Holidays with paid time off in the United States

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The 1979 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Public holidays in the United States
Flag of the United States.svg
Observed byFederal government
State governments
Local governments
Private and public sector employers
TypeNational

In the United States there are a number of observed holidays where employees receive paid time off. The labor force in the United States comprises about 62% (as of 2014) of the general population.[1] In the United States, 97% of the private sector businesses determine what days this sector of the population gets paid time off, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management. The following holidays are observed by the majority of US businesses with paid time off: New Year's Day, New Year's Eve,[2] Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after known as Black Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas. There are also numerous holidays on the state and local level that are observed to varying degrees.

Holiday listing as paid time off[edit]

This list of holidays is based on the official list of federal holidays by year from the US Government. The holidays however are at the discretion of employers whose statistics are measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another list from the Society for Human Resource Management shows actual percentages of employers offering paid time off for each holiday. The term "major holiday" (bolded) coincides for those holidays that 90% or more of employers offered paid time off.[3] In 2020, Nike became the first company to mark Juneteenth as a paid holiday.[4]

Date *Official name Percentage of Americans celebrating **Percentage of businesses offering paid time off[5] Remarks
January 1 (fixed) New Year's Day[6] 72%[7] 96% Celebrates beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. Festivities include counting down to 12:00 midnight on the preceding night, New Year's Eve, often with fireworks display and party. The ball drop at Times Square in New York City has become a national New Year's festivity. Traditional end of Christmas and holiday season.[8]
January 15–21 (floating Monday) Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. 26%[9] 34–38% Honors Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, who was actually born on January 15, 1929; combined with other holidays in several states. Some cities and municipalities hold parades; and more recently, the 1994 King Holiday and Service Act, which was passed to encourage Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service, has gained in popularity (sometimes referred to as a National Day of Service).
January 20 or 21 Inauguration Day N/A 0% Celebrates the United States presidential inauguration, every 4 years. While this is a federal holiday, only federal employees in the Washington, DC area are entitled to a day off. Only Washington, DC observes this day besides the federal government.[10]
February 15–21 (floating Monday) Washington's Birthday 52%[11] 34–35% Washington's Birthday was first declared a federal holiday by an 1879 act of Congress. The Uniform Holidays Act, 1968, shifted the date of the commemoration of Washington's Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February (between February 15 and 21, meaning the observed holiday never falls on Washington's actual birthday). Because of this, combined with the fact that President Lincoln's birthday falls on February 12, many people now refer to this holiday as "Presidents' Day" and consider it a day honoring all American presidents. However, neither the Uniform Holidays Act nor any subsequent law changed the name of the holiday from Washington's Birthday to Presidents' Day.[12]
May 25–31 (floating Monday) Memorial Day 21%[13] 95% Honors the nation's war dead from the Civil War onwards; marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season (traditionally May 30, shifted by the Uniform Holidays Act 1968).
June 19 (fixed) Juneteenth 0-12%[14][15] 17[16]-18%[17] Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.
July 4 (fixed) Independence Day 79% 97% Celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from British rule, also called the Fourth of July or simply "The Fourth". Fireworks celebration are held in many cities throughout the nation. Boston, Massachusetts is famous for its "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" with music and fireworks
September 1–7 (floating Monday) Labor Day 53%[citation needed] 95% Celebrates the achievements of workers and the labor movement; marks the unofficial end of the summer season.
October 8–14 (floating Monday) Columbus Day 8%[18] 13–16% Honors Christopher Columbus, the first European to land in mainland Americas after Leif Erikson. In a growing number of locations this day is observed as Indigenous Peoples' Day, in honor of the Native Americans who lived in the Americas long before Columbus "discovered" the area.
November 11 (fixed) Veterans Day 43%[19] 16–21% Honors all veterans of the United States armed forces. It is observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918 (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour (GMT +1) of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect).
November 22–28 (floating Thursday) Thanksgiving Day 87%[20] 97% Traditionally celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest. Traditionally includes the sharing of a turkey dinner.
December 25 (fixed) Christmas 90–95%[21][22] 94% The most widely celebrated holiday of the Christian year, Christmas is observed as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

School holidays[edit]

An academic year typically spans from early fall to early summer, with two or three months of summer vacation marking the end of the year. K-12 public schools generally observe local, state, and federal holidays, plus additional days off around Thanksgiving, the period from before Christmas until after New Year's Day, a spring break (usually a week in April) and sometimes a winter break (a week in February or March). Two or three days per year are sometimes devoted to professional development for teachers and students have the day off.

