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Massachusetts Legal Holidays Laws

legal holiday is a day set aside by the federal or state government to honor an event or historical figure. Depending on the state, employees generally receive a paid day off of work or are paid a higher hourly wage (usually 150 percent of the regular rate) for working on a holiday. All states generally celebrate national holidays, but other legal holidays vary by state. Massachusetts sticks largely to national holidays but also adds Patriot's Day.

The following article summarizes Massachusetts' legal holidays. You can check out FindLaw's Employment Law section and the links at the end of this article to learn more.

Code Section

Massachusetts legal holidays are outlined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 4, section 7, clause eighteen.

List of Massachusetts Legal Holidays


  • New Year's Day (January first or the following day if it falls on a Sunday);
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (Third Monday in January);
  • Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February);
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May);
  • Independence Day (July fourth or the following day if it falls on a Sunday);
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September);
  • Columbus Day (Second Monday in October);
  • Veterans Day (November 11 or the following day if it falls on a Sunday);
  • Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November);
  • Christmas (December 25 or the following day if it falls on a Sunday); and
  • Patriot's Day (Third Monday in April)

In Suffolk County only, the following days are recognized as legal holidays:

  • Evacuation Day (March seventeenth); and
  • Bunker Hill Day (June seventeenth).

If those days fall on a Sunday, the legal holiday will be recognized on the following day. Both state and local government agencies in Suffolk County must remain open and be adequately staffed on Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day. 

What Businesses May be Open During Massachusetts Legal Holiday? Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 136, sections 13-16 and Chapter 149, section 45 restrict which business establishments may open during holidays and what type of work they may perform. There are special exceptions for factories, gas stations, pharmacies, and retailers who sell alcoholic beverages.

Research the Law:

Related Resources for Legal Holidays Laws:

Whether you are a retailer or an employee, you may have additional questions about of legal holidays affect your business or job. You may consider speaking with an experienced Massachusetts employment attorney.

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