Massachusetts State Holidays
Discover upcoming public holiday dates for Massachusetts and start planning to make the most of your time off.
Massachusetts celebrates holidays that are recognized by the federal government including Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day and Independence Day. On federally recognized holidays, federal and state offices are closed. Employees at those agencies are paid for those holidays. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, it is celebrated on the preceding Friday and if it falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated on the following Monday.
The state celebrates some holidays that are considered state holidays. Patriots’ Day is celebrated the third Monday in April, a holiday only celebrated by Massachusetts and Maine. The holiday is to recognize the patriots who fought for the country’s independence. Suffolk County celebrates Evacuation Day on March 17, commemorating the day when the British troops evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War. Suffolk County also celebrates Bunker Hill Day on June 17 which commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Massachusetts is one of only a few states that does provide overtime pay for holidays and has laws in place that allow employees time from work on certain holidays and Sundays. State law also states that if there is a collective bargaining agreement in place that provides for premium pay on Sunday or holidays, all employees, even if they do not belong to the union, must be given premium pay for holiday work.
The majority of businesses in Massachusetts may not operate on holidays. Restaurants, pharmacies and hotels are some of the industries that are exempt from this rule. Retail establishments may pay regular hourly rates on Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Evacuation Day, Patriots’ Day and Bunker Hill Day. Retail establishments must pay time-and-one-half on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day after 12 noon and Veteran’s Day after 1 PM.
Retail establishments must obtain a permit from the local police department and must pay time-and-one-half on Columbus Day before noon, Veteran’s Day after 1 PM, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Non-retail establishments do not have to pay time-and-one-half on holidays, but may be required to obtain a police permit.