Federal Holiday Schedule 2020
The United States government has ten holidays that it observes. Typically, on those days, government offices close for the day. This includes post offices, which are part of the United States Postal Service, a government agency.
Here is a list of the 2020 official federal holidays:
- New Year’s Day – Wednesday, January 1
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 20
- Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day) – Monday, February 17
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 25
- Independence Day (Observed) – Friday, July 3
- Labor Day – Monday, September 7
- Columbus Day – Monday, October 12
- Veterans Day – Wednesday, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26
- Christmas Day – Friday, December 25
It’s important to note that Independence Day is usually observed on July 4. However, when any federal holiday falls on a weekend, the day it is observed shifts to either the Friday before or the Monday after the actual holiday. Since July 4, 2020, falls on a Saturday, Friday, July 3, 2020, becomes the day the holiday is observed.
What Closes on Federal Holidays?
Along with government offices closing their doors on federal holidays, other businesses and entities do as well. Banks and credit unions commonly close on federal holidays. It also isn’t unusual for the stock market not to open in observance of the occasion. It’s important to understand that there are some exceptions, even with financial institutions.
Additionally, other businesses may choose to close on at least some federal holidays. For example, many retailers close on Christmas, including retail giants like Costco, Walmart, and Target. However, all of those retailers are open on other federal holidays, such as Veterans Day and Columbus Day.
Further, some retailers won’t fully close on a holiday. Instead, they will use a reduced holiday schedule. This results in them being open fewer hours on that day than they would usually be on that particular day of the week.
Here’s a look at what businesses, organizations, or entities usually close on federal holidays:
- K-12 Schools
- Trade Schools, Colleges, and Universities
- Mail and Package Delivery Services, including USPS, UPS, and FedEx
- Stock and Bond Markets
- Banks and Credit Unions
- Medical and Dental Offices
- Professional Services Offices (Lawyers, Accountants, etc.)
- Day Cares
Some entities will close for at least some federal holidays. This includes:
- Grocery Stores
- Pharmacies and Drug Stores
Every company has the ability to set its own holiday schedule. As a result, you may need to check with the specific business to see if it closes for any particular holiday.
Are Federal Holidays Public or National Holidays?
No, federal holidays are neither national nor public holidays. When a day is declared a public or national holiday, everyone will get a day off. That would mean every business in the country would have to close. Essentially, the closures, and day off for employees, would be required by law.
The United States doesn’t have any national or public holidays. However, there are other nations that do. For example, Cambodia has 28 public holidays, the largest number in the entire world.
Which Employees Get the Day Off on Federal Holidays?
While many people believe that everyone should get the day off on a federal holiday, that isn’t how it works. In fact, the only people who are guaranteed to get the day off are most federal employees.
Even some people who work for the United States government have to work on holidays, including employees who focus on national security and public safety. For instance, some U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Defense (DoD), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and similar departments have personnel working on holidays.
Additionally, while most state governments close on federal holidays, not all of them do. They aren’t required by law to follow the same schedule, so a few have chosen to use alternative holiday schedules. For example, Washington State does not close on Columbus Day, so its employees report to work on that holiday. However, Washington State recognizes the day after Thanksgiving as a state government holiday, so employees get that day off instead.
Other businesses may also choose to close for federal holidays, essentially giving their employees the day off. But this is optional for every entity besides most government agencies.
Non-Federal Holiday Schedule 2020
There are additional holidays that are frequently observed in the United States, but don’t make it onto the federal holiday schedule. While many of these don’t result in any business closures, one does on occasion. Some major retailers close their doors on Easter Sunday. This includes Target and Costco.
Here is a list of the non-federal holidays and when they happen in 2020:
- Valentine’s Day – Friday, February 14
- Patrick’s Day – Tuesday, March 17
- Easter – Sunday, April 12
- Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 10
- Father’s Day – Sunday, June 21
- Halloween – Saturday, October 31
While the holidays above aren’t federal holidays, government offices are closed for some of them incidentally. Since most government agencies aren’t open on Sundays, the majority of employees get that day off, whether there is a holiday or not.
Do you keep track of the federal holiday schedule? Are you looking forward to any of the holidays above in 2020? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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