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Georgia State Holidays 2024: Leave Laws and PTO Guide

6 min read
georgia holidays 2024

At the start of this year, employers in The Peach State eagerly awaited the list of Georgia state holidays for 2024. These holidays play a significant role in determining the days when businesses and government offices will close, and when certain employees can enjoy time off to celebrate or commemorate various events.

But do you know how state holidays in GA impact your business? Are you clear on your obligations in terms of employee time off and holiday pay?

If not, then you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s guide for employers, we will explore all 2024 Georgia state holidays and how they impact private and public employers. We will also outline the Georgia leave and holiday laws that you need to be aware of when you create your employee time off policies.

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Georgia federal holidays 2024

Let’s start today’s post by exploring the list of all federal state of Georgia holidays that are observed in 2024.

Federal holidays 2024 Georgia:

  • New Year’s Day (Monday, January 1, 2024)
  • Martin Luther King’s Birthday (Monday, January 15, 2024)
  • Washington’s Birthday or President’s Day (Monday, February 19, 2024)
  • Memorial Day (Monday, May 27, 2024)
  • Juneteenth (Wednesday, June 19, 2024)
  • Independence Day (Thursday, July 4,2024)
  • Labor Day (Monday, September 2, 2024)
  • Columbus Day (Monday, October 14, 2024)
  • Veterans’ Day (Monday, November 11, 2024)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28, 2024)
  • Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25, 2024)

Although a federal holiday, Washington’s Birthday is also recognized as a state holiday. However, unlike most states that observe this day in February, Georgia has observed Washington’s Birthday on Christmas Eve since state legislature passed a law in 1973 that moved the holiday to the Friday before Christmas. This was done to create a three-day weekend for state employees and to boost tourism during the holiday season. This year, Washington’s Birthday will be observed on December 26. This is because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday and Christmas Day is a federal holiday.

Is Juneteenth a holiday in Georgia?

Yes, as with all other US states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and Florida, Juneteenth is now observed as a federal holiday in Georgia. This is the most recent holiday that the federal government has nationalized in the US. The holiday came into force after President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in 2021.

2024 federal holidays

Georgia state holidays 2024

The Peach State also observes a number of Georgia state holidays in 2024. These holidays, although not included in the official list of federal holidays, are marked by the state as significant days for various reasons. They commemorate historical events, honor local figures, or celebrate specific cultural aspects that hold importance to the state’s residents.

For instance, Georgia observes Good Friday as a state holiday. On this day, many government offices, schools, and businesses close for the day. This allows people to spend time with their families, attend religious services, or participate in community events that focus on the religious and spiritual significance of this holy day.

Georgia also observes the day after Thanksgiving (November 24) as one of the state of GA holidays in 2024. Known as “Black Friday”, this day is marked by a flurry of shopping and retail activity as it officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.

Atlanta also celebrates various local holidays and events that hold significance to its residents.

City of Atlanta holidays 2024:

  • Atlanta Jazz Festival: Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country.
  • Atlanta Pride Festival: Celebrated in October, this event is one of the largest LGBTQ+ pride festivals in the Southeast. It includes a parade, live performances, and various activities promoting inclusivity and diversity.
  • Sweetwater 420 Fest: This music and arts festival occurs in April and features a diverse lineup of musical performances, as well as activities centered around environmental awareness and sustainability.

However, these are not official state holidays so businesses and public offices in Atlanta do not close on these days.

What holidays are paid in Georgia?

The rules for holiday pay on federal and state holidays in GA are different for public and private employees.

The governor of Georgia must close state offices and facilities for a certain number of days each year, which includes observing both legal holidays and other specified holidays. This includes the listed federal holidays above which are mandatory paid holidays for public employees. It also includes Good Friday, Statehood Day, and Election Day.

In terms of the private sector, private employers in GA do not have to close their businesses on any of the listed Georgia state holidays in 2024. Moreover, they don’t have to provide employees with paid or unpaid time off on these holidays. They also do not have to pay premium wage rates to employees who work on those days unless the time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under regular overtime laws.

