Leave Policy: Holidays and Birthdays

Mar 20, 2014

Practice Note

To attract and retain valued employees, most employers offer some combination of paid and unpaid time off. Deciding on an appropriate leave strategy for an organization will depend on the nature of the business and the diversity of the workforce. See Managing Paid Leave Benefits.

Many organizations have also policies that allow an employee to request a leave of absence for various reasons. The Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state statutes provide different entitlements to a leave of absence, depending on the size of the company, the length of employment, the number of hours worked and the purpose of the leave. See Coordinating Leaves of Absence for discussion of the process of managing leaves of absence.

This policy provides for holiday leave (provided by virtually all U.S. employers) and birthday leave (provided by very few U.S. employers). For discussion of employer issues and practices related to holidays, see Holiday Policies that Serve the Needs of Employers, Employees.

Holiday Leave


The number of holiday hours an employee is entitled to is based on the employee’s regularly scheduled hours as follows:

If you are: You are entitled to:
Equal to .8 FTE or more (64 or more hours per pay period) 8 hours
Equal to .5 FTE and less than .8 FTE (40-63 hours per pay period) 6 hours
Less than .5 FTE (less than 40 hours per pay period) 4 hours

Paid holidays

[Company Name] recognizes the following six paid holidays per calendar year:
  • New Year's Day.
  • Memorial Day.
  • Independence Day.
  • Labor Day.
  • Thanksgiving Day.
  • Christmas Day.

Dates of company holiday observance

Depending upon the particular day of the week a designated holiday falls on, [Company Name] may celebrate the holiday on a different day than the official holiday. For example, [Company Name]’s holiday might be set on a Friday or Monday in order to afford employees a three-day weekend even though the official holiday occurs on another day. When a holiday is on a Saturday, [Company Name] observes it on Friday. When a holiday is on a Sunday, [Company Name] observes it on Monday.

Holiday pay

Full-time employees are paid eight hours for the above holidays. Part-time employees normally scheduled to work the day of the holiday will be paid for the holiday.

Employees required to work a [Company Name]’s holiday will be paid at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

Birthday Leave

[Company Name] employees with regularly scheduled hours are entitled to take time off one [paid or unpaid] day during the month of their birthday. The employee must give prior notice of the particular day of the leave to his or her direct supervisor and obtain the supervisor’s approval.

This material is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should always contact your attorney to determine if this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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