Around New England

Connecticut State Employees Getting Lincoln’s Birthday Off — Not Many States Offer It

February 12, 2020

Connecticut is one of four states in the country that gives its state employees a paid day off on February 12 to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

According to The Yankee Institute, it costs the state’s taxpayers approximately $10.5 million. The state gives its non-essential employees a paid day off, whereas essential employees like state police and the Department of Correction can earn overtime pay and compensatory time, depending on their respective collective bargaining agreement.

Lincoln’s birthday has never been a federal holiday in the United States. However, as of 1940, 26 of the 48 states recognized it as a holiday. 

Connecticut offers its state employees 12 paid holidays a year, two more than the federal government offers its employees. In addition to Lincoln’s birthday, Connecticut gives its non-essential employees Good Friday off.

As The Yankee Institute points out, however, it is rare for non-government employees to get Lincoln’s birthday off from work in the state.

Connecticut is the only state in New England that makes Lincoln’s birthday a state holiday.

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