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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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. New Link Destination
morrow 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


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

Answered 3 years 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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