Thursday, December 3, 2015

Research Q of the Week: Can a City Employee Work on a Public Holiday? (12/3)

Question: I'm a city employee. Can I clock a few hours at work on a public holiday? 

Answer: We know you love your job, but believe it or not, one job perk for most city employees is not having to work on public holidays.

State law sets a number of holidays when no public business can be transacted except in cases of “necessity.” So that means no city employees can work on a holiday unless the employee’s work is a necessity, such as the work of a city’s public-safety employees or plow drivers in the case of treacherous weather. State law sets the following public holidays:

• New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
• Martin Luther King’s Birthday (third Monday in January)
• Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday (third Monday in February)
• Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
• Independence Day (July 4)
• Labor Day (first Monday in September)
• Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
• Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
• Christmas Day (Dec. 25)

In addition, all cities have the option of deciding whether Christopher Columbus Day (second Monday in October) and the Friday after Thanksgiving will be holidays. If you usually eat too much Turkey on Thanksgiving, you probably see the wisdom in that one. If a city does not designate these two particular days as holidays, public business may be transacted on them.

Finally, if a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is designated a holiday, and if it falls on a Sunday, the next Monday is designated a holiday.

Written by Susan Naughton, research attorney with the League of Minnesota Cities. Contact: or (651) 281-1232.

This blog post conveys general information. It’s not legal advice. Please check with your city attorney before acting on this information. 

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