Back-To-Back Holidays???

If federal offices still had water coolers, the number one work-related topic around them would likely be one of four things:

  1. The impact of the Obama administration on government agencies.
  2. What’s next for your sagging Thrift Savings Plan account?
  3. Can you believe you-know-who is dating you-know-who?
  4. Will the president give feds a bonus holiday on Friday, Dec. 26th?

Judging from our e-mails, and some snooping in selected agencies, I would have to go with number four. Will feds get the day off after Christmas? According to the internet grapevine, it has already been approved.

Thousands of feds have received a news story from a friend which says that the bonus holiday is a done deal. Unfortunately, the news story they cite was written in 2003. This, for the record, is 2008.

Other feds have received, and sent to us, the newsletter of a federal union local in Detroit. It “informs” (incorrectly) members that the bonus holiday has been approved and how it will work. Whether it is a fake, or a mistake, the newsletter is wrong. The bonus holiday, if it comes to pass, has not been cleared or announced by the White House.


When, if, it happens you will get it through official channels at your agency, or we hope you will read it here first.

So what are the odds? Pretty good.

Most federal, but not postal, workers got Monday, Dec. 24th off last year. The executive order wasn’t issued until December 7th.

What’s the presidential track record of giving feds a bonus holiday when Christmas is on a Thursday? Again, pretty good. For the facts, click here.

What if the president does give feds an extra day off and you have already put in for annual leave for the 24th? Well, it depends on how the EO is written. But in the past people who had previously scheduled annual leave on the 24th have not been charged for it.

If feds don’t get a bonus holiday on the 26th they won’t be alone. Postal workers, emergency workers and most people in the private sector won’t get time off, unless they take it. That said, giving feds the day after Christmas off would be a nice gesture. And an early announcement would also give people who don’t have or won’t use an extra day of leave the option to take a four day holiday. Maybe go some where and spend money. Boost the economy.

So hang in there. We will know sooner or later. Don’t pass on bogus rumors from unknown sources and if the Friday after Christmas is declared as a bonus holiday DO NOT ask if the Friday after New Years’ Day will also be a holiday. That’s not going to happen.

Health Insurance QQ & A

Walton Francis, author of CHECKBOOK’s Guide To Federal Health Plans is the guest on tomorrow’s Your Turn radio show. It’s at 10 am EST. In the Washington area you can listen at AM 1500. Or you can listen anywhere on your computer at

If you’ve got questions for Francis call in on Wednesday, or email them to me:

If you can’t listen at work the show will be archived so you can listen anytime. He was also our guest on Nov. 12, and Nov. 19. Those shows have also been archived. Check them out. And listen tomorrow if you can, and call in if you like.

Nearly Useless Factoid

A “Butterball” turkey is more than just a trademark. It’s not injected with butter. According to MentalFloss, “Butterball turkeys have all-white feathers (birds with colored feathers often have dark spots on their meat, which is not aesthetically pleasing) and have extra-broad breasts.” Please pass the gravy!

To reach me: