While there are countless holidays that correspond with religious and cultural traditions, as well those honoring historical events, a legal holiday is one that is recognized by the federal or state government. Halloween, for example, is a popular holiday in the U.S. but is not a legal holiday, but Christmas Day is an officially recognized legal holiday nationwide. Government employees are entitled to a paid day off (or premium pay if they work) on legal holidays, which is what makes the holiday "legal." Private employers are not required to pay a holiday premium or provide a paid day off unless it is included in the employment contract.
All states are required to observe federally recognized legal holidays, but are free to observe additional holidays as well. These often reflect the history or unique culture of the state. Some states also observe "half" holidays, where state workers may leave work after noon.
Legal Holidays in Oklahoma
Oklahoma statute recognizes the same legal holidays set aside by the federal government, with no additional days. Any legal holiday that falls on a Saturday is observed the preceding Friday, while those falling on a Sunday are observed the following Monday. Oklahoma government offices are generally closed on legal holidays, but those who must work on those days are entitled to a paid day off on an alternative date.
The following chart lists Oklahoma's legally recognized holidays, with links to additional resources.
|Code Section||Tit. 25 §§82.1, 82.2|
|Holidays||New Year's Day (January 1); Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (last Monday in January); President's Day (third Monday in February); Memorial Day (last Monday in May); Independence Day (July 4); Labor Day (first Monday in September); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November); Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas (Dec. 25)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the passage of new legislation or decisions handed down by higher courts. Make sure you contact an Oklahoma employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Oklahoma Legal Holiday Laws: Related Resources
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