Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
How essential are you, really?
Monday - 1/21/2013, 2:00am EST
Until the mid-1980s, federal pay and leave rules stated that "Inauguration Day is a legal public holiday for pay and leave purposes for Federal employees in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area only." And that was that!
Government workers in nearby Baltimore, Richmond or Philadephia didn't get the day off, unless they took annual leave. The rules for civil servants working in the metro area were also tricky and often confusing. In those days, feds were cruelly divided into two classes:
Either you were essential or you were nonessential. No way to sugar-coat it. The good news is that being nonessential had its perks too.
There were elaborate maps, zones, etc., which showed where the Inauguration Day holiday zone began and ended. If you worked inside the zone and you had, what in those days before political correctness was known as a "nonessential job," you got the day off. "Essential" employees, then and now, still had to work. So although it may have hurt to be thought of as nonessential, at least you got the 20th off. The designations have since been changed to "emergency" and "nonemergency" jobs.
When the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday was signed into law in 1983, D.C. area feds got a chance at two almost back-to-back holidays: The King holiday which is the third Monday in January (his birthday is the 15th) and Inauguration Day itself.
Banks will be closed today — for the MLK holiday — but many area stores and restaurants will be open for what they hope is big business. Metro will run a rush-hour schedule most of the day (good luck with that!) and parking will be restricted big time in and around the Capitol and the parade route to the White House.
If you go, bundle up. Supposed to be a cold one. If you stay home and watch it on TV (or listen to Federal News Radio) have fun.
If you are working today, whether in your federal job in D.C. or in Austin or San Francisco, take comfort in the fact that somebody up there really thinks you are essential.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
By Jack Moore
The phantom spots of lights you see when you close your eyes and rub them are called phosphenes. The pressure from rubbing your eyes stimulates your retina and tricks your brain into thinking you're seeing light.
(Source: Today I Found Out)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Patience running thin with White House open government efforts
The White House reaffirmed its commitment to an open and transparent government in President Barack Obama's second term. But government watchdog advocates say their frustration is growing with the slow and inconsistent progress agencies are making to make information more easily available.
Navy living out its 'heyday,' but rough seas ahead
Robert Work, the undersecretary of the Navy, says forget about the Reagan-era aspirations of a 600-ship fleet. Even with a smaller Navy, things are better than ever, he says, even if they're about to get worse due to smaller budgets and the threat of sequestration. "Yes, things might get worse. In fact, they probably will get worse. But this is the heyday of the U.S. Navy. And, if you're not excited, you ain't breathing," he said at the Surface Navy Association's annual symposium this week.