Alaska State Holidays


The State of Alaska has designated several days each calendar year as state holidays. The implications of these state holidays on public employers and private employers is discussed below.



The following list contains the state holidays recognized by Alaska:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Seward’s Day (Last Monday in March)
  • Memorial Day (Las Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Alaska Day (October 18)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

AK Statute 44.12.010

When any of the listed holidays falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the Sunday and the following Monday. AK Statute 44.12.020 If it falls on Saturday, it is observed on the Saturday and the prior Friday. AK Statute 44.12.025


Public employers

All Alaska state offices must observe the above listed holidays, with the following requirements for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday is a legal holiday for state employees when:

  • they are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement; or
  • they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement which contain terms that:
    • include Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday by name; or
    • are amended to substitute a holiday on the 3rd Monday of January for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday in place of another paid holiday.

AK Statute 44.12.010

Public School

Public schools may not be in session on Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day immediately after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July. If one of these holidays falls on a Saturday, the holiday must be observed on the prior Friday. If one of these holidays falls on a Sunday, the holiday must be observed on the following Monday. Teachers may not be required to work on any of these holidays and teacher salaries may not be reduced for not working on the holidays. School districts may declare additional holidays. AK Statute 14.03.050


Private employers

Private employers in Alaska are not required to close on any of the listed holidays. Additionally, private employers are not required to allow employees to take either paid or unpaid time off on the holidays nor are they required to pay employees any premium wage rates to employees who work on the holidays. Private employers may establish policies or practices granting employees time off on any of the listed holiday or agree to pay premium wage rates to employees who work on those days. Employers who establish such policies or practices may be required to comply with them.

Find out more about Alaska’s Leave Laws.