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Oklahoma Paid Holidays


Posted by Tamara

Ever wonder why so many holidays fall on Monday in Oklahoma and other states? The reason is the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 (UMHA). This federal law was enacted in 1971 and provided several “floating” Monday holidays. For example, Memorial Day is officially the 30th of May, Columbus Day is October 12th, and Washington’s Birthday is February 22. Prior to the UMHA, these holidays were celebrated on those specific dates, no matter what day of the week they occurred. Now, these holidays are celebrated on the nearest Monday, providing uniformity (and a three day weekend for employees). 

Ever notice that not all companies provide the same paid holidays for their employees? 

That’s because providing paid holidays to workers is solely the discretion of the individual employer. There is no federal law requiring a U. S. company to provide employees with paid time off on a holiday. In fact, there is no federal law requiring businesses to observe any holidays at all. It is completely legal for a company to remain open and conduct business 365 days a year. 

So, how does an Oklahoma employee know which, if any, holidays he or she is entitled to? The most common practice, according to the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) is to provide 5 to 10 paid holidays per year. The most common paid holidays are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Each employer is free to set its own holidays, but the majority observes at least 5 of the ones mentioned, and provides workers with the written holiday policy in the employee handbook. 

Paid holidays for employees of the federal government are established by federal law. Many companies use the federal holiday schedule as a template for their own holiday policy. Each state government, however, sets the holidays for its state government employees. These holidays can vary widely. For example, Rhode Island celebrates Victory Day, Massachusetts celebrates Patriots Day and Maryland celebrates Maryland Day.

 

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