Texas Holiday Leave

From: Staffing

Texas Holiday Leave

Texas Holiday Leave

Holidays for State Employees

State agency employees are entitled to a paid day off from work on a national, state, and skeleton crew holiday observed by the state of Texas. A state agency must have enough state employees on duty during a state holiday to conduct the public business of the agency, except on state holidays that fall on a weekend, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, December 24, and December 26.


Under Tex. Govt. Code Ann. §§ 662.001 – 662.115, the following are observed national holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1).
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (third Monday in January).
  • President’s Day (third Monday in February).
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May).
  • Independence Day (July 4).
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September).
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11).
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November).
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day (fourth Friday in November).
  • Christmas Day (December 25).

The following are observed state holidays:

  • Confederate Heroes Day (January 19).
  • Texas Independence Day (March 2).
  • San Jacinto Day (April 21).
  • Emancipation Day in Texas (June 19).
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (August 27).
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day.
  • December 24 and December 26.

Optional Holiday

State employees working the day before or the day after an optional holiday, or on both workdays, are entitled to exchange a national or state holiday that does not occur on a Saturday or Sunday, for an optional holiday. Optional holidays are only the days on which Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or Good Friday falls. Employees are also entitled to a paid day off on each day of an optional holiday that extends for more than one day if the employee qualifies for the paid day off and agrees to exchange the optional holiday for an equivalent state holiday. However, a state employee may not agree to give up the Friday after Thanksgiving Day or December 24 or 26.

Additionally, March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day. The administrative head of a state agency may allow an employee to have this day off as a paid optional holiday in lieu of other state holidays that occur on weekdays — other than a weekday when an election is held throughout the state — on which the state agency is required to be open but on which the operations of the agency are required to be maintained at only a minimum level. On Cesar Chavez Day, each state agency is to remain open and conduct the operations of the agency at a minimum level. A holiday allowed for Cesar Chavez Day is in lieu of another holiday prescribed by law, and the total number of annual holidays to which an employee is entitled is not changed by this optional holiday for Cesar Chavez Day.

Compensatory Time

An employee who actually works on a national holiday or a state holiday, if the holiday does not fall on a weekend, will be allowed compensatory time off during the 12-month period following the date of the holiday worked. Employees are required to give reasonable notice of their intention to use the compensatory time but are not required to say how the compensatory time will be used.


According to Tex. Labor Code Ann. §§ 61.001 and 61.014 and applicable to all employers, wages due upon termination include vacation and holiday pay owed to an employee under either the employer’s written policy or written agreement with the employee.