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Federal Eye
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 01/03/2012

When are the 2012 federal holidays? (And looking ahead to 2013.)


(MIKE SEGAR - REUTERS)
You're just back to work after the holidays and already you need a vacation, right? So when can you plan to take a day off in 2012?

Eye Opener

There are a few quirks in this year’s Federal Holiday calendar. Most especially, Independence Day is on a Wednesday, meaning many workers may spring for a long, five-day weekend or take off the entire week. Sames goes for Christmas, which falls on a Tuesday. Veteran’s Day is officially Sunday, Nov. 11, but most federal workers will observe the holiday the next day, Monday, Nov. 12.

Here’s a list of this year’s federal holidays, as issued by the Office of Personnel Management:

Monday, Jan. 2: New Year’s Day

Monday, Jan. 16: Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, Feb. 20: Washington’s Birthday

Monday, May 28: Memorial Day

Wednesday, July 4: Independence Day

Monday, Sept. 3: Labor Day

Monday, Oct. 8: Columbus Day

Monday, Nov. 12: Veterans Day

Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving

Tuesday, Dec. 25: Christmas

And what about federal holidays in 2013? (Many federal employees — and Mrs. Eye — like to plan ahead.)

The biggest quirk is that most federal employees in the Washington area are given the day off every four years on Inauguration Day to make way for the revelers in town for the inaugural parade and balls.

Though the 20th Amendment states that a president’s term ends at “noon on the 20th day of January,” Jan. 20, 2013 is a Sunday. Whenever federal holidays fall on a Sunday, the government moves them to Monday, meaning that whoever is inaugurated next year is likely to be sworn in twice — once privately on the 20th and again in public on the 21st.

Whoever wins the presidency this year is likely to follow swearing-in precedent set by Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Reagan took the oath of office for the second time privately on Sunday Jan. 20, 1985, and during a public (indoor) ceremony the next day. Eisenhower took the oath again during a private White House ceremony on Sunday Jan. 20, 1957, and repeated it publicly on the East Portico of the Capitol on Monday Jan. 21. (For those of you keeping score, this Monday-to-Sunday fluke occurs every 28 years, so it will happen again in 2041, 2069 and 2097.)

So will federal workers in the Washington area still get Inauguration Day off next year? Yes and no.

Mon. Jan. 21 is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a federal holiday enjoyed by all federal employees — meaning that D.C. area workers will be out of the office, but not because of the inauguration, according to OPM.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues

 
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