Social Security workers getting day off the Friday after Thanksgiving

By Ed O'Keefe Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 25, 2010; 5:32 PM

It's an aggravating fact of life for many federal workers: The day after Thanksgiving isn't officially a holiday, so federal workers either use a vacation day or go to work.

But top bosses at the Social Security Administration are giving employees a four-day Thanksgiving weekend as a thank you for their hard work this year.

The move means they will enjoy Friday, Nov. 26, as an additional holiday "to give you an extra day of rest and reflection with family and friends," Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue wrote in a memo to workers this month.

"We have faced unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public," Astrue said. "While many government agencies understandably have moved backward in this climate, you have moved forward."

He cited reduced backlogs and wait times at field offices and when customers phone the agency's call centers.

The agency employs more than 64,000 workers at about 1,300 field offices nationwide.

No word yet whether other agencies plan to give federal workers a similar additional day off around Thanksgiving or another part of the holiday season.

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