Is New Year's Eve a Federal Holiday and Do I Get the Day Off?

Federal holidays see many government offices shut for the day, while some private businesses may also be closed.

There are currently 12 permanent federal holidays in the U.S., according to the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. Congress. But does this include New Year's Eve?

Is New Year's Eve a Federal Holiday?

New Year's Eve (December 31) is not a federal holiday, while New Year's Day (January 1) is.

However, in 2022, January 1 falls on a Saturday. "If the holiday falls during the weekend, the government may observe it on a different day," says USA.gov.

When a holiday lands on a Saturday, it is generally observed on the Friday before it (while if it lands on a Sunday, it's usually observed on the Monday after it).

This means New Year's Day 2022 is observed on December 31, 2021.

Do I Get New Year's Eve Off?

Since New Year's Day 2022 is observed on December 31 this year, many people (including many federal workers) will get the day off in observance of the New Year's Day federal holiday.

"Although frequently called public or national holidays, these celebrations [federal holidays] are only legally applicable to federal employees and the District of Columbia, as the states individually decide their own legal holidays," the Congressional Research Service explains.

What Federal Holidays Are There in the U.S.?

How Did Federal Holidays Begin?

Back in 1870, the first four congressionally designated federal holidays were created, according to the Congressional Research Service. They included New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Congress granted paid time off to federal workers in Washington, D.C. on these days.

In 1880, Washington's Birthday was included among federal holidays. By 1885, Congress extended holiday coverage for some holidays to all federal workers, the Congressional Research Service explains.

Seven federal holidays have been added by Congress since 1888, including Juneteenth in 2021.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 was passed to "provide for uniform annual observances" of Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

The Monday Holiday Law established Columbus Day as the second Monday in October and in 1975, Veterans Day was designated by Congress to be observed on November 11, according to the Congressional Research Service.