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2020 Paid Holidays

Dominic Kelley
Posted by Dominic Kelley on November 6, 2019

There is a lot of HR-related information to keep up with as an employer. One of the most common questions employers have is about what’s required when it comes to giving their employees time off for federal holidays. 

You may be wondering about what days actually count as holidays, whether or not you need to give your employees time off on those days, and how to handle pay and benefits for holidays.

As you start to plan out your 2020 work calendar, we’ll share some simple info about federal holidays as well as a few other holidays you may consider and what’s required of you as an employer. 

Requirements for Holiday Pay and Time Off

There are currently no federal mandates requiring private business owners to provide time off for any holidays, even the major federal ones. This means that it is up to you as the employer to decide what days your practice is open, what days your employees are required to work, how you will determine who works on which holidays, and how to pay your employees for holidays.

In the health and medical field, some practices choose to close for major holidays because their clients aren’t usually scheduling appointments on those days. Other practices, typically those serving the inpatient or homebound populations, might be open 365 days per year because of their clients’ needs. Some practices may find that their bookings actually go up on holidays because their clients have a day off and schedule needed appointments.  Additionally, depending on the population you serve, staying open on a holiday can bring you more business from clients looking for an urgent appointment when everything else is closed.

Whether you decide to keep your practice open for certain holidays or not, you have the option to pay your employees additional holiday pay or to simply pay them for time worked as usual.  Here are some holidays you should consider when crafting your practice’s policies.

Federal Paid Holidays

In the US, there are currently 10 officially observed federal holidays each year. Here are the dates for 2020:

New Year’s Day – January 1st
Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday –January 20th
Washington’s birthday (President’s Day) – February 17th
Memorial Day –May 25th
Independence Day – July 4th
Labor Day – September 7th
Columbus Day – October 12th
Veterans Day – November 11th
Thanksgiving Day – November 26th
Christmas Day – December 25th 

Note that holidays that fall on Saturdays are typically observed the prior Friday, while holidays that fall on Sundays are observed the following Monday.

Other Commonly Observed Holidays
While not official federal holidays, these national holidays for 2020 are commonly observed:

Cesar Chavez Day – March 31st
Good Friday – April 10th
Mother’s Day – May 10th
Father’s Day – June 21st
Day After Thanksgiving – November 27th

State-Specific Holidays
Some states officially observe certain holidays or have their own holidays that are observed by many. While this is not an exhaustive list, we’ve included several examples below:

Cesar Chavez Day – listed above
American Family Day – August 2nd
Constitution Commemoration Day – September 17th
Native American Day – September 25th  

Cesar Chavez Day – listed above
California Admission Day – September 9th
Native American Day – listed above

Susan B Anthony’s Birthday – February 15th
Pascua Florida Day – April 2nd
Jefferson Davis’s Birthday – June 1st

You may wish to check your state’s official website for days they consider “public holidays” or dive into some fun but less officially observed holidays celebrating your state’s history  or special events.

Recommended Reading: Year-End Bonuses: The Essential Guide to Cutting a Bonus Check

No matter which holidays you choose to run your business, it is considered best practice to have a formal policy outlining how you will handle holiday time off requests, holiday pay, and how you will determine which employees have to work. 

Reach out to our HR specialists today to help you design a policy that works for your practice’s specific needs!

Did you know that at HR for Health monitor all the specific laws and regulations that affect your practice? If you have questions about sick leave or any other compliance questions, please reach out to us and SCHEDULE A CALL, or call: 877.779.4747, or email: today!


HR for Health is one of the nation’s leading Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) used by small to mid-sized practices. HR for Health has provided the following complimentary articles to ensure you have a game plan when addressing complex HR matters.



Quick note: This is not to be taken as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws change over time and can vary by location and industry, consult a lawyer or HR expert for specific guidance. Learn about HR for Health's HR services

Topics: sick leave, california

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