Feds scheduled to work in the Washington area next week could get a four-day weekend, thanks to the inauguration.
Monday, Jan. 19 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, for which all federal employees receive a day off. And the following day is Inauguration Day, which is expected to nearly paralyze the nationâ€™s capital. Federal employees who usually work in Washington, Fairfax Co., Va., Arlington Co., Va., Alexandria, Va., Falls Church, Va., Montgomery Co., Md., and Prince Georgeâ€™s Co., Md. will get Jan. 20 off, unless they were scheduled to be on official travel or telework in another location that day. In that case, employees will have to report to work.
Employees who will be in the Washington area on official business Jan. 20 will also get the day off, according to a Dec. 20 memo from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM said the day off is meant to allow federal employees to attend the inaugural ceremonies, but also to avoid traffic problems and work disruptions.
The swearing-in of Barack Obama as president is expected to draw between 1.5 and 3 million people to Washington and snarl traffic and public transportation. The Secret Service is also closing bridges over the Potomac River to personal vehicles.
Of course, the massive logistical and security needs of the inauguration will require thousands of feds to work Jan. 20. Those employees will get holiday premium pay, or twice the rate of basic pay.