Most colleges and universities divide the school year into two semesters. The fall semester often begins the day after Labor Day in early September and runs until mid-December. The spring semester typically starts in the middle or end of January and runs until May. Winter and summer classes might be offered in January and May–August. Major federal, state, and local holidays are often observed, including the day after and usually before Thanksgiving. Spring break is usually a week in March or early April, and in elementary and secondary school and college party culture traditionally involves a warm-weather trip.

Unscheduled weather-related cancellations and emergency cancellations can also affect school calendars.

When taking summer school or summer camp schedules into account, the Independence Day holiday on July 4 is usually a scheduled holiday observance for which the summer program closes.

Government sector holidays: federal, state, and local government[edit]

The federal government sector labor force consisted of about 2,729,000 (as of 2014) of the total labor force of 150,539,900, which is about 2% of the total labor force or about 1% of the total population. In addition, state and local governments consist of another 19,134,000 bringing the total government sector employees to about 15% of the total labor force.[24] This sector of the population is entitled to paid time off designated as federal holidays by Congress in Title V of the United States Code (5 U.S.C. § 6103). Both federal and state government employees generally observe the same federal holidays.

Federally regulated agencies: banks and financial institutions[edit]

US banks generally observe the federal holidays because of their reliance on the U.S. Federal Reserve for certain activities such as wire transfers and ACH transactions.[25] For example, JP Morgan Chase observes all federal holidays except Columbus Day,[26] while U.S. Bank observes all of them.[27]

The New York Stock Exchange also closely follows the federal holidays except for Columbus Day. However, the agency also has extra holidays on the day before Independence Day and Good Friday.

Legal holidays by states and political divisions of the United States [edit]

In general, most state governments observe the same holidays that the federal government observes. However, while that is true for most states, every state includes and omits holidays to fit the culture relevant to its population. "All federal holidays" in state observations below excludes Inauguration Day, which is only observed by Washington, DC, and federal employees in that area.

Holiday Number of states observed with government offices closed Remarks
New Year's Day
Memorial Day
Juneteenth
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
50 These holidays are unanimously observed by the state governments of all 50 states.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day 45 Signed into law in 1983, but not observed by all states until 2000, with Utah officially observing as a paid state holiday. Five states observe this day using alternate name "Civil Rights Day" or holiday is combined to also honor Robert E. Lee.
Washington's Birthday (Presidents' Day) 38[28] Alternatively observed separately as George Washington's or Lincoln's Birthday.
Columbus Day 23[29] Fewer than half the states recognize Columbus Day.
Day after Thanksgiving 18[30] Observed by Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Good Friday 12[30] Observed by Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee.
Christmas Eve 12 Observed by Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Election Day 9 Observed by Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island
Confederate Memorial Day 7 Observed by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas[note 1]
Day after Christmas 6[30][32] Observed by Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and the US Virgin Islands.
Lincoln's Birthday 5[30] Observed by Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York
New Year's Eve 4 Observed by Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Alabama[edit]

[33]

Confederate Memorial Day observance in Alabama
Baldwin County, Alabama[edit]
  • All Alabama state holidays
  • February 3 – March 9 (floating Tuesday using Computus)  – Mardi Gras
Mobile County, Alabama[edit]
  • All Alabama state holidays
  • February 3 – March 9 (floating Tuesday using Computus)  – Mardi Gras
Perry County, Alabama[edit]

[36]

  • All Alabama state holidays
  • November 8–14 (floating Monday) – Barack Obama Day

Alaska[edit]

[37]

American Samoa[edit]

[39]

Arizona[edit]

[40]

Arkansas[edit]

[42]

California[edit]

[44]

César Chávez Day poster
California education holidays[edit]

[46]

  • All California state holidays (schools closed)
  • January 23 – Ed Roberts Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • January 30 – Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • February 6 – Ronald Reagan Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • February 12 – Lincoln's Birthday (schools closed) (some school districts observe the holiday on the second Monday in February)
  • February 15 – Susan B. Anthony Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • March 5 – death of Crispus Attucks (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • March 7 – birthday of Luther Burbank / Arbor Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • March 30 – Vietnamese Veterans Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • April 6 – California Poppy Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • April 21 – John Muir Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • May 8–14 (floating Wednesday) – Day of the Teacher (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • May 22 – Harvey Milk Day (schools open, but with related instructions)
  • September 22–28 (floating Monday) – Native American Day (schools closed)
  • October 25 – Larry Itliong Day (schools open, but with related instructions)

