- Department of Labor Standards
Media Contact for Statewide Approval for Early Openings on Columbus & Veterans Day 2019
Michael Flanagan, Interim Director
Massachusetts — To: All Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, Police Commissioner, City of Boston
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 14, 2019, and prior to 1:00 PM on Veterans Day, November 11, 2019.
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws 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."
The Department of Labor Standards must approve all local permits for retail stores and business 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.
In accordance with this statewide approval, and M.G.L. c. 136, §§ 13 and 15, police chiefs in each city and town in the Commonwealth hereafter have discretion to issue permits for businesses located in their municipalities to open for business prior to 12:00 PM on Columbus Day - 2019 or 1:00 PM on Veterans Day - 2019. Police chiefs are not required to grant permits for these holidays and, if they grant 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.