Illinois State Holidays


The State of Illinois has designated several days each calendar year as state holidays for various purposes. The implications of these state holidays on public employers and private employers is discussed below.



The following list contains the state holidays recognized by Illinois.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)
  • Casimir Pulaski’s Birthday (1st Monday in March)
  • Good Friday (Friday before Easter, usually falls in March or April)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • 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)

Illinois may also observe any day declared to be a holiday by the President of the United States or the governor.ILD Statute 10-5/1-6, ILD Statute 105-5/24-2


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Public employers

Teachers and other school employees, other than non-certificated school employees who must work because of emergency or for the continued operation and maintenance of school facilities or property, must be given paid leave on the holidays listed above with the following exemptions. School boards or other entities eligible to apply for waivers and modifications under Section 2-3.25g may hold school or teachers’ institutes, parent-teacher conferences, or staff development on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Casimir Pulaski’s Birthday, Columbus Day, and Veterans’ Day if:

  • the person or persons honored by the holiday are recognized through instruction activities or, if the students are not required to attend school on that day, on the first school day preceding or following the day;
  • the school district or other entity first holds a public hearing about the proposal. Notice of the hearing must be given to educators and parents and must contain the time, date, and place of the hearing, describe the proposal, and indicate that attendees will be able to give testimony at the hearing.

IL Statute 105-5/24-2


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Private employers

Private employers in Illinois are not required to close on any of the listed holidays. Additionally, private employers are not required to allow employees to take either paid or unpaid time off on the holidays nor are they required to pay employees any premium wage rates to employees who work on the holidays. Private employers may establish policies or practices granting employees time off on any of the listed holiday or agree to pay premium wage rates to employees who work on those days. Employers who establish such policies or practices may be required to comply with them.

Find out more about Illinois’s Leave Laws.