Federal Holidays

The federal government has designated several days each calendar year as federal holidays.

The following list contains the holidays recognized by the federal government:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • George Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • 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)

Federal Holidays: Things to Remember

Below are things to note regarding federal holidays, especially since there are some common misconceptions about them among employees and even employers.

1. Not all employees are entitled to enjoy federal holiday dates. 

According to law, although there is a ready reference calendar of holidays, each date is still an ordinary business day.

Those who are not government employees are subject to the discretion of their private employers.

The reason why the holidays are labeled “federal” is due to their being applicable only to government agencies and other federal government offices.

Therefore, private employees need to clarify with their employers if they get benefits, such as entitlement to hours of holiday premium, before they schedule around holidays.

2. Not everyone is entitled to get a premium rate or overtime pay during the holiday season and religious holidays.

Despite public observance of the important calendar days, the law still does not have any specific designation for the rates and pay aforesaid.

In fact, if one is made to work during holiday time, that will not be considered overtime.

Regular overtime rules will be followed as a matter of law and company policy.

Again, every hour of holiday work is still considered a regular business hour and part of basic workdays.

3. Private companies have the right to dictate which benefits to give their employees for holidays.

For private companies, there is no requirement for employers to give employee benefits or not.

Entitlement to holiday premium remains under their discretion and will not be considered illegal, regardless of their decision.

For example, an existing applicable policy for some companies is to grant holiday pay only for their full-time employees who render duty during holiday hours.

After all, they are not bound by any federal rule.If you still have questions about federal holidays, it is best to check out other federal government websites, such as https://www.opm.gov/.

5 US Code 6103

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