Everyone looks forward to a holiday especially when it’s considered paid time off. However, many employees are shocked to learn there is no federal law or regulation that mandates employers to offer this benefit.
In fact, businesses are under no obligation to pay their team for hours not worked during holiday closures.
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What HR Experts Recommend
Paid time off (PTO) is a benefit allotted to most employees. PTO gives your team the opportunity to relax, recharge, and achieve a healthy work-life balance. This is especially important in the dental, optometry, medical, and other healthcare fields where caring for patients doesn’t leave a lot of time for caring for yourself.
Many healthcare practices, businesses, and HR professionals find that closing during a federal holiday is the right move. In a recent study, extra paid time off for holidays is one of the benefits employees list as appreciating the most, and an easy way to attract and retain top talent as an employer.
Update Your Handbook for 2023
What’s New for 2023? What You Need to Know:
Whether you decide to offer paid time off for holidays or not, make sure your employee handbook clearly outlines the policy. It’s important that you provide your team with details on which days your practice is closed and how they will or will not be paid during that time. This includes medical and dental practices that are open on holidays for emergency appointments. Be as clear as possible to prevent any misunderstandings, conflicts, or employee claims.
The 11 Federal Holidays Observed in 2023
Below is a list of the 11 federal holidays observed in the United States as of 2023. Be sure to take note of holidays that fall on a week day in case you want to close your office for additional time off.
• Monday, January 2 — New Year's Day (observed)
• Monday, January 16 — Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
• Monday, February 20 — Presidents' Day
• Monday, May 29 — Memorial Day
• Monday, June 19 — Juneteenth
• Tuesday, July 4 — Independence Day
• Monday, September 4 — Labor Day
• Monday, October 9 — Columbus Day
• Friday, November 10 — Veterans Day
• Thursday, November 23 — Thanksgiving Day
• Monday, December 25 — Christmas Day
What You Need to Know About State Holidays
It’s important to note that there is no requirement by law to observe federal holidays or pay employees when they take these days off. In general, the same sentiment applies to state holidays.
That being said, we still believe it is critical to review state laws and regulations related to paid holidays. Why? There are several states that require certain types of businesses and industries to close on specified federal holidays. In fact, some states even require businesses to observe one or more state holidays and have legislation to protect these mandates.
Examples of state-specific holidays include (but are not limited to) the following:
• January 16 — Robert E. Lee's Birthday observed in Alabama & Mississippi
• February 13 — Lincoln's Birthday observed in Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, & New York
• February 20 — Daisy Gatson Bates Day observed in Arkansas
• February 21 — Mardi Gras observed in Louisiana & parts of Alabama, Florida, & Mississippi
• March 2 — Texas Independence Day observed in Texas
• March 7 — Town Meeting Day observed in Vermont
• March 31 — Cesar Chavez Day observed in parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, & Wisconsin
• April 17 — Emancipation Day observed in D.C.
• April 17 — Patriot’s Day observed in Maine & Massachusetts
• April 28 — Arbor Day observed in Nebraska
• May 10 — Confederate Memorial Day observed in South Carolina
• June 20 — West Virginia Day observed in West Virginia
• July 24 — Pioneer Day observed in Utah
• August 14 — Victory Day observed in Rhode Island
• August 16 — Bennington Battle Day observed in Vermont
• October 9 — Indigenous People's Day observed in 28 states
• October 18 — Alaska Day observed in Alaska
• November 7 — Election Day observed in New Jersey & Virginia
• December 1 — Rosa Parks Day observed in Alabama
Be sure to add any of these local or state holidays to your office calendar as applicable.
More Ways to Celebrate with Your Team: 2023 Unofficial Holidays
Looking for more ways to celebrate with your team in 2023? There are a number of unofficial dates that aren’t considered federal holidays but are still worth putting on the calendar. After all, who doesn’t want an excuse to celebrate? Check out some of the most popular unofficial holidays here:
• Thursday, February 2 — Groundhog Day
• Tuesday, February 14 — Valentine’s Day ❤️
• Wednesday, March 8 — International Women’s Day
• Friday, March 17 — Saint Patrick’s Day ☘️
• Wednesday, April 26 — Administrative Professionals’ Day
• Friday, May 5 — Cinco de Mayo
• Sunday, May 14 — Mother’s Day 🌷
• Thursday, May 18 — National Speech Pathologist Day
• Wednesday, June 14 — Flag Day
• Sunday, June 18 — Father’s Day
• Sunday, September 10 — Grandparent’s Day 👴👵
• Friday, October 6 — Physician Assistant Day
• Monday, October 16 — National Boss’ Day
• Tuesday, October 31 — Halloween 🎃
• Friday, November 24 — Black Friday 💰
• Thursday, December 7 — Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
It’s important for office managers and practice owners to note the dates of any major religious holidays in 2023. A team member may need to take time off and it’s your responsibility as an employer to know the right way to accommodate them.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it’s mandatory for you to make accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs, unless it would cause undue hardship to your practice.
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Looking for More HR Help?
The experienced HR professionals with HR for Health can help you navigate the complexities of federal and state holiday regulations. If you’re struggling with PTO, paperwork, calculating overtime, or distributing benefits, let HR for Health help. Reach out to us today.
The 11 Federal Holidays Observed in 2022
2022 is not quite over. Get the details below on federally observed holidays. If you choose to observe the 11 federal holidays in 2022, these are the dates you’ll need to know:
• Friday, December 31 — New Year’s Day (observed)
• Monday, January 17 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• Monday, February 21 — Presidents' Day
• Monday, May 30 — Memorial Day
• Monday, June 20 — Juneteenth (observed)
• Monday, July 4 — Independence Day
• Monday, September 5 — Labor Day
• Monday, October 10 — Columbus Day
• Friday, November 11 — Veterans Day
• Thursday, November 24 — Thanksgiving Day
• Monday, December 26 — Christmas Day (observed)