Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Do Businesses Have to Give Federal Holidays Like President's Day Off?

The third Monday of February has been declared by the federal government to be President's Day. This means that government workers generally get that day off. But what about people in the private industry? While a day off is nice -- whether you're an employee or the owner -- it may not be the best choice for your business. After all, when there are other people who have the day off, it may be a prime day for your business. So, which holidays do businesses have to give off to their employees?

Giving Your Employees Time Off

Legally speaking, private employers don't have to give their employees time off on days that are designated as holidays by the federal government. So, federal holidays aren't an automatic day off. In fact, businesses are generally not even legally required to offer paid vacation.

Of course, in order to keep your employees satisfied and make sure they're giving their best at work, it's a good idea to at least give them the important and most popular holidays off -- such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. As for other federal holidays like MLK Day or President's Day, you may want to give it off as an extra perk, but if you don't, you're not violating any laws.

Are There Exceptions?

As with all things, there are exceptions. If your employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract, they may be entitled to certain days off pursuant to the contract. This can include not only having a particular day off, but also possibly paying overtime for working on a holiday. And, it's always important to keep in my that you need to comply with wage and hour laws.

If you have any questions about employment issues, it's always a good idea to consult with a local employment law attorney to protect your business from possible litigation.

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