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California Holiday Pay Laws

Is a company required to pay its employees on the holidays? Which days are considered a holiday? Do you have to work on a holiday?  Will there be anything different with the pay?

As we approach the holiday season after dealing with covid-19 for several months, the above questions are questions commonly asked by employees as more and more people plan on traveling to their families this season. Employee rights depend largely on the state you are located in. Although the federal government has general employee laws, there are several states that advocate for stronger employee rights in the workplace. For example, several west coast states such as California and Nevada are strong proponents for employee rights. They have expansive detailed laws that specify when an employee should be paid and their rights during the holidays. For example, California and Nevada both have minimum wages enforced that is higher than the federal government.

Before bringing a claim against your employer for unpaid wages or for failing to give holidays off, first, our skilled Los Angeles law attorneys recommend that the employee looks at their employment contract or Human Resources guidebook. Usually, the contract that the employee’s sign before beginning their employment outlines the employee’s rights, their pay, and the days they are required to work.  For example, when negotiating your employment contract, an employee could negotiate for a higher paid salary over the weekends.

What is holiday pay?

Holiday pay is when employees are paid more than what they would normally receive since they are working on a holiday. Holiday pay oftentimes depends on the private employer. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require extra payment for the holidays worked. This means on a federal level; employers are not required to pay extra for their employees were working on a holiday.

What about salary employees?

Salary employees are those that receive one stagnant lump sum with every paycheck rather than being paid hourly. Even if the employer is offering extra pay during the holiday season, salary employees will not receive extra pay for working overtime or on holidays.

Mandatory Holidays in California

California has ruled that there are specific days that are considered a holiday. On these days, all government entities and businesses are closed. If you work for the federal government, on these days employees are granted extra holiday pay. A different set of rules exist for those who work for the federal government. They are entitled to more benefits, and more days off than an average company. These days include:

  • New Year’s Day new line Independence Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Martin Luther King Day

Could I get religious accommodations?

Employers are required to provide accommodations for those who cannot work during religious observances. This needs to be communicated to the employer in advance. What is considered an accommodation differs based on the type of circumstance and what the employee needs. To avoid any miscommunication or future problems, it is advised that the employee communicate everything to the employer when first getting hired.

Could I get paid extra for working on the weekends?

Neither California nor Nevada requires extra pay for working on the weekends. However, for several service positions, tips may increase during this period since service businesses, such as restaurants and theaters, are oftentimes busy over the weekend. But generally, an employer is not required to pay extra just because their employees are working over the weekend. The employees’ hours worked on Saturdays and Sundays are treated similar to any other hour of the week.

What if the holiday falls on payday?

If the payday falls on a holiday, the employer is not required to pay on that holiday. Instead, the employers are required to pay the next business day after the holiday. If you have questions about your contract and believe that your employment contract has been breached, contact our Los Angeles holiday pay attorneys today to receive just compensation.

Overtime Pay

California requires that when an employee works more than 40 hours a week, those extra hours are paid as time and a half. Although employees are not entitled to receive a holiday off, they are entitled to receive time-and-a-half for their work. If you are working overtime, regardless of whether it is a holiday or not, working overtime your employers required to pay you.

Nevada holiday pay laws

Similar to California, there is no Nevada law that requires that private employers have to pay paid holidays to their employees. But Nevada employers provide their employees with several paid holidays.

Not working on the holidays

Although California does not require employees to take off on the holidays, several other employers may offer paid time off on the holidays. There are different options an employer could offer to their employees. This includes:

  • When the company has a specific policy that there are paid holidays off
  • When the employee negotiates with the employer to have holidays off
  • When the employer tells the employee that they will get overtime holiday pay in their employment letter

California holiday pay law proposals

Several times in the past organizations have wanted to pass days off for employees who work on the holidays. For example, the Double Pay on the Holiday Act of 2016 was proposed in California but was never signed into law. The proposed rule was to pay 2 times the regular rate an employee would make on a holiday. However, to this date, no law has been explicitly passed.

If you believe your employer has denied giving you your fair pay at work or has wrongfully terminated your employment, contact our employment attorneys today to request a free consultation. At your no-risk consultation, our experienced attorneys will work to determine if you have a valid employment claim against your employer. We deal with several employment claims such as denial of wages and unfair retaliation. We understand that someone’s job is very important and everyone deserves a right to be fairly paid for their work. A skilled Los Angeles attorney will help you determine the best steps for your specific case because everyone deserves to be paid for the work that they put in. You need to speak with lawyers who are qualified attorneys as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, there are no federal or state laws that require holiday pay. But, if your employment contract provides for it, you may have a claim. Because an employment contract depends on a case-by-case basis, it is important to hire an experienced Los Angeles attorney to better determine what the employment contract contains and whether you could get that day off. We have offices located in every major city in California including Fresno, Irvine, Los Angeles, etc.

If you have questions about your employment, we suggest you contact your human resources department to determine if you will receive holiday pay.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.