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 are 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)
  • First Responders Day (September 11)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Yom Kipper (sometime in September and/or October)
  • General election day (Tuesday after the first Monday in November in year in which a general election is held)
  • 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


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 more than 12 paid holidays per year, with three paid holidays for Christmas.

The paid holidays must also include Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday and Veterans Day. For more information, check NC Statute 126-4.


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

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.

They are also not required to pay 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 holidays 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.


North Carolina State Holidays FAQs

Below are added pieces of information pertinent to North Carolina State Holidays.

Should employees expect an additional holiday schedule from time to time?

There are some agencies in North Carolina that may need to adopt one.

This is a holiday schedule applicable for select employees assigned to work on specific shifts, which is needed in having a 24-hour operation. 

On that note, a holiday premium pay policy is also in effect. This is done by scheduling the aforesaid dates as legal observances dates, not as substitute weekdays.

Is there a special holiday schedule for state employees? 

Holiday calendars are usually made public for state employees. The same holiday schedules apply to them.

Which holidays do universities in North Carolina follow? 

Usually, institutions follow the authorized holidays of the state of North Carolina. 

At the same time, they are also allowed to set a specific university holiday calendar and schedule based on certain institutional and academic needs.

What leave options do workers in the state of North Carolina have? 

In one of their official websites, the State mentions that they value having a community that enjoys a balanced life.

Part of the ways by which they strive to do this is by offering leaves during holidays.

As long as one is a state employee, he gets to have 12 paid holidays in a year. Holiday premium pay, as well as time off for holiday work, are also given. 

All of these are aligned with the State Human Resources, which publishes the holiday schedules for all state employees.

What are floating holidays?

Floating holidays refer to extra days (paid) that workers can take, including North Carolina workers. This is in addition to other paid holidays.

Not all organizations offer this, but most human resources companies recognize it as an opportunity for employees to take time off, even when they have varying reasons for doing so.

The key point is that state governments and federal governments have their own list of paid holidays.

Having floating holidays is a common way to help employees celebrate which holidays matter to them.

Find out more about North Carolina’s Leave Laws.


Federal Holidays

Click here for a list of federal holidays.


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