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District of Colombia
Public Holidays

District of Columbia Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a calendar of all 2017 District of Columbia public holidays. Please scroll down to view.

Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, has a mayor and city council, but Congress has supreme authority over the city which is named after George Washington. The city is not part of any state, but is within a federal district, known as the District of Columbia. Therefore, the city follows federal guidelines when it comes to holidays that are recognized within the city.

Holidays in Washington DC

Employees in Washington DC are entitled to ten federal holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Federal, city and state offices are closed on all recognized holidays. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is celebrated on the day before while Sunday holidays are celebrated on the Monday after the holiday.

Employers are not required to give employees paid time off for a holiday unless it was previously agreed to between the employer and employee. This could be the case when collective bargaining contracts are in place. Federal contract employees are entitled to holiday pay if they have worked any hours during the week a holiday falls. The federally contracted employee must be paid holiday pay even if the holiday falls on their regular day off or on a Sunday. If the employee does not work during the week of the holiday, they are not entitled to holiday pay.

Emancipation Day

The District of Columbia recognizes Emancipation Day as a holiday as well with many offices and businesses closed on the Monday closest to April 16. The holiday recognizes the date in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, freeing slaves in the District of Columbia, three years before slavery officially ended in the United States with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. In 2005, Emancipation Day became an official public holiday in Washington, DC. Three other states celebrate the emancipation of slaves, all on different dates.

Because Washington, DC is not considered a state, the laws regulating holiday pay are designed to protect federal employees and contractors. Although the city does have leadership, there have been occasions when Congress has intervened, especially related to education and gun control.

Public Holidays 2017

This list has now been updated to reflect the official dates released by the District of Columbia State Government.

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
2 JanMonNew Year's Day Holiday
16 JanMonMartin Luther King Jr. Birthday
20 JanFriInauguration Day
20 FebMonPresident's Day
16 AprSunDC Emancipation Day
17 AprMonDC Emancipation Day Holiday
29 MayMonMemorial Day
4 JulTueIndependence Day
4 SepMonLabor Day
9 OctMonColumbus Day
10 NovFriVeterans' Day Holiday
11 NovSatVeterans' Day
23 NovThuThanksgiving Day
25 DecMonChristmas Day