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Texas Payroll/Personnel Resource

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General Provisions


Eligible state agency employees are entitled to a paid day off from work on national, state and optional holidays observed by the state.

State agencies are authorized to be closed on all national holidays and certain state holidays — the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

Agencies must remain open on the remaining state holidays, with enough staff on hand to manage their day-to-day public business.

Federal and state Holidays

Federal State
New Year’s Day Confederate Heroes Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Texas Independence Day
Presidents’ Day San Jacinto Day
Memorial Day Emancipation Day
4th of July Lyndon B. Johnson’s Birthday
Labor Day Friday After Thanksgiving
Veterans Day Christmas Eve
Thanksgiving Day Day After Christmas
Christmas Day  

A schedule of federal and state holidays for the current fiscal year is available on the state auditor’s website.

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Holidays that Fall on Saturday or Sunday

These holidays:

  • Are not observed on another day (for example, by closing state offices on the workday preceding or following the holiday).
  • Are not observed for that year.

Special provisions for certain law enforcement personnel

The following employees who are required to work on a national or state holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday are entitled to compensatory time off at the rate of one hour for each hour worked on the holiday:

  • A state employee who is a commissioned peace officer
  • An employee of the Department of Public Safety who is employed to perform either communications or dispatch services related to traffic law enforcement or as a public security officer
  • An employee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who is employed to perform communications and dispatch services to assist law enforcement officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission in performing law enforcement duties

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Multiple Holidays on the Same Day

In rare circumstances, more than one holiday may fall on the same day. In such cases, only one holiday is observed, as indicated below:

If two holidays fall on the same date Rules for the following holiday apply
National or State National
National or Optional National
State or Optional State

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Eligibility for Holidays

State employees are entitled to paid holidays, if the employee is in a paid status for any part of the workday that occurs:

  • Before and after the holiday, if the holiday falls mid-month
  • After the holiday, if the holiday falls on the first workday of the month
  • Before the holiday, if the holiday falls on the last workday of the month

Part-time employees

Part-time state employees earn holiday time proportional to the hours they work. For example, a part-time employee who works 20 hours per week would be entitled to four hours of holiday time on a state or national holiday.

Employees on leave without pay

An employee is not entitled to the holiday if they are on leave without pay for the entire day in any of the following situations:

  • After a first-of-the-month holiday
  • Before an end-of-month holiday
  • Before or after a mid-month holiday

Employees with non-standard workweeks

Employees who work other than Monday through Friday are entitled to the same number of holidays as those who work standard workweeks. At the agency’s discretion, these employees may observe the holiday on a different day than the actual holiday. However, agencies must ensure employees working non-standard workweeks receive the appropriate number of holidays during the fiscal year (the same number of holidays as for an employee who works a standard workweek). See Government Code, Section 662.009(a).

Employees who work part-time, non-standard schedules are entitled to receive holiday hours proportional to the number of hours they work.

Transferred employees

State agencies must ensure eligible employees are paid for a holiday if it occurs between the time they stop work at one agency and transfer to another agency with no break in service. The agency the employee is transferring to is responsible for paying the employee for the holiday. Even if the gaining agency or institution of higher education does not recognize the holiday, it is responsible for ensuring the employee receives pay for that day.


If an employee works for one state agency through Aug. 31 and begins work at a different state agency on Sept. 2 (with Sept. 1 being Labor Day in this example), the agency to which the employee transferred should pay the employee for the Sept. 1 holiday.

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Skeleton Crew Holidays and Holiday Compensatory Time

On state holidays when state agencies are required to remain open, agencies are not required to operate with full staff. Only enough employees to manage the public business of the agency are required to be on hand. Because of reduced staffing, these state holidays are referred to as “skeleton crew days.”

Agencies must grant holiday compensatory hours to employees who work on skeleton crew holidays. Employees earn holiday compensatory time on a one-to-one basis — for each hour worked, an hour of holiday compensatory time is earned, up to eight hours. Employees (including employees who work non-standard workweeks) have one year from the date the time was earned to use the leave before it expires.

Holiday compensatory hours do not transfer when an employee moves from one state agency to another, unless the transfer is due to a legislative action.

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Optional Holidays

State employees are entitled to observe optional holidays — Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Good Friday — by agreeing to work another state holiday instead.

Cesar Chavez Day may also be taken in lieu of a skeleton crew holiday. However, unlike other optional holidays, the head of each agency must decide if employees will be allowed to observe this day as an optional holiday.

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Specific Rules for Institutes of Higher Education

State statutes allow institutions of higher education the flexibility to establish their holiday schedules. Consequently, though the number of holidays observed is always the same, institutions of higher education and state agencies may have different schedules.

Note: Institutions of higher education observe exactly the same number of holidays observed by all state agencies. The number of holidays is based on the combined national and state holidays observed by state agencies for the year.

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Commissioned peace officer
A state employee who is a peace officer commissioned by a state officer or state agency listed under Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.12.
Standard workweek
Monday through Friday, eight hours per day.
State employee
An employee or appointed officer of a state agency whose office is not created by the state constitution. The term includes a part-time, hourly or temporary employee.
A day on which a state employee is normally scheduled to work. The term does not include a national or state holiday.


Texas Government Code, Sections 662.001, 662.003-.006, 662.010 and 662.013.
Texas Government Code, Sections 662.002, 662.007-.009 and 662.011-.012.