Legal Public Holidays: 2020


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
Jan. 1, 2020 Dec. 31, 2020 11   12  


Each year, the District government offers employees eleven paid holidays. Paid holidays begin with New Year's Day in January and end with Christmas Day in December. This issuance outlines all the legal public holidays for calendar year 2020, and any scheduling modifications for employees according to their tours of duty. This issuance also addresses holiday premium pay for employees who are required to work during a legal public holiday.

Public Holidays

Full Time Schedules Monday to Friday

For calendar year 2020, the legal public holidays for District government employees whose basic workweek is Monday through Friday are as follows:

Calendar Year 2020 Legal Public Holidays
New Year’s Day Wednesday, January 1
Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday Monday, January 20
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 17
D.C. Emancipation Day Thursday, April 16
Memorial Day Monday, May 25
Independence Day Friday, July 3*
Labor Day Monday, September 7
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, October 12
Veterans Day Wednesday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 26
Christmas Day Friday, December 25

*July 4, 2020 (Independence Day) falls on a Saturday. Therefore, Friday, July 3 will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes in accordance with § 1222.1 of the District Personnel Manual.

Part-Time Schedules and Schedules Other Than Monday - Friday

Special rules apply if an employee works part-time, or when an employee’s typical schedule is other than Monday through Friday.

Part-Time Employees

For part-time employees, whenever a public holiday falls on one of the employee’s regularly scheduled workdays, the part-time employee will be entitled to holiday pay. When a public holiday falls on a day a part-time employee is not regularly scheduled to work, the employee will not be entitled to holiday pay and no “in-lieu-of” or make-up day is authorized for that part-time employee.

Full-Time Employees with Non-Standard Workweeks

For full-time employees with schedules other than Monday through Friday, including compressed work schedules, when a holiday falls on a regularly scheduled day off, the legal public holiday for that employee depends on their scheduled tour of duty. The resulting legal public holiday is often called an “in-lieu-of” holiday. For these employees, when a holiday falls on the:

  • First (or only) non-workday - the in-lieu-of holiday for the employee is the workday immediately before the first non-workday;
  • Last non-workday - the in-lieu-of holiday for the employee is the day immediately after the last non-workday.

The following section, “In-Lieu-Of Schedules for Non-Standard Workweeks,” provides specific guidance.

"In-Lieu-Of" Schedules for Non-Standard Workweeks

Please refer to the tables below for guidance on determining the legal public holiday for employees who work non-standard schedules.

Monday Holidays: 

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday: Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Washington’s Birthday: February 17, 2020
  • Memorial Day: May 25, 2020
  • Labor Day: Monday, September 7, 2020
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day: October 12, 2020
“In-Lieu-Of” Days for Monday Holidays
Scheduled Days Off In-Lieu of Holiday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday

Memorial Day

Labor Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Sun & Mon

Tues Jan 21 Fed 18 May 28 Sep 8 Oct 13

Mon & Tues

Mon & Wed

Mon & Thurs

Mon & Fri

Mon & Sat

Sun Jan 19 Fed 16 May 24 Sep 6 Oct 11


“In-Lieu-Of” Days for Wednesday Holidays
Scheduled Days Off In-Lieu-of Holiday New Year’s Day Veterans Day

Sun & Wed

Mon & Wed

Tues & Wed

Thurs Jan 2 Nov 12

Wed & Thurs

Wed & Fri

Wed & Sat

Tues Dec 31 Nov 10

Thursday Holidays: 

  • Thanksgiving: November 26, 2020
  • D.C. Emancipation Day: April 16, 2020
“In-Lieu-Of” Days for Thursday Holidays
Scheduled Days Off In-Lieu-of Holiday Thanksgiving D.C. Emancipation Day

Sun & Thurs

Mon & Thurs

Tues & Thurs

Wed & Thurs

Fri Nov 27 April 17

Thurs & Fri

Thurs & Sat

Wed Nov 25 April 15

Friday Holidays:

  • Christmas: December 25, 2020
  • Independence Day: July 3, 2020*
“In-Lieu-Of” Days for Friday Holidays
Scheduled Days Off In-Lieu-of Holiday Christmas Independence Day

Sun & Fri

Mon & Fri

Tues & Fri

Wed & Fri

Thurs & Fri

Sat Dec 26 July 4
Fri & Sat Thurs Dec 24 July 2

Required Work on Holidays and Holiday Premium Pay

Some District government agencies must operate on legal public holidays to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors. For this reason, agency heads may require certain employees to work on holidays. Employees required to work on a holiday may request annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay for that date, in accordance with their agency's established procedures. If the employee's leave request is not approved, then they are required to report to work on the holiday.

An employee who is scheduled to work on a holiday and does not receive an in-lieu-of day will be paid holiday premium pay for that day. Holiday premium pay will only be paid for work actually performed. An employee who performs holiday work is entitled to a minimum of two hours of holiday premium pay.

Employees Who Are Not Eligible to Receive Holiday Premium Pay

Subject to individual agency policies, employees who are required to work on a holiday but use approved leave will not receive premium holiday pay nor an in-lieu-of day. Employees who are paid at Grade 15 or above shall not be entitled to holiday premium pay.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

In the event of a conflict between any of the provisions of this E-DPM issuance and any collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the provisions of the CBA will control to the extent that there is a difference.



This issuance applies to those District government agencies subordinate to the Mayor’s personnel authority. Other personnel authorities or independent agencies may adopt any of these procedures to provide guidance to employees under their respective jurisdictions. The provisions in this issuance exclude the following employees:

  1. Uniformed members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD); and
  2. Uniformed members of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS).

Additional Information

For additional information concerning this issuance, please contact the Department of Human Resources, Policy and Compliance Administration, by calling (202) 442-9700 or by sending an e-mail to

Issued by Ventris C. Gibson, Director D.C. Department of Human Resources on Dec. 10, 2019, midnight