Rules For Walking The Plank

Thursday - 1/8/2009, 4:00am EST

At 12:01 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, thousands of federal political appointees, with some exceptions, will cease to exist. That is they will no longer be on the federal payroll.

Most of the politicals are based in the Washington area. Inauguration Day will be a holiday for most nonemergency government employees who work in the District of Columbia, or Maryland and Virginia counties and cities that are mostly Inside the Beltway. Feds outside of the DC area, a.k.a the real world, will not get the day off.

Simple enough, right?

Wrong! Nothing in government is simple.

That's because everything involved in running the government, as the Obama administration will soon learn, is a federal case. That's why they call it the federal government! Case in point:

What to do about DC area political appointees who resign on Inauguration Day. Do they get holiday pay and if so, how much?

Also, what to do about politicals outside the Washington area for whom January 20th is not a holiday? And finally, how about political executives who really don't have fixed hours?

OPM to the rescue.

Here are the official OPM rules for non-career appointees who resign effective at High Noon (EST) on that special day.

The following are examples of non-career appointees who resign at noon (EST) on January 20:

DC Area - "A General Schedule employee with a Schedule C appointment or a non-career member of the Senior Executive Service who works in the Inauguration Day area is entitled to a holiday. (The Inauguration Day area is defined as the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George's Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, or Fairfax in Virginia.) The employee is entitled to pay only for the hours he or she would have been scheduled to work (but for the holiday) until noon on January 20."

Real World Area- "A General Schedule employee with a Schedule C appointment or a non-career member of the Senior Executive Service is employed outside of the Inauguration Day area and is not entitled to a holiday. The employee is entitled to pay only for the hours he or she works (or takes leave) until noon on January 20."

Bigger Shots- "An Executive Schedule official (e.g., Secretary, Assistant Secretary) does not have a scheduled tour of duty and does not earn or use leave. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) believes it is appropriate to pay these individuals a half day's pay (i.e., 4 hours) because the 12 hours between midnight and noon on January 20 represent half a day. Normally, Executive Schedule officials receive pay for 8 hours a day."

That wasn't so tough, was it?

Nearly Useless Factoid

The new presidential limo may not look like it, but, CNN reports, it's a Cadillac.

To reach me: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com