Lincoln's Birthday (February 12) was removed from California's education holiday calendar in 2009.[47]

Berkeley, California[edit]

[48]

San Francisco, California[edit]

[49]

  • All California holidays except Cesar Chavez Day
  • October 8–14 (floating Monday) – Columbus Day (added because the holiday was omitted by the California state government)
West Hollywood, California[edit]

[50]

Colorado[edit]

[51]

Connecticut[edit]

[53]

Delaware[edit]

[55]

District of Columbia[edit]

[57]

Florida[edit]

[59] Florida's laws separately defines "paid holidays" versus "legal holidays", which does not have any obligation to include as "paid holidays".

As of 2015, multiple states observe Susan B. Anthony Day. Florida is the only state that actually observes the day as a legal holiday, though state offices remain open. Currently, no federal holiday honors a woman in the United States.
Florida legal holidays[edit]

[61] Florida's laws separate the definitions between paid versus legal holidays. The following list shows only the legal holidays that were not defined as "paid holidays":

Florida circuit courts[edit]

[note 2]

  • All Florida state holidays
  • February 15–21 (floating Monday) – Presidents' Day (reincluded because the Florida state government omits this holiday)
  • March 20 – April 23 (floating Friday using Computus) – Good Friday
  • September 5 – October 5 (floating date) – Rosh Hashannah
  • September 14 – October 14 (floating date) – Yom Kippur
Miami-Dade, Florida[edit]

[62]

  • All Florida state holidays
  • February 15–21 (floating Monday) – Presidents' Day (reincluded because the Florida state government excludes this date)
  • October 8–14 (floating Monday) – Columbus Day (reincluded because the Florida state government excludes this date)

Georgia[edit]

[63]

Guam[edit]

[66]

Hawaii[edit]

[67]

Idaho[edit]

[69]

Illinois[edit]

[72]

Illinois is the first state to declare Malcolm X Day a holiday only in 2015. Today, the holiday is only official in Berkeley, California since 1979 with city offices closed.
Chicago, Illinois[edit]

[74]

  • All Illinois state holidays except the Day after Thanksgiving
  • March 1–7 (floating Monday) – Pulaski Day

Indiana[edit]

[75]

Iowa[edit]

[77]

Kansas[edit]

[79]

Kentucky[edit]

[82]

Louisiana[edit]

[84]

Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans.
Louisiana courts[edit]

[86]

Baton Rouge, Louisiana[edit]
  • All Louisiana state holidays
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day (every four years)

Maine[edit]

[87]

Maryland[edit]

[88]

Massachusetts[edit]

[89]

Suffolk County, Massachusetts[edit]

Michigan[edit]

[90]

  • All federal holidays except Columbus Day
  • November 2–8 (floating Tuesday) – General Election Day (even numbered years only)
  • November 23–29 (floating Friday) – Day after Thanksgiving
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve (if Christmas Eve falls on Sunday as it does in 2023, December 22 is the observed holiday)
  • December 31 – New Year's Eve (if New Year's Eve falls on Sunday as it does in 2023, December 29 is the observed holiday)

Minnesota[edit]

[91]

Mississippi[edit]

[92]

Missouri[edit]

[94]

Montana[edit]

[95]

Nebraska[edit]

[96]

Arbor Day tree planting

Nevada[edit]

[97]

New Hampshire[edit]

[98]

New Hampshire is one of a few states that does not honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its official national federal name.

New Jersey[edit]

[100]

  • All federal holidays
  • March 20 – April 23 (floating Friday using Computus) – Good Friday
  • November 2–8 (floating Tuesday) – Election Day
    • Friday following 4th Thursday in November - Day After Thanksgiving (this used to be a state holiday for all branches of government; it is sometimes still proclaimed as a holiday for the Judicial branch of government, usually not until November.)[101]

New Mexico[edit]

[102]

New York[edit]

[103]

New York City Public Schools[edit]

[104]

North Carolina[edit]

[107]

North Dakota[edit]

[109]

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

[110]

  • All federal holidays
  • March 24 – Commonwealth Covenant Day
  • March 20 – April 23 (floating Friday using Computus) – Good Friday
  • November 4 – Citizenship Day
  • December 9 – Constitution Day

Ohio[edit]

[111]

Sandusky, Ohio[edit]

Oklahoma[edit]

[114]

Oregon[edit]

[115]

Pennsylvania[edit]

[116]

Flag Day is observed in Pennsylvania.[118]

Puerto Rico[edit]

[119]

Rhode Island[edit]

[120]

South Carolina[edit]

[121]

South Dakota[edit]

[122]

Tennessee[edit]

[123]

Texas[edit]

[124]

Texas has three types of state holidays: those on which all state offices are closed, and "partial staffing" and "optional" holidays on which offices are open but with reduced staffing.

