Washington DC., USA, September 27, 1991 President George H.W. Bush gives televised speech from the Oval Office on Nuclear Arms Reduction.

The national day of mourning that President Trump has declared for Wednesday in memory of President George H.W. Bush means that federal agencies will be closed, with impacts on employees largely the same as when agencies are closed for weather emergencies.

The order excuses “all federal employees from duty for the scheduled workday on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, except those who, in the judgment of the head of the agency, cannot be excused for reasons of national security, defense, or other essential public business,” according to OPM guidance.


“For pay and leave purposes, this period of time will be treated as falling within the scope of statutes and Executive orders governing holidays. Most employees who are excused from duty as a result of the President’s executive order will receive the basic pay they would have received if no executive order had been issued. An employee who was previously scheduled to take annual leave on December 5, 2018, will not be charged annual leave (or any other form of paid leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours) for that day,” it says.

Employees who were not scheduled to work are entitled to an “in lieu of” day off, while those who remain on the job are entitled to holiday premium pay in addition to their salary, effectively doubling their pay for the day.

Part-time employees will be paid for hours they would otherwise were scheduled to work or for which they had scheduled paid time off. Intermittent employees are not eligible because they do not have regularly scheduled hours.