California Holidays laws & HR compliance analysis

California Holidays: What you need to know

California observes the following as official holidays:
For a Limited Time receive a FREE HR Report on the "Critical HR Recordkeeping”.  This exclusive special report covers hiring records, employment relationships, termination records, litigation issues, electronic information issues, tips for better recordkeeping, and a list of legal requirements.  Download Now
January 1 New Year's Day
Third Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Third Monday in February Presidents' Day
March 31 Cesar Chavez Day
Last Monday in May Memorial Day
July 4 Independence Day
First Monday in September Labor Day
November 11 Veteran's Day
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day
Friday after Thanksgiving
December 25 Christmas Day
If the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the next Monday; if November 11 falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the preceding Friday. (CA Gov. Code Sec. 19853).
State employers. California state offices are closed and state employees are entitled to the days noted as paid days off. Employees who must work on those days are entitled to compensatory time off. If some other agreement regarding holiday time is established between the employer and the recognized employee union in a “memorandum of understanding,” it will prevail. State employees are also entitled to one floating holiday (CA Gov. Code Sec. 19853).
Private employers. Private employers are not obligated by state law to provide any holidays as paid (or unpaid) days. Additionally, no California law requires that employers pay premium pay to employees who work on holidays or count unworked hours on holidays as “hours worked” when computing overtime. However, many employers do adhere to one or both of these practices.
Last reviewed on December 6, 2017.

Read more about Holidays

California Holidays Resources

Type Title
Handouts Managing Holiday Celebrations (Handout)
Policies Holiday
See all Holidays Resources