I-Day Rules of Engagement

Thursday - 1/15/2009, 4:00am EST

In addition to worrying about security, traffic, crowd control, tickets, the care and feeding of VIPs and bathroom facilities (or not) for the masses, the upcoming 4-day weekend for most of the Washington area requires lots of thoughts. And rules, and explanations.

Most nonemergency feds will be on on Monday, Jan. 19, for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The next day, Inauguration Day, is a holiday for many (but not all) Washington area feds. The day after, when millions of visitors depart, could also be interesting here.

What to do? Who works and who gets paid? And how much? And why?

This is the Office of Personnel Management's (which is just a couple of blocks from the White House) explanation of how it will handle the back-to-back holidays:

Here are the ground rules the Office Personnel Management has issued to federal agencies:

Federal employees in the immediate Washington, DC area will have two holidays in January 2009; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Monday, January 19), and Inauguration Day (Tuesday, January 20). The purpose of this e-mail is to provide pay and leave instructions and alternative work schedule guidance for the two holidays which fall within the same pay period, as well as information about the effect that post-inaugural activities may have on commuting patterns on Wednesday, January 21.

Pay and Leave Rules for Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Full-time and part-time employees who are regularly scheduled to work on January 19 are entitled to holiday pay equal to the pay they otherwise would receive for a regular work day. Employees who cannot be given time off and must work on January 19 are entitled to holiday premium pay for hours worked within their regularly scheduled basic workweek.

Most Alternative Work Schedules (AWS) approved for use in OPM are flexible AWS work schedules. Accordingly, full-time employees on flexible AWS are entitled to 8 hours of pay on January 19. In addition, employees whose scheduled AWS day off is Monday, January 19, are entitled to a day off in lieu of the holiday. Employees may also request to reschedule their AWS day off in advance of the beginning of the pay period.

Pay and Leave Rules for Inauguration Day in the "Inauguration Day Area"

Full-time and part-time employees who work in the "Inauguration Day Area" - defined in law as the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George's counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax counties (including Fairfax city), or the cities of Alexandria or Falls Church in Virginia - and who are regularly scheduled to work on January 20, are entitled to pay equal to the pay they otherwise would receive for a regular work day.

Employees who cannot be given time off and must work on January 20 are entitled to holiday premium pay for hours worked within their regularly scheduled basic workweek.

Full-time employees on flexible AWS are entitled to 8 hours of pay on January 20. Therefore, during the pay period that begins January 18 (which includes January 19 and 20), full-time employees on AWS must make arrangements to work extra hours during other regularly scheduled workdays during the pay period or take earned annual leave, credit hours, compensatory time off, or compensatory time off for travel in order to fulfill the 80-hour biweekly work requirement. Additionally, unlike other Federal holidays, employees who are not regularly scheduled to work on January 20 are not entitled to a day off in lieu of the holiday.

Note that the Inauguration Day holiday does not apply to an employee who is on official duty away from the official worksite or on travel status away from the Inauguration Day Area, even if his or her official worksite is in the Inauguration Day Area. On the other hand, the Inauguration Day holiday does apply to an employee whose official worksite is outside the Inauguration Day area if s/he is in travel status or otherwise working in the Inauguration Day area on Inauguration day.

Wednesday, January 21 Post-Inaugural Events May Disrupt Commuting Patterns

Federal agencies in the Inauguration Day Area will reopen on schedule on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. However, some street closures and vehicle restricted zones are currently scheduled to continue through 7:00 am on January 2. In addition, clean-up activities and post-inaugural events may cause some temporary street closures, traffic congestion, and disruption in commuting patterns on Wednesday. Affected employees are encouraged to make adjustments to their modes or routes of commuting and allow extra time for travel on Wednesday, January 21. Employees may also wish to request leave, use credit hours, or compensatory time off; or those on flexible AWS may request approval to schedule their day off on Wednesday. Employees with supervisory approval under a written telework agreement may also request to telework, as applicable.

Obama Collectables

If you are collecting souvenirs of the Inauguration, you might want to check out some items available from the U.S. Postal Service. To see them, click here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

From the article, Cheese - it's grosser than you thought, researchers at Newcastle University in England have identified eight previously undiscovered microbes on the French, brie-like cheese called Reblochon. The potential benefits of these new microbes are still unknown.

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com