Employment and Labor Laws

Rhode Island

Rhode Island State Holidays

The State of Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Rhode Island Independence Day (May 4)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Victory Day (2nd Monday in August)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Election Day (1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday of November)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Sunday

RI Statutes 25-1-1; see also RI Dept. of Labor FAQs

If New Years Day, Independence Day, Veterans’ Day, or Christmas Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. RI Statutes 25-1-1

Click here for a list of federal holidays.


Public employers

Rhode Island requires state and municipal employers to pay employees 1½ times their regular rate on Sundays and the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Victory Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

The law also permits employees to refuse to work on Sundays and legal holidays. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the day following is observed as the legal holiday. Some exceptions apply to Rhode Island’s Sunday and holiday pay law. RI Dept. of Labor FAQs; RI Statute 25-3.

Sunday Leave
Rhode Island law permits employees to refuse to work on Sundays. RI Dept. of Labor FAQs; RI Statute 25-3.


Private employers

Rhode Island requires private employers to pay employees 1½ times their regular rate on Sundays and the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Victory Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

The law also permits employees to refuse to work on Sundays and legal holidays. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the day following is observed as the legal holiday. Some exceptions apply to Rhode Island’s Sunday and holiday pay law. RI Dept. of Labor FAQs; RI Statute 25-3.

Sunday Leave
Rhode Island law permits employees to refuse to work on Sundays. RI Dept. of Labor FAQs; RI Statute 25-3.

Find out more about Rhode Island’s Leave Laws.


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