02.E.03 – Holidays

Section: Human Resources

Area: Miscellaneous Benefits

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The state authorizes certain legal holidays for state employees but provides that educational institutions may adjust the actual observance of these holidays to permit the most efficient operation, per Texas Government Code, Section 662.004 . The holiday schedule is established by the Board of Regents on the recommendation of the Chancellor, based on the recommendation of the university Presidents.


2.1. It is the policy of the University of Houston System that regular, benefits-eligible employees, regardless of length of service, are entitled to paid holidays as authorized by state law. For the purpose of this policy, a regular, benefits-eligible employee is one who is employed to work at least fifty (50) percent time for at least four and one-half continuous months, excluding students holding positions for which student status is a requirement for employment. Part-time (less than .50 FTE), temporary (less than 4.5 months), and student employees are not eligible for paid holidays.

2.2. Eligible employees who work less than full-time shall receive paid holidays proportionate to their percentage of full-time effort.

2.3. Each university's human resources department will publish procedures for reporting holiday time that are consistent with the work schedules of the university. If a university observes approved schedules that differ from the normal 8-hour per day, 40-hour per week schedule, holiday compensation will nevertheless be restricted to 8 hours per holiday. If more than 8 hours are taken off on a holiday as a result of the university's work schedule, those excess hours will be reported as approved annual leave time, compensatory time or leave without pay, or will be accounted for by adjusting the work schedule in which the holiday falls to reach a total of 40 compensable hours (or proportion thereof for eligible employees working less than 100% FTE). Such time and effort reporting will be in accordance with the university procedures, so that employees are limited to no more than 8 hours of holiday pay per approved holiday.


3.1. Workdays before and after scheduled holidays: In order to qualify for holiday pay, an eligible employee must work the regularly scheduled workday immediately before a holiday period or be in a paid leave status for such scheduled workday. If an employee does not return to work or use paid leave on the first workday following the winter holiday period, the employee will receive holiday pay only through December 31. If the employee works or uses paid leave on the first workday in January, the employee will receive holiday pay for the January portion of the winter holiday period.

3.2. Work on a scheduled holiday: The nature of certain operations may require that they be kept in operation during part or all of scheduled holidays. For that reason, staff assigned to such work groups must, as a condition of their employment, be available to work on some or all of such holidays. Work on a scheduled holiday must be approved in advance by the supervisor.

Eligible employees who are required to work on a scheduled holiday will be entitled to equivalent time off with pay to be taken during the 12-month period following the end of the workweek in which the holiday occurred. The date(s) of such equivalent time off will be mutually agreed upon in advance by the employee and the supervisor. Unless an employee actually works on a scheduled holiday, holiday hours are not considered as "hours worked" for the purpose of computing weekly overtime of non-exempt employees.

3.3. Compensatory time pay in lieu of equivalent time off: Employees may be paid for holiday compensatory time hours earned on a straight time basis when the supervisor determines that allowing the employee to take compensatory time off would be disruptive to normal teaching, research, or other critical functions.

3.4. Holiday entitlements for new hires and terminating employees: If an eligible employee begins work on the first workday of the month, the employee is entitled to be paid for a System-designated holiday that occurs before the first workday if the holiday occurs during the same month and does not fall on a Saturday or a Sunday.

An eligible employee who terminates employment on the last workday of the month is entitled to be paid for a System-designated holiday that occurs after the last workday if the holiday falls within that month and does not fall on a Saturday or a Sunday.

3.5. Holiday entitlements for employees working non-standard schedules : An eligible employee who normally works on a schedule other than 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, is entitled to paid holiday time off that is equivalent to the holiday time which employees who work normal schedules receive, and which is proportionate to the percentage of full-time effort.

3.6. Holiday entitlements for employees in approved leave status: When a System-designated holiday occurs during an eligible employee's approved vacation period, the holiday is not counted as a day of vacation.

When a System-designated holiday occurs during an eligible employee's approved absence for sick leave, the holiday is not counted as a day of sick leave.

When a System-designated holiday occurs during an employee's approved unpaid leave of absence, the employee is not entitled to holiday pay.

3.8. Optional holidays: A University of Houston System employee is entitled to observe Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Good Friday and/or Cesar Chavez Day by using accrued vacation leave or leave without pay if all accrued vacation leave has been exhausted, or by working on a holiday in which a skeleton workforce is required by the University. An employee who wishes to observe these optional holidays must provide reasonable advance written notice to their supervisor.

3.9. Premium pay exclusions: Holiday pay is calculated at the straight rate and does not include shift differential or other premium pay.


Texas Government Code Chapter 662 – Holidays for State Employees

Texas Government Code § 661.914 – Voting by State Employees


Issued: 11/04/1994
Last Reviewed/Revised: 11/11/2021
Responsible Office(s): Finance