The Complete List of 2021 Federal Holidays for Businesses

The Complete List of 2023 Federal Holidays for Businesses

As we turn the corner and move into 2023, you’ll want to plan out your employment schedule for the new year. For many businesses, this includes designating holidays that employees don’t have to work. To help you make this decision, we’ve compiled a complete list of the federal 2023 holidays (as well as some others).

When it comes to paid-time-off (PTO) and keeping track of who to pay what, we recommend using an HR software like Eddy that helps you keep everything organized, digitized, and automated. Request a custom, free quote today to see how we can help make the payroll process as simple as possible.

List of Federal Holidays Dates in 2023

Holiday NameDateDay of the Week
New Year's DayJanuary 1 / December 31*Saturday / Friday*
Martin Luther King Jr. DayJanuary 17Monday
Washington's Birthday / President's DayFebruary 21Monday
Memorial DayMay 30Monday
JuneteenthJune 19Monday
Independence DayJuly 4 Monday
Labor DaySeptember 5Monday
Columbus Day / Indigenous People's DayOctober 10Monday
Veteran's DayNovember 11Friday
Thanksgiving DayNovember 24Thursday
Christmas DayDecember 25 / December 26*Sunday / Monday*
New Year's DayJanuary 1 / January 2*Sunday / Monday*

* The observed date. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday before is a holiday. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a holiday. 

What’s a federal holiday?

A federal holiday is designated by the federal government in accordance with federal law 5 U.S.C 6103. On federal holidays, federal employees and many members of the armed forces are given the day off. Also, government offices and banks are closed in observance of the holiday. Because these institutions close, this can affect certain businesses.

What’s an example of a federal holiday?

An example of a federal holiday is Memorial Day. Every year, on the last Monday of the month of May, banks and government offices close to celebrate, commemorate, and observe Memorial Day.

Many private businesses will often close their offices or give employees the day off to celebrate a federal holiday.

What’s an example of a non-federal holiday?

There are plenty of examples of holidays that are not considered “federal.” Many states observe their own state holidays (like Pioneer Day in Utah, Nevada Day in Nevada, or Casimir Pulaski Day in Wisconsin). Many religions celebrate on their own special days (such as Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Yom Kippur, and Eid Al-Fitr). There are also fun days like National Hot Dog Day, National Pie Day, and April Fool’s Day.

These holidays are not observed by the federal government, and businesses typically don’t shut down because of them.

Am I required to give employees time off for a federal holiday?

No. There is no law that requires an employer to give an employee time off to celebrate a federal holiday (unless you are a financial institution or government entity). Time off is often given for federal holidays, but there is no requirement to do so.

Additionally, if you choose to give employees time off for a federal holiday, you are not required by law to pay those employees for the time off.

However, even though there is no requirement to grant time off for these holidays or pay employees during their time off, we recommend doing so. Paid time off is a wonderful employee benefit and can be used as a way to keep employees happy, motivated, and engaged. Paid time off is also a way for employees to maintain good mental and physical health.

Paid time off also contributes to your ability to recruit and retain great people. Talented employees have options, and if you do not offer the time off they expect, they may look for a different employer. By offering generous PTO (including on federal holidays) you’ll reduce employee turnover and be more competitive when hiring top talent.

Am I required to give employees time off to celebrate religious holidays?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of religion. Therefore, if an employee makes a request to take time off to reserve a religious holiday, and the employer can reasonably accommodate that request, then the employee must be allowed to take the time off. This applies to any employer who has 15 or more employees.

To deal with this, many companies institute a “floating holiday.” A floating holiday can be taken at an employee’s discretion and can be used to observe an important religious day.


Federal holidays are a great opportunity for employers to give employees time off work. While not a requirement, the benefit of paid time off is extremely valuable, and it’s something that employees cherish. As you plan for 2023, take a moment to consider what holidays you can celebrate with your employees by allowing them to take some time away from work.

And to make your life easier, use an HR software like Eddy that can help you organize all of your payroll processes like PTO. We’d love to give you a free, custom quote!

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