Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon's U.S. campuses observe 10 official holidays. The university is closed on these days, and all non-essential personnel are not expected to report to work. Regular, full-time staff members may also take up to three floating holidays per calendar year.


The holiday benefit is available to U.S. regular, full-time staff members. Staff members whose employment terms are for four months or less are not regular full-time staff members.

International locations, such as Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, may observe different holidays.

Holiday Schedule

Official University Holiday FY 2019–2020 (Observed*) FY 2020–2021 (Observed*)
Independence Day July 4, 2019 July 3, 2020
Labor Day September 2, 2019 September 7, 2020
Thanksgiving Day November 28, 2019 November 26, 2020
Day After Thanksgiving November 29, 2019 November 27, 2020
Christmas Eve December 24, 2019 December 24, 2020
Christmas Day December 25, 2019 December 25, 2020
New Year's Eve December 31, 2019 December 31, 2020
New Year's Day January 1, 2020 January 1, 2021
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 20, 2020 January 18, 2021
Memorial Day May 25, 2020 May 31, 2021

*When a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the preceding day. (When the preceding day is also a holiday, both holidays are observed on preceding days.) When a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following work day.

Floating Holidays

U.S. regular, full-time staff members may take three floating holidays during the calendar year. These floating holidays may be taken on days of your choosing, with your supervisor's approval.


The floating holiday benefit is available to U.S. regular, full-time staff members. Staff members whose employment terms are for four months or less are not regular full-time staff members.

Some departments have policies regarding periods when some floating holidays must or may not be used. Check with your department to determine if such a policy exists in your area.

Unused floating holidays do not carry forward to the next calendar year. If they are not used, they will be lost. No payment for unused floating holidays is made to staff members who separate from the university.

For new staff members, the number of floating holidays you are entitled to is prorated based on your hire date.

Floating Holidays for New Staff Members 

  • Staff members who begin full-time employment by April 30 are entitled to three floating holidays during the remainder of the calendar year in which they are hired.
  • Those who begin by August 31 are entitled to two days in the remainder of that calendar year.
  • Those who begin by October 31 are entitled to one day in the remainder of that calendar year.
  • Staff members hired on or after November 1 are not eligible for floating holidays during the calendar year in which they are hired.
  • On January 1 of the calendar year following their date of hire, the employee's floating holidays will re-set to three for the new calendar year.

University Holidays — Early Dismissal

At the discretion of the president and with the subsequent approval of the vice presidents and deans of each division or college, an early dismissal may be authorized on the working day prior to a university holiday allowing staff members to leave campus at 2 p.m. — provided it is acceptable to their supervisor, all time-critical work is completed and no urgent business is anticipated.

Based on the nature of duties and/or unexpected developments, some non-exempt staff members who are unable to leave early may take off alternate hours during that work week (at days and times designated by their supervisors). If operational demands require that exempt staff members be present after 2 p.m., the possibility of alternative time off will be determined by the employee's supervisor.

Additional guidelines involving the early dismissal are as follows:

  • This only applies to employees eligible for holiday pay. Part-time staff and Temporary Employment Services (TES) employees are not eligible for early dismissal.
  • When notified and approved by their supervisor, non-exempt employees shall record in Workday the time paid yet not worked utilizing the code Early Dismissal Holiday if leaving early on the working day before a university holiday. The early dismissal time plus the time worked should equal the scheduled work hours for that day.
  • The following Workday quick guides have been updated to reflect this new time off code:
  • This does not apply to employees represented by unions or contracted by vendors.
  • Supervisors should arrange for coverage for their offices as necessary and in a way that does not result in overtime expense.
  • Staff members not required to work are paid for the hours they were regularly scheduled to work.
  • The time provided for early dismissal is not considered PTO; therefore, a staff member’s PTO does not decrease. The time also does not accumulate, nor is it paid out when a staff member leaves the university.
  • Staff members who call off sick on the workday preceding the holiday will be required to take a full day of PTO. Similarly, staff members taking a vacation day will be required to take a full day of PTO. Also, a staff member who takes a half-day of vacation that day will be required to record it as a full half day off work.
  • The early dismissal does not apply to staff members who are on approved leave from the university.

If you have questions on timekeeping, please contact the Human Resources Service Center by calling 412-268-4600 or submit a request for assistance (Andrew ID login required) and create an HR or Payroll ticket.