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You are Here: Home > Blog > About the Labor Day Holiday

Employee Rights Blog

Employee Rights and Related Matters

About the Labor Day Holiday

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Labor Day, a U.S. national holiday that honors workers, occurs each year on the first Monday of September. Labor Day 2016 occurs on Monday, September 5.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), exactly who founded the Labor Day holiday is unclear.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, General Secretary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, now the AFL-CIO, was the first to suggest the holiday.

But other records show that it was Machinist Matthew Maguire, Secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, who founded the holiday.

Regardless of who founded Labor Day, it was the Central Labor Union that established it. The Central Labor Union was an early trade union organization in New York, Brooklyn and New Jersey. It later broke up into local unions that joined what was to become today’s AFL-CIO.

Workers celebrated the first Labor Day in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The holiday moved to the first Monday of September in 1884, when the Central Labor Union encouraged unions in other cities to celebrate the “workingmen’s holiday”.

By 1894, thirty-one states had enacted legislation to honor workers on the Labor Day holiday. In June of the same year, Congress passed an act to make the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

EmployeeIssues.com wishes you a pleasant Labor Day 2016. For more about the holiday, see The History of Labor Day from the DOL.

For general information about whether or not employers must give their employees paid holiday time off, see the article Holiday Pay – Paid Holidays here at EmployeeIssues.com.

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