Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » State Laws and Statutes

Legal Holidays laws - Information on the law about Legal Holidays

day birthday thanksgiving memorial

The diversity of our country is reflected in the various holidays recognized by the individual states. While many holidays, including New Year's Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, are considered legal holidays in all states, others, such as Good Friday and Robert E. Lee's Birthday, are recognized in only a handful, while a few are particular to only one state, for example Alaska Day and Pioneer Day.

The recognition of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday has sparked a great deal of controversy. It is not recognized in every state, and in some of the states where it is recognized, it is not a paid holiday for state employees. And in a few states, though it is an official day of recognition, it is not a legal holiday. The most interesting variation on the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is in Louisiana, where it is one of six other days that are interchangeably recognized. Each year the governor is authorized to declare any two of these days as an official state holiday, except that every two years Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday must be one of the two days selected.

Due to the myriad local holidays in the states, only the major holidays are featured below for comparison.

Table 18: Legal Holidays

State Code Section Holidays
ALABAMA 1-3-8 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Mardi Gras (Mobile & Baldwin Counties only); Washington's and Jefferson's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Fraternal Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Jefferson Davis' Birthday; Confederate Memorial Day; Robert E. Lee's Birthday; American Indian Heritage Day
ALASKA 44.12.010 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Alaska Day; Seward's Day
ARIZONA 1-301 New Year's Day; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Mother's Day; Father's Day; American Family Day; Constitution Commemoration Day
ARKANSAS 1-5-101 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s and Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas; employee's birthday; Washington's birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day
CALIFORNIA Gov. Code §6700 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Good Friday; Admission Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Cesar Chavez Day
COLORADO 24-11-101 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington-Lincoln Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Labor Day
CONNECTICUT §1-4 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
DELAWARE Tit. 1 §501 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Day of biennial general elections; Friday following Thanksgiving
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA §28-2701 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
FLORIDA 110.117; 683.01; legal holidays-public holidays New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas. Following are not official holidays but paid days off for state employees: Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Susan B. Anthony's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Shrove Tuesday; Good Friday; Pascua Florida Day; Confederate Memorial Day; Jefferson Davis's Birthday; Columbus Day; Flag Day; Veterans Day
GEORGIA 1-4-1; Ga. Gov. Memos dated 10/18/90 and 10/16/91 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas; Confederate Memorial Day; Washington's Birthday is holiday but paid day off is taken by state employees at Christmastime; Friday after Thanksgiving is designated as paid day off in honor of Robert E. Lee's Birthday

Table 18: Legal Holidays—Continued

State Code Section Holidays
HAWAII 8-1 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day; King Kamehameha Day; Election Day except primary election; Statehood Day
IDAHO 73-108 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday and Idaho Human Rights Day; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
ILLINOIS 205 ILCS 630/17 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Lincoln's Birthday; Casimir Pulaski's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
INDIANA 1-1-9-1, 2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; day of any primary or general election for national, state, or city officials (Election Day)
IOWA 1C.1, 1C.2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday (public holiday but not paid day off for state employees); Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas; Lincoln's Birthday (not paid day off for state empl.)
KANSAS §35-107 New Year's Day; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
KENTUCKY 2.110 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Jefferson Davis's Birthday; Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Confederate Memorial Day; Franklin D. Roosevelt's Birthday
LOUISIANA 1:55 New Year's Day; Mardi Gras; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Good Friday; general election day in even numbered years; Also, governor has authority to declare following paid holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Confederate Memorial Day; Acadian Day; s/he must declare 2, including national Memorial Day every year and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday every other year; Battle of New Orleans; Huey P. Long Day; All Saints Day
MAINE Tit. 4, §1051; 20-A, §4802 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Patriot's Day
MARYLAND Art. 1 §27 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Maryland Day; Defender's Day; any day of general or congressional election
MASSACHUSETTS Ch. 4 §7, cl. Eighteenth New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Patriot's Day

