The Universities of Wisconsin grants nine days of paid legal holidays per year to eligible employees. Full-time employees earn eight hours of leave for each legal holiday. Part-time employees earn a prorated amount based on hours worked during the pay period that includes the legal holiday.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Third Monday of January)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Eve (December 24)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31)

When a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, the employee is granted eight hours of floating legal holiday (prorated, if part-time).

When a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the legal holiday is observed and the Universities of Wisconsin is closed on the Monday following the legal holiday.

Due to varying business needs throughout the Universities of Wisconsin, some employees may be required to work on a legal holiday. Employees who are required to work on a legal holiday, or if the legal holiday is on an employee’s regularly schedule day off, they will be granted floating legal holiday.

Floating legal holidays can be used like any other paid leave, and must be used by the end of the year in which it was earned (calendar year for University Staff employees, fiscal year for Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited appointees).


To be eligible for a paid legal holiday, you must:

  • Be eligible for sick leave; and
  • Be actively employed on the legal holiday; and
  • One of the following:
    • Be paid for the work day immediately before the legal holiday; or
    • Be paid for the first work day immediately following the legal holiday; or
    • Work on the legal holiday; or
    • Be on an approved military leave of absence.


Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.

Updated: 05/29/2024