Inauguration Day As a Holiday

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

This month, where you work will determine when you work.

The 19th is a federal holiday. It’s the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 20th is a little trickier. It’s Inauguration Day, and it’s also a federal holiday, but only for certain feds.

According to OPM, “it is a legal public holiday for pay and leave purposes only for Federal employees who work in the ‘Inauguration Day area’.”

That area, says OPM is “defined in law as the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Falls Church in Virginia.” Fairfax City is considered to be part of the county in this case.

So if you work in the zone, you have a four day weekend.

If you’re travelling outside the area, you’re expected to work the day.

On the other hand, if you’re travelling to the Inauguration Day area, you get the day off.

Completely confused? See the OPM memo: Washington, DC, Area Special Pay and Leave Procedures for Holidays on January 19 and 20, 2009

Thrown into the mix is the question of non-career (political) appointees who are resigning on the 20th. Those working in the Inauguration Day area get the holiday, those working outside do not. Rule of thumb: resignations take effect at noon for most of the non-career SESers, so pay will only cover until then.

For more, see OPM’s memo Pay and Benefits for Non-Career Appointees Who Resign on January 20, 2009

And for a rundown of all federal holidays for the new year, according to OPM, see 2009 Federal Holidays

Whether you take the day off, take the week off, or find yourself heading into the office,’s Adam Tuss says the best thing to do is Just Don’t Drive.

(Copyright 2009 by All Rights Reserved.)



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