The following days are full holidays where all state offices are closed:

Texas partial staffing holidays[edit]

Texas law designates that the state businesses be "partially staffed" on the following holidays. These holidays can be replaced with an optional holiday per the state employee's choice, but will give up one of these in lieu of the optional holiday.

Texas optional holidays[edit]

Texas law allows a state employee to replace a partial staffing holiday with one of the following holidays. On these holidays, the state agency is generally required to stay open with minimum staff.

  • March 20 – April 23 (floating Friday using Computus) – Good Friday
  • March 31 – Cesar Chavez Day (added in section 662.013, was not one of the original "optional holidays" declared in 1999)
  • September 5 – October 5 (floating date) – Rosh Hashanah
  • September 14 – October 14 (floating date) – Yom Kippur

U.S. Virgin Islands[edit]

[125]

Utah[edit]

[126]

Vermont[edit]

[127]

Virginia[edit]

[128]

  • All federal holidays
  • February 15–21 (floating Monday) – The federal holiday Washington's Birthday is recognized as "George Washington Day".
  • October 8–14 (Floating Monday) – The federal holiday Columbus Day is recognized as "Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day", which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War.
  • November 2–8 (floating Tuesday) – Election Day[129]
  • November 23–29 (floating Friday) – Day after Thanksgiving

Wake Island[edit]

Washington[edit]

[132]

West Virginia[edit]

[133]

Wisconsin[edit]

[134]

Wisconsin Public School Observance Days[edit]

[135] Wisconsin's public schools are obligated to observe the 21 days designated by Wisconsin Statute section 118.02 on the designated day unless the day falls on Saturday or Sunday, in which case would move the observance to either the preceding Friday or following Monday. The statutes require the public schools to include instruction relating to the holidays. In this list of holidays, all schools remain open.

Wyoming[edit]

[136]

Federal holidays at the state level[edit]

While most federal holidays are observed at the state level, some of these holidays are observed with different names, are observed on different days, or completely not observed in some states of the United States. ^ a. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is known officially as Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day in Arizona,[138] and New Hampshire,[139] Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Florida,[140] and Maryland,[141] Martin Luther King Jr. / Idaho Human Rights Day in Idaho,[142] Robert E. Lee/Martin Luther King Birthday in Alabama, and Martin Luther King's and Robert E. Lee's Birthdays in Mississippi.[143] ^ b. Washington's Birthday is known officially as President's Day in Alaska,[144] California,[145] Hawaii,[146] Idaho,[142] Maryland,[141] Nebraska,[147] New Hampshire,[139] Tennessee,[148] Washington,[149] West Virginia,[150] and Wyoming,[151] Washington-Lincoln Day in Colorado (CRS 24-11-101),[152] Ohio,[153] Lincoln/Washington/Presidents' Day in Arizona,[138] George Washington's Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day in Arkansas,[154] Presidents' Day in Hawaii,[146] Massachusetts,[155] New Mexico,[156] North Dakota,[157] Oklahoma,[158] South Dakota,[159] Texas,[32] and Vermont,[160] Washington's Birthday/President's Day in Maine,[161] Presidents Day in Michigan,[162] Minnesota,[163] Nevada,[164] New Jersey,[165] and Oregon,[166] Lincoln's and Washington's Birthday in Montana,[167] Washington and Lincoln Day in Utah,[168] and George Washington Day in Virginia.[169] ^ The day after Thanksgiving is observed in lieu of Columbus Day in Minnesota.[163] ^ Columbus Day is listed as a state holiday in New Hampshire although state offices remain open.[139] ^ President's Day, Good Friday (11am–3pm), Juneteenth Day (June 19), Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Partisan Primary Election Day, and General Election Day are listed as a state holiday in Wisconsin although state offices remain open.[170][171]

Legal holidays observed nationwide[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Texas, Confederate Memorial Day is called "Confederate Heroes Day"[31]
  2. ^ See also: Florida Circuit Court Holidays

References[edit]

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