Columbus Day: Do Americans get the day off from work?

Many Americans will not have the day off from work

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 11 October 2021 14:35
Comments
Los Angeles city council vote to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day

Federal holidays may mean highly anticipated long weekends for some, but the same is not true for all Americans.

On October 11, Americans will celebrate Columbus Day, an annual holiday honouring Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America.

More recently, the day, which became a federal holiday in 1937, has become known as Indigenous Peoples' Day, to recognise the civilisations that were in America long before Columbus’ arrival.

Unfortunately, as far as federal holidays go, employers are more likely to give employees the day off on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day, rather than Columbus Day or Veterans Day.

Columbus Day can be considered a “second-tier holiday”, as only 14 per cent of organisations are closed on the holiday.

This is what you need to know about working on Columbus Day.

Do most Americans have the day off from work on Columbus Day?

Unfortunately, because Columbus Day is a federal holiday, it means that the only people guaranteed a paid day off are federal employees - as government offices will be closed.

Most banks will also be closed, so bank employees will likely have a paid day off as well.

However, apart from that, whether your employer decides to give you a paid day off is entirely at their discretion.

According to Pew Research Centre, only 21 states give workers Columbus Day off as a paid holiday.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics states that, for full-time employees, “77 per cent of private industry workers had access to paid holidays in March 2017.” However, on average, these workers received eight paid holidays, not all 10.

Part-time, hourly, and temporary employees are even less likely to have paid holidays off, especially a holiday such as Columbus Day.

So, overall, it is unlikely you will have Columbus Day off from work.

Before you book that long weekend or turn off your Monday morning alarm, you should check with your company’s human resources department.

The number of paid holidays off, and which holidays are included, may also be listed in your job contract.

For more about US federal holidays, you can find a list of this year’s holidays here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in