Kentucky State Holidays


The State of Kentucky 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 Kentucky.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Day (January 13)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • Robert E. Lee Day (January 19)
  • Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day (June 3)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Public holidays also include any day appointed by the President of the United States or the governor as day of thanksgiving. KY Statute 2.110


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Public employers

State offices must be closed and state employees must be given the day off on the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1) plus one extra day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
  • Good Friday – 1/2 day (Friday before Easter, usually falls in March or April)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Presidential election day (first Tuesday in November every four years)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November) plus one extra day
  • Christmas Day (December 25) plus one extra day

When a holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed the prior Friday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. For those holidays listed above where it indicates one extra day will be granted, the governor will designate what days those will be. KY Statute 18A.190


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Private employers

Private employers in Kentucky 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 Kentucky’s Leave Laws.