Colorado State Holidays

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The State of Colorado 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 Colorado.

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (3rd Monday in January)
  • Washington-Lincoln Day (3rd Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
  • Frances Xavier Cabrini Day (1st Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Any day appointed or recommended by the governor of Colorado or the president of the United States as a day of fasting or prayer or thanksgiving

If a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. If a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the prior Friday. CO Statute 24-11-101

Public employers

State employees may be required to work on the legal holidays listed above; however, employees required to work on legal holidays must be granted an alternative day off in the same fiscal year or be paid in accordance with the state personnel system or state fiscal rules. CO Statute 24-11-101 An state employee may choose to take a paid day off on Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) in lieu of one of the other paid legal holidays. CO Statute 24-11-112

Private employers

Private employers in Colorado 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 Colorado’s Leave Laws.

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