Canadian and U.S. Statutory Holidays

54-cdn-usa-holidays The period between New Year’s in January and early March can feel like a lull. The season is stagnant in the end of winter, life has returned back to regular routine after holiday chaos, and it also happens to be the time of year where statutory holidays are relatively far between.

Canada United States
Federal Holiday / National Holiday
• Public holidays legislated at the national level, and observed by federal employees and by most provinces.
• When a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off (generally the weekend), then the following work day is considered a statutory holiday in most provinces.
• Many of the federally-recognized public holidays are observed nationwide.
• Public holidays recognized by the federal government and observed by federal employees.
• Excluding Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day (U.S.) and Christmas Day, all federal holidays are observed on Monday in accordance to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
• There are currently no federally-mandated public holidays.
Provincial Holiday (Canada) / State Holiday (U.S.)
• Public holidays recognized by the province/territory, and generally observed by most employers.
• Provincial holidays often (though not always) include the same public holidays that are recognized at the federal level. For example, Good Friday is a statutory holiday generally observed nationwide except in the province of Quebec (QC).
• Public holidays recognized by the states, but not necessarily observed by most employers
• State holidays often (though not always) include the same public holidays that are recognized at the federal level. States are not required to observe federal holidays. Not only are states allowed to opt out of observation of these holidays, but states are also given the opportunity to declare state holidays if they so choose.
• Most employees working in the public and private sectors are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. If employees are required to work on a statutory holiday, the employee must either receive a day off in lieu of the holiday, or must be paid a premium rate (1.5 or 2 times the regular pay for their time worked that day) in addition to holiday pay. • There is no mandate for private employers to observe federal holidays. Many private employers offer paid federal holidays as an additional employment benefit.
The table below illustrates statutory/public holidays observed at the federal level (Canada and the United States) and at the provincial/state level (British Columbia and California, respectively).

( ✔ )
– holiday is not recognized in country
– holiday generally observed by most employers
– holiday recognized, but not generally observed
Canada United States
2014 Holiday Fed. Prov. (BC) Fed. State (CA)
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day
Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
Feb. 4 Rosa Parks Day ( )
Feb. 17 Family Day (Canada)
President’s Day (U.S.)
Washington’s Birthday (U.S.)
Mar. 31 César Chávez Day ( )
Apr. 18 Good Friday
May 19 Victoria Day
May 26 Memorial Day
Jul. 1 Canada Day
Jul. 4 Independence Day
Aug. 4 Civic Holiday
Sep. 1 Labour Day
Oct. 13 Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Columbus Day (U.S.)
Nov. 11 Remembrance Day (Canada)
Veteran’s Day (U.S.)
Nov. 27 Thanksgiving Day (U.S.)
Nov. 28 Black Friday
Dec. 25 Christmas Day

Time to start planning your upcoming vacations!

Helpful links to Canadian statutory holidays:
•     2014 Public Holidays in Canada
•     Public Holidays in Canada
•     Government of Labour – Public Holidays in British Columbia (BC)

Helpful links to United States statutory holidays:
•     2014 Public Holidays in the U.S.
•     Public Holidays in the U.S.
•     Federal Holidays in the U.S.

One response to “Canadian and U.S. Statutory Holidays

  1. Pingback: Happy Canada Day! … Happy (early) Independence Day! | Silicon Valley Loonies·

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