Leave laws and holidays in the state of Georgia

Now let’s explore the leave and holiday laws in Georgia to help you understand your obligations as an employer. Make sure you keep these laws in mind when you create your employee time off policies.

  • Vacation leave. Neither federal nor Georgia laws mandate private employers to offer paid or unpaid vacation time to their employees.
  • Vacation accruals. Accruals are not obligatory in Georgia. However, many companies implement schedules for vacation accrual.
  • Roll over. Employers do not have to let employees roll over unused leave into the following year.
  • Sick leave: There are no state laws regulating sick leave in Georgia. However, according to the FMLA, employers must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.
  • Georgia Family Care Act. Employers in Georgia do not have to provide paid sick leave to their employees. However, employers with 25 or more employees who do offer paid sick leave must allow eligible employees to use their sick leave to care for close family members.
  • Military leave. Private employers must provide unpaid leave for employees temporarily serving as U.S. military members.
  • Jury leave. Employers in Georgia must provide employees with job-protected unpaid leave to respond to a jury summons or serve on a jury.
  • Parental leave. Georgia doesn’t have a parental leave law. However, employees can still benefit from the federal provisions set by the FMLA.
  • Bereavement leave. Employers in Georgia do not have to offer paid or unpaid bereavement leave.

Holiday pay in Georgia

So, what are the rules surrounding holiday pay in Georgia? We’ve seen the requirements for federal and state holidays 2024 in Georgia, but do private employers have to offer holiday pay for vacation leave?

In fact, no. As we touched on briefly above, Georgia law does not require private employers to provide paid time off to their employees. However, some employers choose to do so. For example, some employers offer a set number of days of paid leave, while other employers offer unlimited PTO, personal time off, VTO, floating holidays, or flexible time off.

If an employer does choose to provide paid holidays, they do not have to offer premium pay for working on holidays. This means that employees who work on holidays will typically be paid their regular rate of pay unless they are working overtime.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some employers may choose to offer premium pay for working on holidays that fall on weekends. Additionally, some employers may be required to pay premium pay for working overtime on holidays in line with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


Stay on top of employee leave and PTO with Factorial

Managing employee leave and paid time off (PTO) can be a complex and time-consuming task for HR professionals and business owners. Keeping track of various types of time off requests, ensuring compliance with company policies and legal regulations, and maintaining accurate records can become overwhelming, leading to potential errors and disruptions in the workplace.

That’s where Factorial comes in, providing a comprehensive solution to streamline and simplify your leave management process.

Factorial offers a user-friendly and efficient leave management system that empowers businesses to manage employee leave and PTO with ease. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, staying on top of your team’s time-off requests has never been more straightforward.

For example, Factorial’s leave and PTO management features include:

  • A centralized dashboard. This dashboard gives you a clear overview of all employee leave and PTO requests, as well as current balances.
  • Approval workflows. You can set up approval workflows for all leave and PTO requests so that no one takes more leave than you have assigned to them.
  • Reporting. Factorial provides detailed reports on employee leave and PTO usage, so you can track trends and make informed decisions about your company’s leave policies.
  • Customizable leave policies. Factorial allows you to configure and customize leave rules to align with your specific requirements. Whether it’s accrual rates, vacation payout and PTO carry-over limits, or blackout periods, you have the flexibility to set up policies that match your company culture and compliance needs.
  • Integrations. Factorial integrates with a variety of other HR software, so you can easily keep track of employee leave and PTO data across all your systems.

At its core, Factorial simplifies and automates employee leave and PTO management, helping you manage all Georgia state holidays in 2024, ensuring compliance, and promoting a more productive and harmonious work environment.

Did you like this article? Benjamin McBrayer has been a Content Writer for 5 years. He specializes in HR strategy and workplace trends. Check out Factorial's blog for more of his posts on time management in the office, productivity, and HR news.

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