The federal government and Minnesota state government have passed laws designating certain days each year as public holidays. However, whether an employee is entitled to time off on the public holidays or overtime compensation for working on the public holidays depends on whether the employee works for a public or private employer. This blog explains an employee’s rights regarding public holidays in Minnesota.
Paid Leave for Federal and State Holidays
The federal government and Minnesota state government require public agencies to grant paid leave to their employees on public holidays or provide overtime compensation for employees who work on public holidays. Federal holidays include New Year’s Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 5 U.S.C. § 6103. For federal employees, when a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday usually is observed on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).
Minnesota’s legal holidays are identical to federal legal holidays. Minn. Stat. § 645.44, subd. 5. However, for the executive branch of the state of Minnesota, “holiday” also includes the Friday after Thanksgiving but does not include Columbus Day. Id. Other branches of the Minnesota state government and political subdivisions have the option of determining whether Columbus Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving shall be holidays. Id. When certain holidays fall on a Saturday, Minnesota law states that the preceding day shall be a holiday. Id. When certain holidays fall on a Sunday, the following day shall be a holiday. Id.
Some Employers Exempt from Paid Holidays
Although the federal government and Minnesota state government require public agencies to grant paid leave to their employees on public holidays or provide overtime compensation for employees who work on public holidays, not all employers are required to give these days off or pay employees overtime for working on these holidays. In fact, neither the federal government nor the Minnesota state government require private employers to grant paid or unpaid time off for any public holidays or pay employees extra for working on them. Private employers often give their employees a paid day off or pay them extra if they work on public holidays as a perk. It is important to note that employers are legally required to follow the terms of an employee’s employment contract, which may include such holiday perks.
If you have a question regarding whether you are entitled to time off or overtime compensation for working on a legal holiday, contact our Minnesota employment attorneys to discuss your employment situation. Our Minnesota employment lawyers will diligently fight to ensure that your rights are protected.