There are many government employees legally working on legal holidays--armed forces come to mind. emergency personnel and the staff of the White House. I have been required to work holidays when I was a reporter. We try to cut the day short. In some cases there is extra compensation, or a day off at another time. Sometimes it is just part of the job. No it is not a crime for a government employee to work on a legal holiday. A legal holiday means a government office is closed or a government service is not offered. It does not mean that all government services come to an end. I am certain someone is working at the Walter Reed army hospital and a pilot is on standby to fly Air Force 1 if needed.