Federal employees have had a pay freeze for the past several years and the pay and benefits for the federal workforce have been under serious attack during the national elections held this year.
Giving federal employees an extra holiday on December 24th, 2012 would be a good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce.
This is also consistent with past practice. President Obama provided a half-day off on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, 2009. President George W. Bush provided a half-day holiday on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2002, as well as several full days off the day before or after Christmas: Tuesday, December 24, 2001, Thursday, December 26, 2003, Tuesday, December 24, 2007, and Thursday, December 26, 2008.
We urge President Obama to issue an executive order on this issue.
Response to Petition
By John Berry
Thank you for using We the People. Since you expressed interest in this issue, I want to make sure you are aware that earlier today, President Obama issued an executive order that all executive branch departments and agencies of the federal government will be closed on Monday, December 24, 2012 and their employees excused from duty.
The full text of the order is below. Learn more at http://opm.gov.
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CLOSING OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2012
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Monday, December 24, 2012, the day before Christmas Day, except as provided in section 2 of this order.
Sec. 2. The 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 report for duty on December 24, 2012, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.
Sec. 3. Monday, December 24, 2012, shall be considered as falling within the scope of Executive Order 11582 of February 11, 1971, and of 5 U.S.C. 5546 and 6103(b) and other similar statutes insofar as they relate to the pay and leave of employees of the United States.
Sec. 4. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall take such actions as may be necessary to implement this order.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
John Berry is the Director of the US Office of Personnel Management