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Arizona Legal Holidays Laws

We’ve all got them marked on the office calendar, sometimes counting down the days until the next one rolls around. Legal holidays help us remember historical events and figures and mark the passing of the working year (which helps, given Arizona’s lack of big seasonal weather changes). But not all holidays are treated equally, and not all employers treat holiday pay the same. Here is a quick overview of legal holidays laws in Arizona.

History of Holidays in Arizona

legal holiday is a day set aside by the federal or state government to honor an event or historical figure on which employees must be paid a higher hourly wage (usually 150 percent of the regular rate). Arizona famously fought for eight years over a state-observed Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The state lost millions of dollars and was boycotted and blasted nationally for its refusal to adopt the holiday. State voters rejected the MLK holiday in 1990. After the NFL moved Super Bowl, however, voters changed their tune and approved it in 1992.

Arizona Legal Holidays Statutes

Every state code is different when it comes to some holidays. The following is a complete list of Arizona's legal holidays.

Code Section



New Year's Day; President's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Mother's Day; Father's Day; American Family Day; Constitution Commemoration Day

Legal Holidays and Employment

One of the main concerns with legal holidays is how it affects our employment. Arizona employees are covered by strict wage and hour laws that determine minimum wage and overtime, but many employers are not required to pay employees extra for working legal holidays, or to even give them the day off. There is no federal law that guarantees special overtime rate for work performed on legal holidays. Therefore, a private employer can require his or her employees to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or any other holiday and pay the same rate as he or she would for any normal workday. However, some employers will treat legal holidays as overtime and provide overtime pay for working on a holiday.

Arizona Legal Holidays Laws: Related Resources

Each state and each employer treats holidays differently, and it may come down to your employment contract whether you get paid extra for working holidays or not. You can meet with an experienced employment attorney in Arizona if you would like to know how legal holidays affect your employment. You can also visit FindLaw’s employment law section for more introductory information.

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