Texas State Holidays

The State of Texas has recognized several days each calendar year as holidays and has designated several days each calendar year as state holidays. The implications of these national and state holidays on public employers and private employers are discussed below.

The following list contains the national and state holidays recognized by Texas:

National Holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • Presidents’ Day (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)

State Holidays

  • Confederate Heroes Day (January 19)
  • Texas Independence Day (March 2)
  • San Jacinto Day (April 21)
  • Emancipation Day in Texas (June 19)
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (August 27)
  • The Day after Thanksgiving Day
  • The Day before Christmas Day (December 24)
  • The Day after Christmas Day (December 26)

TX Government Code 662.003

Public employers

Public offices in Texas may be closed on all national legal holidays and state legal holidays that fall on Saturday, Sunday, and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

For more information, you can check TX Government Code 662.022.

For all other state holidays, state agencies and institutions of higher education must have enough employees on duty to conduct public business.

State employees are eligible for paid time off on holidays if they are on the last workday before and/or after the holiday. The holiday should not fall on a Saturday or Sunday, and the agency must not be otherwise prohibited from observing the holiday.

Employees who are entitled to paid holiday leave and are required to work on national or state holidays are entitled to compensatory time off sometime during the 12 months following the holiday.

Employees who have accrued compensatory leave must give their employers reasonable notice of their intention to use the leave. However, they are not required to disclose the purpose of the leave.

Institutions of higher education may pay employees at their regular rate instead of granting compensatory leave if granting the compensatory leave would disrupt normal teaching, research, or other critical functions.

Holiday pay for part-time employees is prorated consistent with the employees’ normal schedule.

State employees who work other than a Monday-through-Friday schedule are entitled to eight hours of holiday leave multiplied by the number of national and state holidays in a fiscal year.

State agencies may allow employees to take Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) as a state holiday in lieu of any other state holiday that occurs on a weekday, other than a weekday on which a state-wide election is held, on which the agency is required to be open.

Institutions of higher education, other than junior colleges, may establish the holiday schedule for the institution, subject to any statutory limitations. However, the institution of higher education may not designate more holidays than the number allowed to state agency employees.

Employees at institutions of higher education are entitled to paid holiday leave if they are scheduled to work at least 20 hours in a week and are not required to be students as a condition of employment. To know more about this, see TX Government Code 662.011.

Private employers

Private employers in Texas 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 holidays. They are also not required to pay employees any premium wage rates to those who work on the holidays.

Private employers may establish policies or practices granting employees time off on any of the listed holidays. They can also 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.

Texas State Holidays FAQs

Other than the information stated above, the following FAQs will help teach you more about Texas State Holidays.

Among all the Texas State Holidays, are there optional ones?

Yes, this applies when a skeleton crew is required. In lieu of any state holiday, a state employee can observe the following holidays: Cesar Chavez Day, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Good Friday.

What is a skeleton crew, and which among the Texas State Holidays require one?

A skeleton crew is a group of employees just enough to keep an office, service, or any establishment operating.

According to Texas law, there are days when such crews are needed.

Recently, with the help of technology, some employees work remotely and are still considered present and on duty.

The following are state holidays in Texas when skeleton crews are required:

  • Confederate Heroes’ Day
  • Texas Independence Day
  • San Jacinto Day

Which among the Texas State Holidays are known as partial staffing holidays?

San Jacinto Day in April, Emancipation Day in Texas in June, and Lyndon Baines Johnson Day in August are partial staffing holidays in Texas.

What happens if multiple holidays fall on the same day?

If this rare instance happens, note that only one holiday should be observed. Between the choice of national or state, the national holiday takes priority.

Regarding holidays, are there special rules that apply to higher education institutes in Texas?

Higher education institutes in Texas enjoy some flexibility in establishing their holiday schedules.

Even so, it is important to note that they must have the same number of holidays implemented in state agencies.

The combined state and national holidays for the entire year serve as the basis for computing the number of holidays.

Can holiday compensatory hours be transferred when an employee moves from one state agency to a different one?

No, this is not possible. Also, note that holiday compensatory time is earned on an individual basis.

Employees who are able to earn this should use these leaves within a year.

Find out more about Texas’s Leave Laws.

Federal Holidays

Click here for a list of federal holidays.

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