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Iowa Legal Holidays Laws

There are many different milestones to our year: seasons, birthdays, and anniversaries among them. And one way we mark our time passing on our calendars is by our work holidays. Legal holidays help us remember national events and historical figures, and for those of us who don't mind odd Monday or Friday out of the office, it gives us a nice long weekend to look forward to. But not all holidays mean paid time off. This is an introduction to legal holidays laws in Iowa.

Holidays in Iowa

Most legal holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Memorial Day are recognized nationwide. But states may have their own legal holidays laws that can recognize additional state holidays, or recognize national holidays differently. For example, while Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays are public holidays, they are not paid days of for employees of the Hawkeye State.

Iowa Legal Holidays Statutes

The chart below lists the details of Iowa's legal holidays statutes.

Code Section

Iowa Code 1C, et seq.: Public Holidays and Recognition Days


New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday (public holiday but not paid day off for state employees); Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas; Lincoln's Birthday (not paid day off for state employees)

Legal Holidays and Employment

We associate most public holidays with some time off work, so of course we think about how they will affect our employment. For the most, time off work and how much we can earn is regulated by Iowa's wage and hour laws, which include strict minimum wage and overtime pay provisions. However, not all employers are legally required to give employees time off for the holidays or to even pay employees extra for working legal holidays. And because federal employment laws don't require holiday pay for work performed on legal holidays, private employers are permitted to request their employees to work on holidays and pay only the normal wage.

Most employers, however, know the benefits of a happy staff, and will either voluntarily provide overtime pay for working on a holiday, or give employees legal holidays off entirely. How your employer treats legal holidays will generally depend on the specific terms of your employment contract or company policy.

Iowa Legal Holidays Laws: Related Resources

State employment laws and your particular employment contract can be difficult to understand. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's section Employment Law. You can also consult with an Iowa employment law attorney if you would like legal advice regarding an employment issue.

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