The President has declared Tuesday, January 2, 2007 as a National Day of Mourning as a mark of respect for former President Gerald R. Ford. What that means to us as a federal health care facility is that while we can reduce our operations to essential business only, we must ensure that patient care activities are not be impacted. While many employees are thrilled to have an extra day on their holiday weekend or receive double time for the day if they are working, others are not. Why? The timing.
We are at the end of the annual leave year and most federal employees can maintain a balance of 240 hours of annual leave on the books from year to year. Many of the annual leave days taken during the holidays are "use or lose" leave days. With the President's declaration, employees scheduled to take annual leave on January 2, 2007, will not be charged annual leave for that day. So, if an employee has scheduled use or lose annual leave for January 2, 2007 and is unable to reschedule that leave for use before January 6, 2007, the leave will be forfeited. Needless to say, a few employees are upset about "losing" 8 hours of annual leave. When asked by employees to explain the logic of that, I can only explain the "logic of the law." Translated, this is way beyond my control.
While part of me wants to say, "Sorry Gerald R. Ford, the thirty-eighth President of the United States could not pass on a day convenient to you, sorry you waited until the absolute last day possible to use your annual leave, sorry you don't want to donate it to another employee in need, sorry you have nothing better to worry about," I'll just smile as I leave for my 4-day weekend with the other non-essentials and think, those funny humans.
Happy New Year!