This page provides an overview of Washington State legal holiday statutes, including the current state holiday schedule and a model policy addressing unpaid holiday requirements.
RCW 1.16.050 defines the Washington State legal holidays shown in the schedule below.
RCW 1.16.050(5) provides that when a legal holiday, other than Sunday, falls upon a Sunday, the following Monday shall be the legal holiday. When a legal holiday falls upon a Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be the legal holiday.
See also, RCW 2.28.100 and RCW 2.28.110 for court business on legal holidays, and RCW 28A.150.050 for school holidays.
While not statutorially required when scheduling public meetings and events, it can be helpful to be aware of dates that are significant to people of various faiths or ethnicities even if the days are not celebrated as state legal holidays. This Calendar of Religious Holidays and Observances developed by the University of Washington might be of assistance.
Model Policy for Unpaid Holiday Requirements
The MRSC model policy listed below addresses the unpaid holiday requirement of RCW 1.16.050. It is designed as a comprehensive policy that Washington jurisdictions can adopt wholesale into their existing personnel policies, or use as a foundation for crafting a more individualized policy.
State Legal Holiday Schedule
The following are Washington State's legal holidays. Local government agencies do not have to follow this holiday schedule. MRSC follows the state holiday schedule, and our office will be closed these days.
||State Statutory Designation of Holiday (RCW 1.16.050)
||Observed Holiday Date
|New Year's Day
||First day of January
||January 2, 2017 (Monday)
|Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
||Third Monday in January
||January 16, 2017 (Monday)
||Third Monday in February
||February 20, 2017 (Monday)
||Last Monday of May
||May 29, 2017 (Monday)
||July 4, 2017 (Tuesday)
||First Monday in September
||September 4, 2017 (Monday)
||November 10, 2017 (Friday)
||Fourth Thursday in November
||November 23, 2017 (Thursday)
|Day Immediately Following Thanksgiving
||Day Immediately Following Thanksgiving
||November 24, 2017 (Friday)
||December 25, 2017 (Monday)
||Selected in accordance with local ordinance
or resolution and personnel policies