Federal holiday

From Academic Kids

In the United States, a Federal holiday is a holiday for which federal workers are excused from work.

Contents

List of Holidays

The ten currently recognized Federal holidays are:

Another holiday, Inauguration Day, is a holiday only for federal workers in and around Washington, D.C.; its date is that January 20th after a presidential election.

These are the official names in the law that defines holidays for federal employees. Federal law does not require states to officially recognize any of these days in any way. However, most states use the same holidays for their employees, as well as their public schools, although the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. is normally called Martin Luther King Day, and Washington's Birthday is normally called Presidents' Day.

Private employers are not required to observe these holidays, although many businesses will close at least for New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Presidental Proclamation

Federal law also provides for the declaration of other public holidays by the President of the United States. Generally the president will provide a reasoning behind the elevation of the day, and call on the people of the United States to observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies and activities." However, there is no requirement that business or government close on these days, and many members of the general public never become aware that such holidays even exist. Holidays proclaimed in this way may be considered a "national holiday", but it would be improper to refer to them as a "federal holiday".

Controversy

Some people have objected to honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and Christopher Columbus with holidays. As a result, Martin Luther King Day took several years to gain national acceptance and was renamed Human Rights Day in some locations, and Columbus Day is not celebrated in all states, although it remains a holiday for federal workers in those states.

Other Countries

The United Kingdom's equivalent is the Bank Holiday. In Canada, it is the Statutory Holiday.

See also

External links

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