Government Offices Closed on Christmas Eve: How Contractors Should Prepare

December 18, 2020

President Trump has issued an executive order granting most federal government employees an extra holiday this Christmas Eve. This means that all federal offices will be closed on December 24th, with the exception of agencies involved in national security, defense, or other public needs. Additionally, Federal employees in the Washington, DC area are entitled to an extra holiday for 2021, Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021.  While this is undoubtedly a well-deserved benefit for federal employees, the closing of the government, even for one day, creates potential issues for contractors with employees that work at government facilities.

Contractors that have employees working at government facilities should take the following actions to prepare for the Christmas Eve closure:

  • Determine if your customer’s offices will be closed or remain open as essential to security.
  • If the office will be closed, review your contract to see if unplanned closures are addressed. Some agencies will provide contractor employees with an administrative charge number, similar to how the agency handles its own employees. If your employees are not provided with this, seek guidance from the contracting officer.
  • Additional options to consider include:
    • Employees perform the contract work at another location
    • Employees report to contractor offices and work on other project(s)
    • Employees take leave
    • Employees provided with paid time-off

Unlike government shutdowns due to budget battles, this one has the advantage of predictability. In other words, we know when it will happen and for how long, so there is no excuse for contractors to be caught unaware.

For questions or more information, contact one of our government contracting experts at 301.231.6200.