Washington Legal Holidays Laws

Overview of Washington Legal Holiday Laws

A legal holiday is a day set aside by the federal or state government to commerate an event, a historical figure, or a traditional holiday (such as Christmas). What makes them "legal" is the requirement that government employees be paid time and-a-half for working on those days, while full time employees typically get paid days off on holidays. Private employees may also receive paid time off or premium pay, but it depends on the terms of employment. Washington legal holidays are no different than federally recognized holidays (some states have their own unique days).

Federal and State Legal Holiday Laws

Federal and Washington state labor laws don't require employers offer paid time off on holidays, nor do do they entitle workers to premium holiday wages. But holiday pay and paid time off is required for most federal and state government workers, as well as for some government contractors. When a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, government workers are typically provided with a "work holiday" on an adjacent workday.

Washington legal holiday laws are similar to those of most other states. And while state law doesn't require employers in the private sector to offer holiday benefits, premium pay or paid holidays may be offered as part of a compensation package. Non-exempt, salaried workers are usually granted paid time off on holidays.

Getting Legal Help for a Breach of Wage and Hour Law

Employers that fail to meet their obligations to employees under state or federal labor laws (or in compliance with the terms of your contract) may be held liable for labor violations. In addition to applicable holiday requirements, employers must provide the necessary amount of break time and unpaid lunch breaks. Washington law mandates one paid 10-minute rest break per four hours worked, plus a 30-minute unpaid meal period for shifts of five hours or more.

If you have reason to believe your employment rights have been violated, an employment law attorney may be able to help.

The following chart lists Washington's legal holiday laws. See FindLaw's Wages and Benefits section for related articles.

Code Section 1.16.050
Holidays 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

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Washington employment attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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