2021 Federal Holidays

December 29, 2020 9:28 AM
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Two lane road leading towards a city skyline in the background against an orange sunset with the numbers '2021' illustrated over the top of the highway

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What holidays can federal employees expect in 2021? Here is a complete list.

One that is unique for this year is inauguration day. This will apply to federal employees in the Washington, DC area.

This day is granted as a holiday, at least in part, to help with the inevitable traffic congestion that permeates the DC region for the inauguration event. As the Office of Personnel Management states, “Federal employees who report to their duty station in the downtown Washington, DC area and its vicinity on January 19 and 20 should expect possible commuting delays and travel disruptions due to road closures, mass transit changes, motorcades, and the establishment of security perimeters.”

DateHoliday
Friday, January 1New Year’s Day
Monday, January 18Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wednesday, January 20*Inauguration Day
Monday, February 15**Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 31Memorial Day
Monday, July 5***Independence Day
Monday, September 6Labor Day
Monday, October 11Columbus Day
Thursday, November 11Veterans Day
Thursday, November 25Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 24****Christmas Day

*This holiday is desginated as “Inauguration Day” in section 6103(c) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Federal employees in the Washington, DC area are entitled to a holiday on the day a President is inaugurated, January 20 for each fourth year after 1965. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

**This holiday is designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

***July 4, 2021 (the legal public holiday for Independence Day), falls on a Sunday. For most Federal employees, Monday, July 5, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(b).)

****December 25, 2021 (the legal public holiday for Christmas Day), falls on a Saturday. For most Federal employees, Friday, December 24, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes. (See section 3(a) of Executive order 11582, February 11, 1971.)

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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