North Carolina State Holidays


The State of North Carolina 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 North Carolina.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King’s Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Robert E. Lee’s Birthday (January 19)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Good Friday (usually falls in March or April)
  • Greek Independence Day (March 25)
  • Anniversary of signing of Halifax Resolves (April 12)
  • Confederate Memorial Day (May 10)
  • Anniversary of Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (May 20)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • General election day
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

If a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. NC Statute 103-4


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Public employers

North Carolina State Human Resources Commission is responsible for establishing the paid holiday leave policy for state employees. The policy may not provide for more than 12 paid holidays per year with three paid holiday being given for Christmas. The paid holidays must also include Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday and Veterans Day. NC Statute 126-4


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Private employers

Private employers in North Carolina 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 North Carolina’s Leave Laws.