Federal Holidays

Federal Holidays When are the Federal Holidays, and What Happens if I Have to Work on One?

Federal holidays were created by Title 5 § 6103 of the U.S. Code, which established certain public holidays for Federal employees. Currently, these are the dates recognized as federal holidays:


• 01: New Year’s Day

• 20 of every 4th year after 1965: Inauguration Day

• 3rd Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday


• 3rd Monday: Washington’s Birthday


• Last Monday: Memorial Day


• 04: Independence Day


• First Monday: Labor Day


• Second Monday: Columbus Day


• 11: Veteran’s Day

• 4th Thursday: Thanksgiving Day


• 25: Christmas Day

If the Holiday Happens on the Weekend

If any of these federal holidays ever occur on a Saturday, the Friday immediately before it becomes the legal holiday for employees who work on a Monday through Friday schedule. In the case that the individual does not work a regular Monday through Friday workweek but works on Monday and is posted outside of the United States, the federal holiday is then placed on the first day of the workweek.

Working on a Federal Holiday

Most full time employees who do not have to work on a federal holiday will receive their basic pay rate for the number of holiday hours. If the employee has a flexible work schedule, they will get credited 8 hours towards their work requirements for the payments (typically 80 hours for 2 weeks).

In the case where a half-day holiday is issued as an Executive order by the President, half the credit will be given to a full-time employee on a flexible schedule.

Part time employees also receive basic pay for the hours they are normally scheduled to work in the case of a federal holiday. If working under a flexible work schedule, they are normally excused from their hours of day, assuming it does not go past 8 hours. On a half-day holiday, they are excused from their time as long as it does not exceed 4 hours.

Any employee who work on a federal holiday receive holiday pay premium which is equivalent to their basic pay rate in addition to the holiday premium pay for each hour. Those who must work are entitled to receive at least two hours of holiday premium pay. Standard full time employees are also entitled to receive holiday premium pay that should not exceed 8 hours.

Overtime work on a federal holiday can apply to both full-time and part-time employees. These employees are entitled to either compensatory time off or overtime pay, if ordered or approved over time is assigned.If an employee needs to work a regularly assigned shift at night, the regular night pay is received as well as the overtime premium or holiday pay premium. Furthermore, if an employee is required to work on holiday hours on a regularly scheduled weekend shift, they are required to receive holiday pay premium as well as Sunday pay premium.

Related Topics