Uncle Sam Gives His Workers an Extra Holiday

Federal employees: No need to hustle back to work the day after Christmas. The president just cleared you to stay home.

In an executive order Friday, President George W. Bush declared that executive branch agencies and departments will be closed on Friday, Dec. 26.

That means federal workers will get that day off, with pay. The order does not apply to Postal Service employees. And it allows agency directors to require that their employees still come to work that day if their service is needed for national security, defense or some other essential public need.

The White House says that since 1952, federal workers have been excused from duty eight straight times on Dec. 26 when Christmas fell on a Thursday. The last time was in 2003, when Bush issued the same kind of executive order.

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