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Paid University Holidays

Holidays for Northwestern University staff will be observed according to the following calendar.


Date observed

New Year's Day Tue, Jan 1, 2019
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Mon, Jan 21, 2019
Memorial Day Mon, May 27, 2019
Independence Day Thu, July 4, 2019
Labor Day Mon, Sept 2, 2019
Thanksgiving Day Thu, Nov 28. 2019
Day After Thanksgiving Fri, Nov 29, 2019
Christmas Eve Tue, Dec 24, 2019
Christmas Day Wed, Dec 25, 2019
New Year's Eve Tue, Dec 31, 2019
Wed, Jan 1, 2020

Holidays specified in union contracts are observed according to those contracts, even if different from this calendar.  Holidays for the NU-Q campus may differ from these dates.

Holiday eligibility

Eligibility for paid time away from work is determined by the following criteria:

  • The staff member must be employed by Northwestern University in a regular benefits-eligible position
  • The staff member must be compensated from the Northwestern University payroll system, and
  • The staff member must hold a position or an appointment with a total full-time equivalent (FTE) greater than or equal to 50 percent (0.50).

Scheduled holidays

Usually holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday and holidays falling on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday. Staff members in part-time positions are paid on a prorated basis for scheduled University holidays.

In certain circumstances, staff members may be scheduled to work on a day that the University observes as a holiday. In such cases, non-exempt staff members will receive holiday pay at the regular hourly rate or an alternate workday off (as outlined below) plus one and one-half times their regular hourly rate for the hours actually worked on the holiday. 

If a holiday falls on a staff member’s scheduled day off, the staff member will receive an alternate workday off. This alternate day off must be scheduled with supervisor’s approval within 30 days of the holiday. For example, if a holiday falls on a Thursday when a staff member is not scheduled to work, the staff member may take another day off within 30 days of the University holiday with prior
supervisory approval.

Scheduling of vacation, personal floating holidays, and alternate holidays is always at the mutual convenience of the staff member and the employing department/unit and requires the prior approval of the supervisor.

For more information about the University Scheduled Holidays policy, refer to page 6.1 in the Staff Handbook.