Federal employees in the D.C. area that were scheduled to work on Inauguration Day (Jan. 20) will get the day off, according to a memo from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Despite much of Inauguration Day likely being virtual due to the pandemic and many Federal employees teleworking for the same reason, OPM said employees regularly scheduled to will instead receive a holiday. The guidance only applies to employees who work in the “Inauguration Day area,” which is defined as the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

Despite the majority of Federal employees teleworking, OPM said that Federal statute establishes Inauguration Day as a holiday for Federal employees in the District and surrounding areas and, “in accordance with this provision of law, Federal employees will be granted this extra day off if they meet conditions outlined in this memorandum.”

Due to increased telework, OPM has modified the typical rules for who would receive the paid holiday to include employees where the following conditions are met:

  • “The employee’s official worksite is located in the Inauguration Day area;
  • But for the COVID-19 national emergency, the employee would be scheduled to work at the official worksite at least 2 days per biweekly pay period; and
  • The employee’s telework location on January 20 is one from which the employee regularly commuted to the employee’s official worksite prior to the COVID-19 emergency or is within a realistic commuting distance from the official worksite (generally no more than 2.5 hours commuting time or 125 miles in distance).
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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.