Human Resource Blog

Where HR Professionals Seek Answers

A Practical Source For Your Daily HR Needs.Lets Build An HR Blog Community Together! Want To Share Your HR Knowledge Or Gain Knowledge Through Other Professionals?Lets Discuss HR!

Jan19

Holiday pay when the holiday falls on a weekend?

July 4 falls on Saturday this year. My company needs to stay open on Friday due to client demands. How should we handle holiday pay? Is there any law in California that I must pay workers time-and-a-half for working on July 3?

This is a matter of company policy, not employment law.

There is no state or federal law that requires employers to give paid holidays to workers — even in California. If the employer chooses to offer this benefit, the employer decides what the policies regarding paid holidays are.

There is no federal or California law that requires an employer to pay workers time-and-a-half (or double-time, or any premium rate) when the employees work on a holiday. Occasionally a union contract will require such payments, but you would surely know if that applied to your company.

When a paid holiday falls on Saturday, the best practice in most industries is to count Friday as the paid holiday, and give as many employees as possible Friday off. Under this system, every employee is paid for 8 hours (straight time) more than he or she actually worked that week, as holiday pay. However, employers are under no obligation to do so. Some employers do not pay workers for a paid holiday when it falls on a non-work day. Again, this is legal in every state, as long as the employer applies it uniformly to all employees.

If you choose to pay employees for the holiday, an employee who was off on Friday would be paid for 8 hours of holiday pay at straight-time for that day. An employee who worked on Friday would be paid for the time they worked, plus 8 hours of straight time for holiday pay. Or you could choose to only pay employees for the hours they worked that week, if they are off on Saturday.

One caution: a few companies have the policy of giving holiday pay to employees who are off on the holiday itself. In your case, that might mean giving holiday pay to employees who were off on Friday, and not giving holiday pay to employees who worked on Friday. While this policy is legal, it is not recommended — it generates a lot of hostility among employees, which is the last thing you want a paid holiday to do.

Tags: , , , ,

This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 9:14 pm and is filed under
Benefits.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

33 Responses to “Holiday pay when the holiday falls on a weekend?”

  1. Lorraine Says:

    Thanks from CT, your information was very helpful in making our decision. Right now our company cannot afford to pay our employees for a day off for the holiday which falls on a Saturday (July 4th)

    “However, employers are under no obligation to do so. Some employers do not pay workers for a paid holiday when it falls on a non-work day. Again, this is legal in every state, as long as the employer applies it uniformly to all employees.”

    The fact that we are not obligated to do so makes us feel better knowing that we are not breaking any laws.

    L from CT

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Lorraine!
    We did want to add one comment. If the employer has promised in writing to pay a certain number of holidays, or to pay employees for July 4 every year, than employees may be entitled to such payment. However, the employer has the right change the policy. To be on the safe side, you should issue a memo stating that since July 4 falls on a non-work day this year, employees will not be paid for it. HTH,and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Thank you for the information above regarding “Holiday pay when holiday falls on a weekend.” My question is in regard to applying a holiday pay policy “uniformly to all employees.”

    My office’s Employee Handbook states that we observe Fourth of July as a paid holiday (which is being observed on Friday July 3rd this year). Our handbook states that “regular part-time employees are entitled to holidays pay if they are normally scheduled to work on the holiday,” but there is no mention of full-time employees entitlement to holiday pay as relates to their schedule (perhaps because “full-time” traditionally means 8 hours per day, 5 days per week) but according to our handbook full-time is 32 hours or more. Most of our employees work a 4 day schedule of 32 hours per week.

    Would you say the policy is being applied “uniformly” if one employee, who is scheduled to work M-Th is not paid for the Friday holiday since it falls on her/his non-work day, while another employee, scheduled to work M, T, Th, & F gets that Friday off with pay? I anticipate the reason that will be given for not paying the person who’s off on Friday is that that individual’s wages have been budgeted at 32 hours (no more) per week.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.

  4. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Rebecca! Yes, many employers do not pay workers for a holiday when the employee would be off on that day of the week anyway. Perhaps “consistently” is a better word than “Uniformly.”
    We would say that the holiday is being applied consistently if the employee who usually works on the holiday has it off with pay, and the employee who is usually off on that day of the week is not paid for the holiday.
    The problem comes into play if two employees both have the same schedule, but one is paid for the holiday and one is not. Suppose Jon and Tina both work M, T, Th & F. Tina gets Friday off with pay. Jon is off on Friday but is not paid. This is probably illegal discrimination, based on sex or perhaps another factor.
    But the system you describe sounds entirely reasonable. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  5. Stacy Says:

    I have been looking all over for an answer to this question to help in making our decision on how to handle holiday pay. This has been the best (and most clear) answer out there. Our office policy states that our employees will be paid for the independence day holiday and if it falls on the weekend it will be observed either the fri. before or the monday after. Our business is always closed on Fridays and this year we are working a regular schedule on Monday. With your info. I have decided to pay out the “extra” 8 hours of holiday pay in addition to our regularly scheduled week since I believe that is how our policy states it. Am I interpretting your answer correctly?
    Stacy

