December 26, 2014 a Federal Holiday Per Executive Order

President Obama signed another executive order December 5, 2014 giving federal employees the day off on the day after Christmas, December 26, 2014, except for those who need to remain employed “for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”

This executive order does not establish a new federal holiday, which holidays were established by Congress and codified in 5 U.S.C. § 6103:

The following are legal public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day, January 1.
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday in January.
  • Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February.
  • Memorial Day, the last Monday in May.
  • Independence Day, July 4.
  • Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
  • Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.
  • Veterans Day, November 11.
  • Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November.
  • Christmas Day, December 25.

Instead, the executive order just gives off one day in one year. Without further action, federal employees will work December 26, 2015 and the day after Christmas in other subsequent years.

This order only applies to federal employees. Public employees who work for state, county, and city agencies and offices are not covered by this order.

Differences between state and federal holidays are not unusual. In Nevada, for example, Nevada Day (observed the last Friday in October) and Family Day (a.k.a. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving) are holidays for which the federal government does not close its doors. Columbus Day, on the other hand, is a federal holiday during which state offices remain open.

Read the full text of the executive order at


Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or