Table 18: Legal Holidays—Continued

State Code Section Holidays
MICHIGAN 435.101 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
MINNESOTA 645.44 subd. 5 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day (not a holiday for executive branch); Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving (for executive branch); Christmas
MISSISSIPPI 3-3-7 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s and Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis's Birthday; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Confederate Memorial Day
MISSOURI 9.010 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Truman Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
MONTANA 1-1-216 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Lincoln's and Washington's Birthday; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day; Christmas Day; state general election day; Memorial Day; Independence Day
NEBRASKA 25-2221 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Arbor Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; day after Thanksgiving; Christmas
NEVADA 236.015 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving (Family Day); Christmas; Nevada Day
NEW HAMPSHIRE 288:1, 2 New Year's Day; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Day
NEW JERSEY 36:1-1, 1.2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; any general election day
NEW MEXICO 12-5-2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
NEW YORK Gen. Constr. Law §24, 25 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas Flag Day; any general election day
NORTH CAROLINA 103-4 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Good Friday; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Memorial Day; Robert E. Lee's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Greek Independence Day; Anniversary of signing of Halifax Resolves; Confederate Memorial Day; Anniversary of Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; Yom Kippur; Columbus Day; and the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in election years

Table 18: Legal Holidays—Continued

State Code Section Holidays
NORTH DAKOTA 1-03-01, 01.1 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; state offices close at noon on Christmas Eve
OHIO 1.14 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
OKLAHOMA Tit. 25 §§82.1, 82.2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas
OREGON 187.010, 020 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
PENNSYLVANIA Tit. 44, §11 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Flag Day; Election Day
RHODE ISLAND 25-1-1 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Rhode Island Independence Day; Victory Day; Election Day
SOUTH CAROLINA 53-5-10 New Year's Day; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas; Day after Christmas; general election days; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Confederate Memorial Day
SOUTH DAKOTA 1-5-1 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Native American Day
TENNESSEE 15-1-101 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Good Friday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; any day set apart for county, state, or national elections throughout the state
TEXAS U.T.C.A. Government Code §662.003 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas; day after Christmas; (Confederate Heroes Day; Texas Independence Day; San Jacinto Day; Emancipation Day in Texas; Lyndon Baines Johnson Day; Election Day: state holidays)
UTAH 63-13-2 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington and Lincoln Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Pioneer Day
VERMONT Tit. 1 §371 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Town Meeting Day; Bennington Battle Day
VIRGINIA 2.2-3300 New Year's Day; Lee-Jackson Day; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus and Yorktown Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Table 18: Legal Holidays—Continued

State Code Section Holidays
WASHINGTON 1.16.050 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas
WEST VIRGINIA 2-2-1 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; West Virginia Day; any national, state, or other election day throughout any district or municipality
WISCONSIN 895.20 New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; President's Day; Good Friday (11am-3pm observed for purpose of worship); Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; any primary election day in September; Columbus Day; any general election day in November; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas
WYOMING 8-4-101 New Year's Day; *Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; *Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; *Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; *Wyoming Equality Day; *public school not dismissed except by order of board of trustees of the district
Lemon laws - Information on the law about Lemon Cars [next] [back] Legal Ages laws - Information on the law about Legal Ages

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Hi I was wondering I had to take a week off the last week of December in 2010 not by choice but because my boss gives everyone a unpaid week off unless you happen to be working for the company long in of to used your vacation hours which I don't have yet. They didn't pay for my Christmas NOR my New year. Is that legal to do? I also wanted to know what holidays my boss has to pay me for if it falls on a working day and if it does and they give us a day off unpaid what can I do or say? I work in a small company there are only 8 employee's here. I want to be well inform just in case they are taking advantage of me here at work.


Thank you so much

Vote down Vote up

about 9 years ago

I don't know what time period you come from but it is officially observed (federal and state) in all 50 states since 2000. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Day if you have any questions. p.s. are you from South Carolina?

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

I have a question for you, I work in a restaurant & I'm working on thanksgiving. Does the owner of the restaurant have to pay me & the rest of the employees time in a half for working a national holiday?