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Feds get early dismissal on Wednesday

By Ed O'Keefe

Some federal workers will get to take an early dismissal on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday if it's granted by their agency bosses, the Office of Personnel Management announced this afternoon.

The early pass is appropriate only for nonessential executive branch employees scheduled to work on Wednesday.

In a statement, OPM Director John Berry cited President Obama's Thanksgiving message, which asks Americans to lend a hand to needier family, friends and neighbors during the holiday.

"I ask all Federal employees to reflect on the president’s message and renew their commitment to serving their communities," Berry said.

Despite Wednesday's early dismissal and Thursday's holiday, Friday is a normal work day for federal employees -- unless they take a vacation day.

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 24, 2009; 5:07 PM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Next: Eye Opener: Thanksgiving edition


What's an essential government worker as oposed to non-essential? If they are non-essential do we really need them?

Posted by: POD3 | November 25, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

wouldn't you know that some wit would pose that question, perhaps too ignorant to even look up what's "essential" and what's not, and what it means...

this is, I'm sure, the same type of person who will complain to high heaven if any of their precious govt. services are delayed, etc., by a nanosecond.

... once again proving that "there's a fine line between clever and stupid" (Spinal Tap).

Posted by: fendertweed | November 25, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Technically, essential employees are those needed to ensure that buildings, sensitive information, personnel, etc. are safe and protected. So, oddly enough, essential employees are often those who have nothing to do with an agency's actual work; e.g., security guards, firefighters, etc. Also included are personnel required to keep mainframe computer systems operating and secure. Some agencies do expand the definition due to political pressure; e.g., employees who provide direct public service (like those in local Social Security offices) might not meet the strict definition of "essential," but because of the public outcry that would come about if the offices closed, they get classified as "essential."

Posted by: yostwl1 | November 25, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

It is people like pod3 who are looking for a blow up Palin doll that winks and other things.

Posted by: DIMMY | November 25, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Not mentioned in the item is the fact that this has been common practice for many years. Right or wrong, it did not start with this administration. It was routine even through various Republican administrations.

Posted by: Sutter | November 25, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Is this really news?

I understand that some shop-keepers have adjusted their hours of operation in response to the holiday as well.

Someone even mentioned to me that schools may have adjusted their class schedules to accommodate the holiday too.

POD3 - perhaps you should use your time off to contemplate what constitutes an essential human being.

Posted by: jdm21 | November 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I've been with the Federal Government for 35+ years and this is the norm not just Thanksgiving but for Christmas eve and sometimes New Yeas eve as well. I always gone to work on those days because of this.

Posted by: Chrisjj1948 | November 28, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

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