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Arkansas Legal Holidays Laws

Everyone knows that holidays are days that honor historical events, historical figures, cultural traditions, and religious events. But a legal holiday is one that is recognized by the federal or state government. While Valentine's Day is a popular holiday in the U.S., it is not a legal holiday like Christmas Day or Thanksgiving. Government employees are entitled to a paid day off on legal holidays, or premium holiday pay (typically time and one-half) if they work, which is what makes the holiday "legal." While many private employers also close shop or provide premium pay on legal holidays, they are not required to do so.

Federally recognized legal holidays must also be honored by state governments, but some states observe additional holidays that typically reflect the culture or history of the state. Also, some states observe "half" holidays, on which state employees work in the morning and then receive a paid afternoon off.

Legal Holidays in Arkansas: Overview

Arkansas observes all of the legal holidays recognized by the federal government, as required by law. The state also celebrates Confederate leader Robert E. Lee's birthday (on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday) and Daisy Gatson Bates Day (the same day as Washington's birthday). Additionally, state employees may take a paid holiday on their birthday.

The following chart lists Arkansas's legally recognized holidays, with links to additional resources. See FindLaw's Wages and Benefits section to learn more.

Code Section 1-5-101
Holidays New Year's Day (Jan. 1); Martin Luther King, Jr.'s and Robert E. Lee's Birthday (3rd Monday in January); Memorial Day (last Monday in May); Independence Day (July 4); Labor Day (1st Monday in September); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November); Christmas Eve (Dec. 24); Christmas (Dec. 25); employee's birthday; Washington's birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day (3rd Monday in February)

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of new legislation or in some cases the decisions made in higher courts. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may want to contact an Arkansas employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Arkansas Legal Holiday Laws: Related Resources

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