Iowa State Holidays


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



The following list contains the state holidays recognized by Iowa.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

IA Code 1C.1


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Public employers

State employees are entitled to take the day off with pay for all the holidays listed above except Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday. They are also entitled to take the Friday after Thanksgiving off with pay. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the prior Friday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. If an state employee who accrues sick leave or vacation is required to work on a holiday, they may be granted an equal amount of compensatory time off to be taken on another day or be paid a cash payment for an equivalent amount of time. State employees who do not accrue sick leave or vacation are not entitled to compensatory pay if they are required to work on a holiday.IA Code 1C.2


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Private employers

Private employers in Iowa 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 Iowa’s Leave Laws.