Some Feds Getting 3 Hours Early Dismissal Today!?!

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I’m hearing some Federal agencies have told their employees they’re getting three hours early dismissal today! Anyone else hear this/been told? If so which agency(ies)?

88 Comment

  • accendo

    SMH if true.

    • This is not true. There are many reasons and quirks, which depend on what sort of “federal emplyee” one is.

      1. For Federal Civilian Employees:
      1A. 1 hour or more: only OPM can dismiss Federal civilian employees early – meaning 1 hour or more. This can be for the entire area (say, heavy snow) or for specific agencies (onces near tonight’s Concert for Valor).
      1B. Less than 1 hour: senior agency leaders (SES only?) can let their employees go up to 59 minutes early. That decision is done agency-by-agency or even division-by-division.
      1C. Anything else – more than an hour, or by a junior manager, is illegal and subject to the Waste, Fraud & Abuse laws.

      2. For Military Personnel (i.e., those in uniform):
      The Commanding Officer can let his/her military personnel loose whenever she/he chooses. It’s not unheard of for a CO to let the group go 4 hours early, or at noon.

      3. For Contractors:
      The Federal government (almost?) never lets contractors extra time off without pay, be it bad weather or holiday or special event. (I say “almost” only because I’m not 100% certain of all the quirks.) Contractors have up to three choices, depending on the circumstances: stay, make up the hours, or take personal leave. Their contracting company can choose to pay the contractors, but the Federal government doesn’t pay the contracting company.

      • Anon from above here:

        I should have clarified that if the “some Feds” in question worked hear the Concert for Valor, then I wouldn’t be surprised if OPM let them out early for congestion and access reasons.

      • Sounds like whoever audits government Waste, Fraud & Abuse ought to read through this thread.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Congress was one of them

    • ah

      They’re got the entire day off. After taking the last 45 off as well.

      • I work in the Senate and am at work today. And have been the last 45 days, except weekends. Just because Congress isn’t in session doesn’t mean we aren’t working. Our bosses typically work longer hours when we’re not in session and they are back at home. So it would be nice if you’d stop saying we are “off.”

        • Yes, amen. I’m a House staffer and I’ve been here every day as well. And working some hours on weekends as needed. Work in Congress doesn’t begin and end when Congress is in session. Staffers are here every day and on call 24/7.

      • I work in the House and everyone in my office will be at work today and tomorrow. I get paid less than the janitors and security guards that also work here and will have tomorrow off.
        So I would appreciate you stop acting like it’s a big party over here in Congress.

        • This is definitely true. However, you also chose to work there. It is not east to get a job as a staffer, so lets not pretend it was your only option. I’m sure if you wanted a higher paying job you could get one.

        • I doubt security guards will have tomorrow off if you are going to be working. Just saying…

      • To be fair, no one mentioned congressional staff. They were referring to the members of Congress.

        • No, they said “congress.” And most people lump Congressional staff in with that. When I worked on the hill, I can’t tell you how many times callers or protesters called me a leech and a worthless lump and a drain on the American people. It’s a sore spot, especially when you have people who choose to work there at a lower salary with terrible hours because they feel like they’re working toward things that will improve life for their country as a whole.

        • Seriously, touchy touchy! Reading that comment I think of CONGRESS, not STAFFERS.

        • Seriously, as a former staffer I know that it can be easy for staff to conflate themselves with the Members. A staffer, though, should know better than anyone that the perks and privileges for Members are a little different than those for staff.

  • ah

    Haven’t heard it, but could it be related to the Concert for Valor and the need to set up for that, plus the hassle it will cause downtown?

    Ordinarily early dismissal before holidays happens:
    1) On Christmas Eve
    2) On the day before Thanksgiving
    3) Some long weekends, but not every one (maybe 1 or 2 a year, including July 4)

  • I am at VA and we haven’t not heard anything yet. But now I’m going to get my hopes up, and be disappointed at 3pm when I’m still here.

  • Some organizations with a large number of military employees will let those that are active duty leave early before federal holidays, especially Veteran’s Day. They can do that because, as military members, they’re technically “always on duty” so they could be called back in if need be. Civilian employees *might* get 59 minutes early dismissal.

    • Oh, I forgot to add that this is probably more of a program by program decision, not even an agency by agency or entire executive branch decision.

    • Agree. As an active duty member, we got off at noon quite regularly prior to holidays.

      As a fed, i can’t remember getting more than 60min ever.

  • I’m not holding my breathe for this one- I don’t remember early release for Veterans day before.

  • gotryit

    Zero for mine – I’d be surprised if they did. We already get the whole day off tomorrow…

  • In my 15 years in gov’t, i don’t recall ever seeing more than a 1-hr early dismissal. I wouldn’t say it never happened (that I got more than 1hr), but I don’t recall it, and it’s certainly not the norm.

    however, the concert for those folks nearby could certainly be part of this.

    • USDA regularly gives 2-3 hours, but I haven’t heard anything today. Once, the agency I worked for, known for its ridiculous systems for getting things cleared and communicated to staff, sent us an email at 4:57p that said we could leave early. Thanks, Government.

  • Allison

    Blegh, I had to take a whole day’s worth of sick leave today, so this won’t benefit me. 🙁

  • USDA has early dismissal.

    • Good to know the people responsible for our food safety get the day off! Oh, wait.

      • Most USDA agencies have nothing to do with food safety. The only one that does is FSIS (the Food Safety and Inspection Service). And if I remember correctly, FSIS is responsible only for meat and pretty much everything else is the responsibility of the FDA.

