Can You Help Explainer?

Can You Help Explainer?

Can You Help Explainer?

Answers to your questions about the news.
March 15 2001 5:59 PM

Can You Help Explainer?

Several weeks ago, reader Joseph Greenberg posed some good questions: Since they are federal employees, how many hours are the president, vice president, and members of the Cabinet supposed to work? How much vacation do they get, or sick leave? And who keeps track of such things?

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Explainer has been trying in vain to pry this information loose from the federal government. The Office of Personal Management, which oversees federal employment, referred her to the White House press office. The White House press office, while agreeing these are good questions, has been unable to answer them with Explainer-like precision. In fairness the nice press officer Explainer has been driving crazy says preliminary investigation on his part has turned up the information that some federal officers, like the president, are considered to be 24-hour-a-day employees (for commentary on this assertion, please see Saturday Night Live), so those people don't accrue sick time, or vacation, or work a defined set of hours. But he was not able to say who else was included on this list or how and when this personnel decision was made.

Can Slate readers help? Can any of you cite the regulations that allow a president to, for instance, set his own hours or that give unlimited sick leave to, for example, a vice president? Please send your information to explainer@slate.com.