Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorka had sent his staff an email where he noted how Easter, Passover and Ramadan all fell in April this year and acknowledged how many of his employees would not be able to take time off to celebrate their respective faiths.
“This sacrifice is characteristic of the selfless dedication that all of you demonstrate every single day, as you serve our department and our country with such distinction,” Mayorka wrote. “In recognition of your service, I am privileged to grant all personnel 16 hours of administrative leave that can be used this calendar year or next. Your agency’s or office’s human resources personnel will provide you with implementing guidance.”
Angie Bailey, a former DHS chief human capital officer, noted that it is unusual for agency heads to give their staff administrative leave as a reward for their hard work. “It is common practice to grant a few hours around holidays, but to the best of my knowledge, DHS is the first agency to do so as a recognition for a workforce that works incredible long and hard hours,” Bailey said. “Especially for the workforce that doesn’t get to enjoy the traditional holidays so that we remain safe as a nation”