United States Federal and State Holidays
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Federal holidays in the United States are public holidays that have been recognized by the federal government, and are applicable to federal employees. State holidays are public holidays recognized by states – and often (though not always) include the same holidays recognized at the federal level.
With the exception of Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, all federal holidays are observed on a Monday. This is in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which is intended to move holidays to a Monday whenever possible in order to allow federal employees to have a three-day weekend.
States are not required to observe federal holidays. Not only are states allowed to opt out of observation of these holidays, but states are also given the opportunity to declare state holidays if they so choose.
Although there are no federally-mandated holidays currently observed in the United States, most states choose to observe federal holidays. Some states observe versions of holidays that are related to the federally recognized holidays without being identical.
Private employers are not obligated to allow employees to have time off of work for federal holidays. It is at the discretion of the employer, and many employers choose to offer paid federal holidays as an additional benefit of employment for eligible employees. Employers that do choose to allow employees to take time off for a holiday are not under any obligation to provide compensation for the holiday.