By Judy Collins | Wednesday November 25, 2020
The subject of holiday pay for hourly employees is a potential minefield. Navigate carefully and you can stay out of trouble! There is no state or federal law that requires that an employee be paid for time off such as for a holiday or for vacation. The basic principle as stated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is that the FLSA “does not require payment for time not worked such as vacations or holidays.” Stated simply: “if you work, you get paid.”
The federal government recognizes specific holidays for federal workers, in which case the worker has these days off, without pay. In some cases, public employees may be paid for this time off if it is a benefit offered as part of their employment agreement. Each state designates its own public holidays which apply to state workers. Private industry is not required to grant time off on these days, but often follows federal lead for the most common holidays. You should become familiar with the local state laws where you have employees working so that you can avoid pitfalls associated with how time, especially overtime, is treated, as we will see below.
Many employers do offer holiday pay, but these benefits must be clearly specified in writing in an employee handbook or an employment agreement. The employee, when hiring on, will be informed of these policies and, by accepting employment, agree with them. Some companies have stipulations that require an employee to be on the job for a specified minimum time before they are granted time off with pay. It is vitally important to have all your holiday pay and vacation time policies clearly stated in writing so there are no misunderstandings. This makes for an informed and happy work force.
Overtime does not calculate into holiday pay but is only based upon hours worked. Federal law specifies that overtime is calculated weekly: If an employee works over 40 hours during the week of a typical holiday, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day for example, employees are entitled to “time and a half” for any hours worked over 40 hours. This applies to all workers, state, federal, and private. Some states have different overtime rules. California, for example, calculates overtime by the hours worked in a day and how many consecutive days the employee works. Private employers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island require employers to grant employees time off for any state-designated holiday or pay extra when they do work.
Finally, there is the complication of “Blue Laws” by which some states govern holiday work. These laws differ between retail, non-retail, and manufacturing. Check and see if your state has Blue Laws.
You can outsource these headaches by partnering with a back-office provider such as Evergreen Contract Resources. Back-office providers typically keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations issued by the federal, state, and local jurisdictions. These services can be provided immediately if you are set up in advance. Call Evergreen today and we will set you up. There is no cost. No obligation. Use us when you need us. Don’t fret over HOLIDAY PAY…FOR TEMP AND CONTRACT PLACEMENTS!
Evergreen Contract Resources
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This is not intended for legal advice. Consult your attorney for specific guidance.
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