TO: All Massachusetts Chiefs of Police
Police Commissioner, City of Boston
FROM: Heather E. Rowe, Director
Department of Labor Standards
DATE: September 4, 2012
RE: Permits for Holiday Openings – Approved
Columbus Day (before 12:00 PM) - October 8, 2012
Observance of Veterans Day (before 1:00 PM) - November 12, 2012
The Department of Labor Standards must approve all local permits for retail stores and businesses to open on certain holidays, including Columbus Day before 12:00 PM. and Veterans Day before 1:00 PM. Any business may open on Columbus Day after 12:00 PM or on Veterans Day after 1:00 PM without a permit. Permits must be approved by the Department on a uniform basis statewide. See Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 136, §§ 6(50), 7, 13, 15.
Provided there has been a statewide approval by the Department of Labor Standards, the police chief in each city and town in the Commonwealth has the discretion to issue a permit for businesses located in that municipality to open for business prior to the times specified in the General Laws, namely 12:00 PM on Columbus Day or 1:00 PM on Veterans Day. Pursuant to the General Laws, police chiefs are not required to grant permits for these holidays. In granting permits, chiefs may also impose reasonable terms and conditions appropriate to the nature of the business and the good of the community, at their discretion.
Please be advised that the Department of Labor Standards hereby approves, on a statewide basis, all permits issued by local police chiefs for openings by establishments prior to 12:00 PM on Columbus Day, October 8, 2012, and prior to 1:00 PM on the date which Veterans Day will be observed, November 12, 2012.
Pursuant to Chapter 136, § 13, any retail establishment which operates on Columbus Day or the Veterans Day holiday must compensate employees who work on the holiday with time and one-half pay, and “such work shall be voluntary and refusal to work… shall not be grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, reduction in hours, or any other penalty.”
For further information please view our Blue Laws guidance page on our website at www.mass.gov/dols/bluelaws or contact the Department of Labor Standards at (617) 626-6952.