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Virginia Paid Holidays

Posted by Tamara

Employees might wonder, “What are the paid holidays in Virginia for 2011? The answer depends upon the employer.  

There is no federal law which requires an employer anywhere in the U.S. to observe any holiday, nor is there a federal law requiring employees be provided with paid time off on holidays. Employers are not legally required to pay a premium rate to an employee who works on a holiday. 

Paid holiday policies, and any premium pay rates connected to them, are determined independently by each company. 

A few states, including Rhode Island, have established state laws that employees in certain industries by paid a premium for working on Sunday and on some holidays. Usually the pay rate is 1.5 times the employee’s normal pay rate, also known as time-and-a-half.  

The majority of states, however, do not have such a law, and holiday policies are determined by the employers. 

The most common practice, however, is to provide 5 to 10 holidays each year. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the most common holidays are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 

There are companies that recognize other holidays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day and Columbus Day. Other companies give Christmas Eve and the day after Thanksgiving off. Still others allow a worker to take a paid day off for his or her birthday. 

Federal holidays are determined by the federal government for government employees. Many companies follow a similar schedule, but they are not required by law to do so. In fact, there is wide variation among states about which holidays are observed. For example, Illinois celebrates Lincoln’s Birthday, Alaska celebrates Seward Day, and some areas of Louisiana close government offices on Mardi Gras. 

Here’s an interesting side note: The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 established the “floating” Monday holidays like Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Prior to this law, Memorial Day was celebrated on May30th, whether it fell on a Tuesday or a Thursday.


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