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Michigan Legal Holidays Laws

It seems like we’ve barely finished one holiday weekend before we’re already looking forward to the next. Legal holidays not only help us remember historical figures and national events -- they also help us mark the passing of the working year. (And they are often more reliable than the weather for telling us what season it is.) It’s always great to get the odd Friday or Monday out of the office, but not all holidays are equal, and not all employers treat holiday pay equally. This article is a brief summary of legal holidays laws in Michigan.

Holidays in Michigan

Labor Day, Memorial Day, and other holidays are officially recognized by the federal government; but state have their own legal holidays that reflect the unique cultures of each. Michigan legal holiday laws, for example, recognize General Election Day as a state holiday. When employees work on legal holidays, they are generally eligible for holiday pay, usually time and one-half.

Michigan Legal Holidays Statutes

Michigan's legal holidays are listed in the following chart.

Code Section



New Year's Day; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Christmas

Legal Holidays and Employment

The big worry when it comes to legal holidays is how they can affect our employment. While Michigan has strict wage and hour laws that determine minimum wage and overtime for all employees in the state, many employers are not required to give employees the day off or pay employees extra for working legal holidays. And there is no guarantee for a special overtime rate for work performed on legal holidays under federal employment law. Therefore, a private employer in Michigan could require employees to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or any other holiday and only pay the normal wage. Still, many employers prefer to treat legal holidays as overtime and provide overtime pay if you work on a holiday.

Michigan Legal Holiday Laws: Related Resources

Each state and each employer can treat holidays differently, and therefore whether or not you get legal holidays off or get paid extra for working on a holiday will probably come down to the terms of you employment contract. If you would like legal assistance with an employment case, you can contact a Michigan employment law attorney. If you would like to research more about this topic, you may visit FindLaw's employment law section for related articles and resources.

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