The State of Wisconsin has designated several days each calendar year as state holidays. The implications of these state holidays on public employers and private employers are discussed below.
The following list contains the national and state holidays recognized by Wisconsin.
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15)
- Presidents’ Day (3rd Monday in February)
- Good Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (usually falls in March or April)
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Juneteenth Day (June 19)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
- Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
- Veterans Day (November 11)
- Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
- Election Day for partisan primary elections and general elections
State offices are open on all days of the year except Saturdays, Sundays, and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day before Christmas, Christmas, and the day before New Year’s Day.
If New Year’s Day, Independence Day, or Christmas falls on a Sunday, state offices will be closed the following Monday. WI Statute 230.35(4)(a) State employees must receive 9 paid holidays each year. WI Statute 230.35(4)(c) State employees who are required to work on any of the holidays listed in this paragraph must be granted compensatory time or be paid at a rate of time and one-half. WI Statute 230.35(4)(b)
State employees, except limited-term employees, also earn 3.5 paid personal holidays each calendar year and one additional paid personal holiday each calendar year in recognition of Veterans’ Day. Employees working in the first 6 months of a probationary period may take the extra personal holidays but, if the employees voluntarily fail to complete the probationary period, the time taken will be considered leave without pay and the state will recover from the employees the value of the time taken.
If an employee is involuntarily terminated, personal holidays are prorated for the calendar year in which the termination occurs and personal holidays earned in a previous year will not be prorated or repaid. Personal holidays may be taken at the discretion of the employing agency which must consider the wishes of the employee. Personal holidays may not be carried over from year to year unless the employee is denied the opportunity to use the personal holidays in the year in which they are earned. WI Statute 230.35(4)(d)
Private employers in Wisconsin 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 holidays 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 Wisconsin’s Leave Laws.
Click here for a list of federal holidays.