Federal and State Holidays

The federal government and all state governments have passed laws designating certain days each year as public holidays. Although there are several days each year that are recognized by the federal government and all state governments as holidays, each state recognizes additional days each year that may or may not be recognized by other states. Your work schedule might be impacted by official federal and/or state celebrations.

Although the federal government and state governments have established public holidays, it does not necessarily mean that all employers are required to give these days off or pay premium pay for working on the designated holidays. In fact, except for private employers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, no other states or the federal government require private jobs to grant time off for any state-designated holidays or pay extra for working.

On the other hand, most states and the federal government have regulations that require public agencies to grant leave on some or all public holidays or provide extra compensation. In a minority of states, the law is either silent regarding holiday leave or specifically delegates the decision regarding holiday leave to a particular state agency.

Table Of Contents

Federal Holidays

The following is a schedule of days designated by the federal government as public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Inauguration Day (January 20 every fourth year)
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

For federal employees who work Monday through Friday, if one of the days listed above falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the prior Friday. For those who do not work Monday through Friday, when a public holiday falls on a day when they are not scheduled to work, the workday immediately before the non-scheduled workday is a day off. For federal employees who have posts outside the US, have a basic workweek other than Monday through Friday, and are regularly scheduled to work on Monday, they observe the Monday or the first workday of the workweek in which the holiday falls. US Code 5-6103

Our website offers a brief history and additional information about the following federal holidays: Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day.


State Holidays

Each state has designated its own public holidays. Links to pages listing each state’s public holidays and how they impact private and public agencies are listed below:


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