U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Hr
  3. Employees
  4. Leave

Was this page helpful?


Holidays are a welcome break, and a chance to celebrate important events.

The Federal Government recognizes 10 holidays. However, several things can affect when you observe your holidays such as your alternative work schedule (if you work one) and if you work full time or part-time. There are also special rules for state and local holidays for employees who work outside the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Federal Holidays

  • New Year’s Day January 1
  • Martin Luther King’s Birthday 3rd Monday in January
  • Washington’s Birthday 3rd Monday in February
  • Memorial Day last Monday in May
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day June 19
  • 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

Inauguration Day Holiday

If you work in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, you will have 1 additional holiday, Inauguration Day. This holiday falls on January 20th of every 4th year. If you are working in Washington on this day (even if you normally are assigned elsewhere), it will be a holiday. If you are on travel elsewhere, it will not.

If Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the next day chosen for observance of Inauguration Day is the holiday.

If Inauguration Day falls on a Saturday, Federal employees in the DC area who do not work on Saturday will not receive an Inauguration Day holiday.

Determining Your Holiday Day Off

Normally, if you’re scheduled to work on a Federal holiday, you’ll have that day off and you’ll be paid normally, whether you’re a full-time or part-time employee.

If you work on an intermittent schedule (daily, hourly, piece-work, etc.), you don’t receive paid holidays or replacement holidays for days off, and if you work on a holiday, you don’t receive premium pay.

Replacement or In-Lieu-Of Holidays

Some employees can’t observe the holiday on the day designated as the holiday because of their work schedule. These employees get a “replacement or in-lieu-of holiday.”

Replacement holidays are usually referred to as “in-lieu-of” holidays. If you work on a flexible or compressed work schedule and your holiday falls on a non-workday, then you get a replacement holiday on your scheduled workday immediately before the holiday. But, if the actual holiday falls on a Sunday non-workday, then you get your replacement holiday on your next scheduled workday. 

If you’re a part-time employee, you are not entitled to a replacement holiday when a holiday falls on one of your non-workdays.

Part-time employees do not get replacement holidays if the holiday falls on one of their scheduled non-work days. If you’re a part-time employee, you may be given administrative leave if you are unable to work because an office is closed to provide a replacement holiday for other employees.

Working on a Holiday

A shift that overlaps two days, one of which is a holiday, is considered a holiday throughout.

If you have to work on the Federal holiday, you’ll be paid at the holiday premium rate for your scheduled non-overtime hours, whether you’re a full or part-time employee.

Special rules apply if you work outside the U.S., if your normal work week is not Monday-Friday.

State and Local Holidays

If you work at an office or other site outside of the Washington DC area, you will normally be given an excused absence and your workplace will be closed on state, local, territorial or foreign holidays celebrated locally. Whether or not you get the day off is based on a determination by the head of your operating unit that work can’t be performed effectively because of the holiday.

Unscheduled state and local holidays will not automatically result in the closing of your workplace.

Your office will be closed for unscheduled holidays only if the building where you work is closed, building services are unavailable, local transportation services are unavailable, or your primary duties involve interaction with people and organizations that will be observing the holiday.

If your office is closed, the day is a non-workday and:

  • No personal leave is charged for the time off
  • If your group (but not all employees at the site) is affected by a building closing, you will be given an excused absence for the time missed. 

You can’t be given an excused absence for personal reasons related to a local holiday (such as at the request of an employee to attend a local ceremony); absence will be charged to leave.