The holidays are a good time to be a government employee for anyone looking for paid days off.
With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Fridays this year, many government employees are working just three of five weekdays in each of the last two weeks of the year.
State law says Dec. 24, 25 and 26 are legal holidays, as is New Year’s Day. Because Dec. 26 was Saturday, that rolled over to Dec. 28 as a day off.
State employees annually get 13 paid holidays, which are established by the Legislature.
Next year, with Christmas on a Sunday, state employees are expected to get another five-day holiday, Dec. 23 to Dec. 27.
Federal employees were off Dec. 25 and will be off Jan. 1. Federal employees get 10 paid holidays per year and an additional day during presidential inauguration years.
“We usually go back to work the day after Christmas, so it was really nice having it on Friday this year,” said Sally Johnson of Goose Creek, who works in a private medical office. “That gave us the weekend to shop and recover. But I’m still jealous of my sister, who works for Berkeley County, because she got Monday off, too.”
Because state offices are closed and much of their business deals with state offices, local governments figure they might as well give their employees the days off too, officials have said. Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston county employees were also off Dec. 24 through 28 and will be closed Jan. 1.
At the municipal level, Charleston, Summerville and Hanahan were closed three days, but North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek were open for business Monday.
“Our police and fire departments operate 24-7 and our sanitation crews must keep their regular schedules,” said Mount Pleasant Town Administrator Eric DeMoura. “Other staff is busy working on capital projects and infrastructure projects, so there is lots to do.”