UPS Policy Change

With the implementation of the University Personnel System (UPS), the information in this section has changed effective July 1, 2015. For more information on this topic, see the UPS website.

The University of Wisconsin grants nine days of paid legal holidays per year to eligible employees.

  • 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)

Full-time employees earn eight hours of leave for each legal holiday. Part-time employees earn a pro-rated amount based on their appointment percentage.

Legal Holidays that Fall on the Weekend or a Regularly Scheduled Day Off

  • If the legal holidays of January 1, July 4 or December 25 fall on Sunday, the legal holiday is observed and the UW is closed on the following Monday.
  • You will be given a floating legal holiday if:
    • Any legal holiday falls on Saturday or the legal holidays of December 24 or December 31 fall on a Sunday (must be a regularly scheduled day off)
    • You work on a legal holiday
    • A legal holiday falls on a regularly scheduled day off
  • Floating legal holidays can be used like any other paid leave.
  • Floating legal holidays must be used by the end of the end of the year in which 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.