You may not have day off from work Monday, but it’s not a regular day of business for many government offices. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the federal holiday that celebrates the birthday and legacy of the civil rights icon credited with winning anti-discrimination and voting rights for African-Americans. The holiday has been officially observed since 1986, after a multi-year campaign by black and white lawmakers in Congress and American students around the U.S.
So if you aren’t reviewing King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech or participating in a community service project like President Barack Obama’s family typically does, here’s what you can’t do instead this Monday:
Postal offices will not be delivering mail Monday. If you’ve got letters to send off, they will sit in the mailbox until the first collection time Tuesday. Packages shipped through UPS and FedEx should still arrive if the delivery date falls on the holiday, as neither parcel shipping service was scheduled to be closed. Amazon.com has said it processes and ships orders on the holiday.
Major banks covered by the Federal Reserve Bank observe the holiday. Transactions and deposits made through ATMs may not be reflected on bank account and credit card statements until the next business day. Wiring money to friends and family members should not be a problem at Western Union and MoneyGram. Both will process transactions online, but hours for walk-in service locations vary.
Expired driver’s licenses and other government-issued identification cards cannot be renewed on the holiday. Those offices, including state departments of motor vehicles, federal Social Security offices and Veterans Affairs centers, are scheduled to be closed. Hospitals never close, but departments like the pharmacy may have limited hours or be closed.
Most U.S. workers who are given the holiday off are still paid for it. But only 37 percent of American employers give their workers the day off, according to a Bloomberg BNA Holiday Practices Survey. Martin Luther King Day, Columbus Day and President’s Day observance in corporate America lag behind observance of New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.