Washington Holidays laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Holidays: What you need to know

Washington observes the following as state legal holidays:
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January 1 New Year's Day
Third Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
Third Monday in February Presidents' Day
Last Monday in May Memorial Day
July 4 Independence Day
First Monday in September Labor Day
November 11 Veterans Day
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day
Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November Native American Heritage Day
December 25 Christmas Day
Whenever a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as the holiday. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is observed as the legal holiday (WA Rev. Code Sec. 1.16.050).
State employees. Washington state offices are closed and state employees are entitled to the days noted as paid days off. State employees (other than employees of school districts) are also entitled to one additional paid holiday that they may take at a time of their choosing.
State employees and employees of school districts are entitled to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. The employee may select the days for leave, subject to any employer guidelines.
The employer must allow the employee to take such leave unless the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety (WA Rev. Code Sec. 1.16.050).
Private employers. Private employers are not required by state law to provide any holidays as paid (or unpaid) days off. If a workforce is unionized, paid holidays are determined by the union contract; ...

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Washington Holidays Resources

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