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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
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Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 3405: Holidays

Date Originally Issued: 01-01-1997
Revised: 03-21-1997, 07-01-2003, 06-27-2016

Process Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

1. General

The University of New Mexico observes specific holidays each year and most offices are closed during these holidays. This policy describes which holidays are observed, which staff employees are eligible for holiday pay, calculation of holiday pay, and compensation to staff employees who must work on a holiday. Faculty should refer to the Faculty Handbook for applicable holiday policies and procedures. Although the University does not grant holiday pay for religious holidays, an employee who requests time off to observe a religious holiday must be allowed to do so by taking annual leave or leave without pay.

2. Holidays Observed

The following holidays are observed by the University:

  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Winter break.  The specific days observed as the holiday period are announced each year by the University Division of Human Resources. Holiday days observed during the winter break do not include weekend.

2.1. Holidays Falling on a Weekend

The holiday is usually observed on the calendar day designated as the holiday. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on the preceding Friday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday.

2.2. Shift Assignment

For employees working a shift assignment where midnight falls within their shift, the observed holiday begins with the starting time of the employee's regular shift on the calendar day observed as the holiday.

2.3. Holiday Observed on Employee's Day Off

When a holiday falls on an employee's regular day off, the holiday is normally granted on the work day immediately preceding or following the employee's regular day off. The holiday may be granted, by mutual agreement between the employee and his or her supervisor, at another time within ninety (90) days.

 2.4. Off Campus Employment

Employees who work off campus at an organization that observes different holidays than those observed by the University may be authorized to observe the holidays that are applicable to that organization, provided that the dean/director provides written approval. In no case will observation of all holidays applicable to both organizations be permitted.

3. Employees Eligible for Holiday Pay

Only regular full-time or part-time employees, working twenty (20) or more hours per week, are eligible to be paid for holiday time off. Temporary and on-call employees are not eligible to receive pay for holiday time off, and neither are part-time employees working less than twenty (20) hours per week. Employees must either work or be on paid leave on scheduled work days before and after the holiday in order to be eligible for holiday pay. Employees whose retirement date is on a holiday do not have to work or be on leave the day after the holiday in order to receive pay for holiday time off.

4. Holiday Compensation

Holiday pay for non-exempt staff working a traditional full-time Monday - Friday schedule is calculated based on their regularly scheduled hours. If the employee is scheduled to work any other schedule (part-time, flex etc.) the employee will be paid for the number of hours obtained by dividing their normal number of scheduled weekly work hours by five (5) days for each observed holiday. For example, an employee who normally works thirty (30) hours per week would receive six (6) hours of holiday pay or thirty (30) hours divided by five (5) days which equals six (6) hours. At no time will non-exempt employees receive greater than eight (8) hours of holiday pay, regardless of schedule. In any month containing holidays, exempt staff will receive their normal pay, while managing their time appropriately to ensure completion of all assigned duties. If an employee is off on a scheduled holiday refer to Section 2.3. herein.

4.1. Employees Required to Work on a Holiday

Organizations or departments such as, but not limited to, law enforcement, patient care facilities, libraries, and plant maintenance, due to the nature of their operation, may regularly require employees to work on holidays. Each employee affected should be advised that this alternate holiday schedule is a condition of employment. However, to meet operational needs, an employee may be required to work a holiday without such notice and approval. In these situations, supervisors should give employees as much notice as possible.

Supervisors will assign employees to work holidays in a fair and reasonable manner, taking into consideration the needs of the unit, and the abilities, availability, and willingness of employees. An employee who refuses to work a holiday may be subject to disciplinary action. Employees who work holidays are compensated at premium rate for time worked in accordance with Sections 4.1.1. and 4.1.2. herein.

4.1.1. Nonexempt employees who are required to work on a holiday will be paid for the hours worked at a premium rate of one and a half (1/2) times their regular rate (base pay plus shift differential, if applicable), and will also be given time off in lieu of the holiday. The time off given in lieu of the holiday will be in accordance with Section 4. herein and must be granted within ninety (90) days of the time earned. If a nonexempt employee does not take the time off during this time period or separates from the University before the time off is taken the employee will be paid for all unused holiday leave at straight time. Employees required to work on a holiday, who can not be given a day off in lieu of the holiday, will be paid the premium rate (one and a half times their base pay plus shift differential) for the hours worked on the holiday. In addition, they will receive holiday pay at their regular rate of pay in accordance with Section 4. herein. Nonexempt employees who separate from the University will be paid for all unused holiday leave at straight time.

4.1.2. In most instances exempt employees will not be required to work on a holiday. Exempt employees who are required to work on a holiday will be paid their regular salary and given another day off.

4.2. Overtime

For the purpose of computing overtime compensation for over forty (40) hours per week, a paid holiday is considered time worked. Time off in lieu of the holiday is also considered time worked.

4.3. Ineligible Employees

Employees not eligible for holiday pay (see Section 3. herein), who are required to work on a holiday, will be paid at the straight-time rate for the hours worked on the holiday.

4.4. Leave Without Pay

Employees on leave without pay will not be paid for holidays which fall during the period of leave without pay.