Can my employer force me to take PTO for a federal government closure for a national day of mourning?

I am a contractor employee to the federal government. Tomorrow the federal government has decided to close federal offices as a holiday. My employer informed us today that we are not allowed to work, must take PTO and cannot make time up for that federal holiday. Is this allowed?

Asked on December 4, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

This is allowed so long as such a mandate does not violate the terms of any applicable employment or union agreement. The fact is that, absent some form of actionable discrimination, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Further, since providing PTO is not legally required, to the extent that an employer probides it, has a great deal of discretion over when and why it is used.


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