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Joe Davidson's Federal Diary

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By Joe Davidson
Friday, January 16, 2009

Federal employees who work in the Washington area have certain advantages their co-workers around the country don't. Being so close to so many bosses may or may not count as one. But the Beltway folks do get an extra day off every four years and I don't mean Feb. 29.

Inauguration Day is a holiday for local federal workers. With all the road closures and public transportation packed with those going to watch the day's festivities, no one could get to work in downtown D.C. anyway.

To make sure everyone knows what's what, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council has issued guidance on pay for civil servants and political appointees in the "Inauguration Day area, " which is the District, Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church.

But unlike other federal holidays, workers who would have had Tuesday off anyway are not entitled to another day off, according to a Dec. 20 memo from Michael W. Hager, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Also, if your regular worksite is inside the designated area, but you're scheduled to work outside the area that day -- no day off for you. But, if your regular worksite is outside the area and you're scheduled to work in the District that day, you'll get a day off your buddies back home won't.

And if you work at home in the District or the suburbs, you still have to work at home on Inauguration Day (but who's going to know if you don't?).

There's another set of rules for politicos who quit or whose appointments end the moment Barack Obama is sworn in. Basically, they get paid for a half-day, according to a Dec. 30 memo issued by Nancy H. Kichak, an OPM associate director.

As for benefits -- "An employee who resigns receives a full day of retirement credit for any partial day of employment," says the Kichak memo. "The employee's Federal Employees Health Benefit coverage continues until the end of the pay period in which the resignation occurred. An additional 31 days of coverage is then continued at no charge."

You can find both memos at http://www.chcoc.gov. Click on "transmittals," then look under the 2008 archives.

EEOC Diversity Reports

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued two reports with recommendations designed to increase the presence of ethnic groups in federal employment. The reports were prepared by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Work Group and the Federal Hispanic Work Group and sent to EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp.

Both groups recommended holding hiring officials or senior leadership accountable for diversity efforts.

"As a former EEO Director, I am aware of the serious concerns of members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community regarding barriers to federal sector employment and advancement," Earp said. "I encourage agencies to carefully review the recommendations contained in this report as they strive to become a model employer for all Americans, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders."

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