The U.S. government sets and requires that certain organizations be closed on federal legal holidays. In addition to federal holidays, each state and local jurisdiction can declare its own legal schedule.
Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6103) establishes the public holidays listed in these pages for Federal employees. Please note that most Federal employees work on a Monday through Friday schedule. For these employees, when a holiday falls on a nonworkday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the holiday usually is observed on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).
Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, falls on a Friday. An employee who works in the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George's Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Fairfax in Virginia, and who is regularly scheduled to perform nonovertime work on Inauguration Day, is entitled to a holiday. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(c).) There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees who are not regularly scheduled to work on Inauguration Day./p>
This year, the Inauguration Day holiday falls on Monday, January 21, 2013, which is also the legal public holiday for the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(c).) For Federal employees who work in the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George's Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Fairfax in Virginia, Inauguration Day is observed concurrently with the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Federal employees in these areas are not entitled to an in-lieu-of holiday for Inauguration Day.
Federal holidays in the United States are the eleven calendar dates that are designated by the U.S. government as holidays. During U.S. federal holidays, non-essential federal government offices are closed and federal government employees are paid for the holiday.
Federal holidays are designated by the United States Congress in Title V of the United States Code (5 U.S.C. 6103). Congress only has authority to create holidays for federal institutions (including federally-owned properties), employees, and the District of Columbia. Although not required, as a general rule of courtesy, other institutions, such as banks, businesses, schools, and the stock market, may be closed on federal holidays. In various parts of the country, state and city holidays may be observed concurrently with federal holidays.
The history of federal holidays in the United States dates back to June 28, 1870, when Congress created federal holidays "to correspond with similar laws of States around the District...and...in every State of the Union." Although at first applicable only to federal employees in the District of Columbia, Congress extended coverage in 1885 to all federal employees.
George Washington's Birthday became a federal holiday in 1879. In 1888 and 1894, respectively, Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) and Labor Day were created. Armistice Day was established in 1938 to honor the end of World War I, and the scope of the holiday was expanded to honor Americans who fought in World War II and the Korean War when it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
Christmas Day as a federal or public holiday is sometimes objected to by various sources, usually due to its ties with Christianity. In December 1999, the Western Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, in the case Ganulin v. United States, denied the charge that Christmas Day's federal status violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, ruling that "the Christmas holiday has become largely secularized", and that "by giving federal employees a paid vacation day on Christmas, the government is doing no more than recognizing the cultural significance of the holiday".
Most of the 11 U.S. federal holidays are also state holidays. A holiday that falls on a weekend is usually observed on the closest weekday (e.g. a holiday falling on a Saturday is observed on the preceding Friday, while a holiday falling on a Sunday is observed on the succeeding Monday). The official names come from the statute that defines holidays for federal employees.
New Year's Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Christmas Day are observed on the same calendar date each year, irrespective of the day of the week. For floating holidays, when a holiday falls on a Saturday, federal employees who work Monday to Friday observe the holiday on the previous Friday. Federal employees who work on Saturday observe the holiday on Saturday and, for them, Friday is a regular work day. Holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed by federal workers the following Monday.
Inauguration Day, held on January 20 every four years following a quadrennial presidential election, is considered a paid holiday for federal employees in the Washington, D.C., area by the Office of Personnel Management. However, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States equivalent to the eleven holidays mentioned above.
Although many states recognize most or all federal holidays as state holidays, the federal government cannot enact laws to compel them to do so. Furthermore, states can recognize other days as state holidays that are not federal holidays. For example, the State of Texas recognizes all federal holidays except Columbus Day, and in addition recognizes the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas as state holidays. Furthermore, Texas does not follow the federal rule of closing either the Friday before if a holiday falls on a Saturday, or the Monday after if a holiday falls on a Sunday (offices are open on those Fridays or Mondays), but does have "partial staffing holidays" (such as March 2, which is Texas Independence Day) and "optional holidays" (such as Good Friday).
Private employers also are not required to observe federal or state holidays, the key exception being federally-chartered banks. Some private employers, often by a union contract, pay a differential such as time-and-a-half or double-time to employees who work on some federal holidays. Employees not specifically covered by a union contract, however, might only receive their standard pay for working on a federal holiday, depending on the company policy.
Federal law also provides for the declaration of other public holidays by the President of the United States. Generally the president will provide a reasoning behind the elevation of the day, and call on the people of the United States to observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies and activities." Examples of presidentially declared holidays were the days of the funerals for former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald Ford; federal government offices were closed and employees given a paid holiday.
Many federal holidays have been proposed. As the U.S. federal government is a large employer, the holidays are expensive. If a holiday is controversial, opposition will generally prevent bills enacting them from passing. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marking King's birthday, took much effort to pass and for all states to recognize it. It was not until 2000 that this holiday was officially observed in all 50 states.
The UW System grants nine days of paid legal holidays per year to eligible employees. Full-time employees earn eight hours of leave for each legal holiday. Part-time employees earn a prorated amount based on hours worked during the pay period that includes the legal holiday.
Floating legal holidays can be used like any other paid leave, and must be used by the end of the year in which it was earned (calendar year for University Staff employees, fiscal year for Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited appointees).
Some records show that in 1882, Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, suggested setting aside a day for a "general holiday for the laboring classes" to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey, proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
In addition to the eleven annual federal holidays, Inauguration Day is a twelfth holiday designated by Congress for observance every four years on January 20 following a U.S. presidential election. It is only observed by government employees in Washington D.C. and the border counties of Maryland and Virginia.
Redcort Software Inc. assumes no liability and makes no warranties on or for the information contained on these pages. The information presented is intended for reference only and is neither tax nor legal advice. Consult a professional tax, legal or other advisor to verify this information and determine if and/or how it may apply to your particular situation. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has additional information and federal holiday dates for years not listed above.
Floating holiday time can be used any time during the calendar year in which it is earned. January 1 floating holiday cannot be used until the year it is earned. Legal and floating holiday hours should be used in the calendar year in which they are granted. There are no provisions that allow University Staff employees to carryover floating holiday time into the next calendar year. Thus, individuals should use their floating holiday time before using vacation time. 041b061a72