    • Did you get officially notified? How did you find out? –Signed, USDA-er with Her Hopes up.

      • I also work for the USDA and received an email on Friday saying USDA employees who can be spared from their usual responsibilities and are at work on Monday may be excused for the last three hours of their normally scheduled workday. It came from the Assistant Secretary for Administration.

      • Damn….sorry to hear that FSIS here and the email actually came Friday

  • I work at a fed agency. Never heard of a three hour dismissal…ever. We may get the 59 minute rule, but that’s entirely up to agency leadership.

  • I am a contractor at VA and have heard nothing….that being said not many contractors emailing and not much from the gov managers, but i am pretty low on the totem pole. No 3 hour early dismissal here….but i am working from home anyways so…i am in sweat pants chilling by the fireplace anyways.

  • It’s a fairly common practice for federal agencies to dismiss three hours early the day before a federal holiday work permitting, not just before Veteran’s Day.

    • epric002

      where is exactly is this “fairly common practice”???

      • It is very common in my Navy program. Our active duty staff is being dismissed early at their boss’ discretion. In my specific group in my specific section they happen to be leaving at noon. Also at their boss’ discretion, civilian employees are allowed 59 minutes early dismissal.

        I would venture that it is fairly common practice in most of the DoD, just judging by Pentagon hallways on an afternoon before a holiday, but I can’t speak to any other agencies.

        • epric002

          i’m a contractor in OSD (so i never get an early dismissal) but i have also never seen an early dismissal for feds of more than 59 minutes. i am doubtful that “federal agencies” are commonly dismissing their fed employees 3 hours early before holidays. i’m sure there are programs/offices here and there that do it, but i have never encountered it/heard of it from friends who work in different agencies.

      • Our clients sometimes get early dismissal for a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it’s always just 59 minutes. I thought there was some rule they couldn’t get dismissed an hour or more early.

      • DOT, Dept. of Education, and a number of others.

  • I Dont Get It

    I’m quite sure we won’t be dismissed early here since tomorrow is no longer a holiday (I’m not a Fed).

    • I keep forgetting tomorrow is a holiday for the Feds and was confused when I saw this headline (though I still don’t understand the reasoning behind the early dismissal).

  • Nothing at EPA.

    • agreed. early dismissal here usually only happens before major holidays. It may be a 3 hours in those cases, but it take so long to trickle down to our office it usually ends up being just an hour.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I keep telling my fed coworkers that they need to talk to their bosses and become one of those places that gets released early before every holiday. Hasn’t happened yet.

  • Quotia Zelda

    At my agency, we get early dismissal (usually 2 pm) before some federal holidays, but not all. Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4, Memorial Day – yes. The more random ones like Columbus Day – usually not (though we did this year). No early dismissal announced for today, and it usually gets announced a couple of days in advance, so I’m going to count on working the whole day.
    This is one of those things that varies a lot from agency to agency (and probably within the agency at larger places) – it’s at the discretion of leadership to give.

  • At the Department of Commerce, we’ve generally gotten a 2 hour early dismissal from the Secretary for New Years, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (this year was first we didn’t get one for Memorial Day). These are usually announced early in the day via e-mail.

  • No early dismissal at Social Security Administration.

  • I also heard that there is a pool on the roof.

  • No early dismissal at Dept. of Energy.

  • Some agencies enact the 59 minute rule for just active military and veterans the day before Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

    • not sure how you could let veterans go early and not other civilians. That’s pretty dick.

      • You think that giving a small perq to members of the military for holidays honoring military service is a “dick” move?

      • You cannot be serious.

        • It’s a fair complaint – though perhaps could have been phrased better. Why are you giving some employees the time off but not others? It seems like a policy designed to exacerbate existing separations/tensions between active duty military and civilians.

  • JRPenguin

    I’m at a small independent agency and we often get 2 hours (sometimes up to 4 but that’s rare) before holidays. Don’t remember ever getting an early dismissal before Veteran’s Day, and we definitely haven’t heard about getting 3 hours off today.

  • No early dismissal at the federal courthouse.

  • It seems like the over-commercialization of Veteran’s Day causes it to come earlier and earlier each year. Pretty sure I saw an NFCU commercial two months ago. Friendly alert. Sigh…

  • I get a 59.
    I work with military who are either never here for long weekends or have very liberal “leave” policies during the holidays. Our office is frequently closed on days like the day after thanksgiving (so we must take leave). But we only get a 59 even though every office is closed.

    that’s life! My husband rarely gets such treatment at his office at DHS.

    But today is the Marine Corps birthday, so I chalk my 59 up to that more than anything. Because today isn’t a holiday. Tomorrow is.

  • justinbc

    Nothing like a few trivial hours to make some people hate each other for their brief moment of happiness.

    • True dat. For folks who don’t get out early, I get the envy, but I certainly don’t begrudge those that do. There’s something gleeful about unexpectedly getting a free afternoon for lunch, a movie, whatever. Enjoy!

      • +1. I doubt I’m going to get any time off (and it sounds like there are some departments/agencies out there that are more generous than mine), but it’s not a big deal.

    • 3 hours is almost half a day. That’s pretty significant! I’d get so much personal stuff done if I could just get half a day off.

  • As of 1:30pm haven’t heard of any bureau’s at State getting time off. It does vary bureau by bureau though (and sometimes office by office).

  • National Park Service got 3 hours off early

  • Yes it was true, the department of Energy was one that gave 3 hrs of Admin leave.

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