionate supporter of the arts and humanities.