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?
There are a few quirks in this year’s federal-holiday calendar. Most especially, Independence Day is on a Wednesday, so many workers might spring for the five-day weekend or take off the entire week. Same goes for Christmas, which falls on a Tuesday. Veterans Day is officially Sunday, Nov. 11, but most federal workers will observe the holiday the following day.
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 the Rev. 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? The biggest quirk is Inauguration Day, which most federal employees in the Washington area are given off, every four years, to make way for the revelers in town for the inaugural parade and balls.
The 20th Amendment states that a president’s term ends at “noon on the 20th day of January,” but 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 — 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 U.S. 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.
Monday, 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.