Four common holiday pay questions

Holiday pay questionsFour common holiday pay questions our employment lawyers answer for you.

Many stores will be open extended hours this week because of Black Friday and many people are probably asking themselves what the laws are concerning holiday pay. Our employment lawyers have taken the liberty to answer four common holiday pay questions for you so that you can be certain you are paid correctly this season.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that mandates wage and hour issues for employees. This law states that workers must be paid for all hours actually worked. So here are a few common scenarios that might apply to you on Thanksgiving or any holiday this season.

1.  Does my employer have to give me time off on holidays?

No. There is no federal law that requires an employer to provide time off to employees on national holidays. Private employers may provide holidays off or holiday pay, but there is no law that requires them to give you the day off. U.S. laws state that businesses can be open for business 365 days a year and can require employees to work on any of those days. The term "federal holiday" simply means the post office and government agencies are closed.

2.  Does my employer have to pay me for holiday time off or vacation time?

No. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees should be paid for time actually worked. This means that employees are not entitled to pay for holiday time off, sick time, or vacation time. However, salaried employees who get the day off have to be paid their full weekly salary if they work any time during the holiday week.

3.  If I do work a holiday am I supposed to receive a bonus or premium pay?

While it is common for many employers to pay a premium to employees who work on a holiday there is no requirement in the FLSA for your employer to pay you extra. If you work a holiday or if your employer gives you paid time off for a holiday the rate is the same as your normal rate of pay. However, if you work over 40 hours in a week you should receive overtime if you are a non-exempt employee.

4.  If my company closes on Christmas Day or New Year's Day should I be paid for those days?

No. Companies that close on these days may pay employees for that time, but there is no law that requires them to.

If you believe you have not been paid your correct wages or overtime pay you can contact our wage lawyers for a free case review today at 888-449-2068. You can also order our free book, The 10 Biggest Mistakes that can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim.