While Connecticut recognizes a number of state and federal holidays, the requirements for whether employees have to work depends largely on whether the employer is a private or public employer. Additionally, the terms of a written employment agreement determine how holidays are treated.
The state of Connecticut recognizes the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Lincoln Day
- Washington's Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans' Day
The state statute also allows for the addition of other state-recognized holidays upon the appointment or suggestion of the governor or president. For example, the governor can recommend that Good Friday be considered a state holiday. In this case, the holiday would become a state-recognized holiday that would be added to the above list. If a recognized holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the immediately preceding Friday. If it falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.
Requirement for Time Off
Public employees must be given days off for official state holidays. If the holiday falls on a weekend when the employee would not have otherwise worked, he is given the equivalent holiday pay and day off for the immediately preceding Friday or is allowed another day off for the holiday.
Public schools must take holidays off for holidays that fall in December and January. However, local and regional boards of education can choose to close public schools on the legal holidays that do not fall in this month.
Private Connecticut employers are not required to give employees the day off for legal holidays.
Public employees are paid for their holiday days off. The pay is equivalent to what the employee would have received if he had worked his regularly scheduled hours.
While private employers may choose to provide premium pay for employees who work on holidays, Connecticut law does not require it. Instead, holiday pay and vacation pay are considered fringe benefits that are paid at the discretion of the employer. Such benefits should be described to new employees when they are first hired.
An employee is not entitled to overtime simply by working on a holidat. However, he is due overtime for holiday work if the employment agreement specifically provides for it. Additionally, if the employee works more than 40 hours in the workweek, he is entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times his regular rate.