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Virginia Legal Holidays Laws

They have the same top-billing on our calendars as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Legal holidays don’t just help us remember national events and historical figures -- they also pace us through the passing of our working year. (And tell us when we can sneak in a trip out of town.) While it’s nice to get an odd Monday or Friday out of the office, not all holidays are created equal, and not every employer treats holiday pay equally. This is a brief overview of legal holidays laws in Virginia.

Holidays in Virginia

A legal holiday is a day set aside for celebration or remembrance, such as Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. On these days, salaried workers typically get paid days off, while those working earn extra holiday pay. Most legal holidays are designated by the federal government, but states also have unique holidays. Virginia celebrates Lee-Jackson Day and Yorktown Day in addition to the usual federal holidays.

Virginia Legal Holidays Statutes

A list of Virginia legal holiday laws appears below.

Code Section



New Year's Day; Lee-Jackson Day; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus and Yorktown Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Legal Holidays and Employment

One of our main concerns with legal holidays is how their effect on our employment. Virginia has strict wage and hour laws that establish minimum wage and overtime rates for employees in the state. However, many employers in the state are not required to pay employees extra for working legal holidays or even give employees the day off. Nor is there a guarantee under federal employment law for a special overtime rate for work performed on legal holidays. Therefore, a private employer in Virginia could require employees to work on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, and only pay the normal wage. That said, most employers prefer to treat legal holidays as overtime and provide overtime pay if you work on a holiday.

Virginia Legal Holidays Laws: Related Resources

States and employers can treat holidays differently, so whether or not you get paid extra for working on a holiday or get legal holidays off will probably come down to the specific terms of your employment contract. You can FindLaw's Employment Law section to learn more about the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers. If you would like legal assistance with an employment matter, you can contact a Virginia employment law attorney to discuss your case.

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