  6. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Stacy! That sounds like an excellent plan, due to the unique requirements of your business. Good Job!~ Caitlin

  7. Deann Says:

    Our employer is not giving us a day off and she is not paying us for the 4th of july even though it state in the employee handbook that we get payed for the 4th of july is this illegal

  8. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Deann! Yes, it probably is. There is no state or federal law that any employer must offer paid holidays, ever. If the employer does offer paid holidays, the employer establishes the policies regarding them, and can change those policies at any point.
    Your employer has decided that her policy is not to pay for holidays that occur when the office is closed. This is legal, even if she has paid for such holidays in the past. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  9. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Deann! Yes, it probably is legal. There is no state or federal law that any employer must offer paid holidays, ever. If the employer does offer paid holidays, the employer establishes the policies regarding them, and can change those policies at any point.
    Your employer has decided that her policy is not to pay for holidays that occur when the office is closed. This is legal, even if she has paid for such holidays in the past. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  10. Krista Says:

    Hi Caitlin,
    I have a friend in California who works Tues-Sat (40 hours per week)and coworkers who work Mon-Fri (40 hours per week). The employee manual states that certain holidays are paid for full time employees. If the paid holiday is observed on a Monday (and the business is closed) the employees regularly scheduled on Mondays receive the day off with pay. Although, my friend does not receive pay (even though he is a full-time employee and has the same job title as employees who are regularly scheduled to work on Mondays) because he is not scheduled to work on Monday. Is this illegal?
    Thanks,
    Krista

  11. Dyson Says:

    If your scheduled day off falls on a holiday, are you obligated to work? Can you be fired for not coming in?

  12. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Dyson! An employer can require an employee to work on a holiday, even if the employee is usually off on that day of the week. The employee can be fired for not showing up. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  13. Summer Says:

    My employer has stated in writing that I am to receive 8 paid holidays per year and even states each individual holiday. I work every M-W and Fridays, In 2009, 5 of those 8 paid holidays fell on my regularly scheduled day off… My employer did not pay me for those holidays. Should they have?

  14. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Summer! No, the employer is not obligated to pay you, when a holiday falls on your day off. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  15. Patti Says:

    The company I work for offers 10 paid holidays per year, the same 10 days each year. The dates are posted in January of each new year. This is my 3rd year and we have always been given these days off with pay. This year, three (3) holidays fall on Sat… Are we expected to just “lose” 3 paid holidays or should they either pay us an extra day or give us the day before off?
    I understand there are no State laws forcing them to give us holidays, but, company policy is “10” paid holidays per year, can they stop with no notice?
    Thanks for your help.
    Very Concerned, Patti

  16. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Patti! Yes, the company can change their holiday policy with no notice. Besides, they have given you notice — they posted a sign in January of what days would be paid holidays throughout the year. HTH,and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  17. ginny Says:

    I plan on paying our employees 8 hours for the 4th of july 2010 even though it falls on a sunday. Do I have to offer them a day off without pay to be taken sometime during the year to let them also have the time off they normally would have had if the 4th fell on a monday?? We are a medical practice and need to be open 6 days a week for our patients. so my employees will not get an extra day off they would have gotten if the 4th fell on another day.

  18. Caitlin Says:

    Hi ginny! You plan sounds very reasonable to us. There is no law that requires paid holidays, so this is entirely up to company policy. You do not have to give your employees a day off at another time. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  19. Patti Says:

    In our employee manual it states that the employee must work the business day before the holiday and the business day following the holiday to get paid for the holiday, as in the Friday before Memorial Day and the Tuesday after. For instance if an employee requests off the Thursday and Friday preceding Memorial Day as personal days, must he legally be paid for Memorial Day?

  20. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Patti! This is a matter of company policy rather than employment law. It is completely legal for the employer to set the policy that an employee who is off the day before or the day after a holiday will not be paid for it. This is a very common policy.

    Most employers implement this policy to prevent employees from calling in sick before or after a holiday. Many employers would permit the employee to schedule a personal day or vacation day before or after the holiday, and still collect holiday pay. However, there is no law that your employer must do so. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  21. Shannon Kelly Says:

    Hello,
    I have a contract with my employer that states we are to get the fourth of july off. This year the holiday falls on a Sunday and my employer does not believe we should get Monday off. It is however in our contract. Is this legal?

  22. Zoe Says:

    I am seriously in shock that there is no law in regards to an employer having to pay for a day they have promised(written handbook) to pay and all they have to do is send out a memo. The employee handbook is a bible to the workplace and apparently the employer can pick and choose which section of that handbook they want to implement and when they want to implement it. How can an employer offer amenities to lure you in and not be obligated to comply? It seems unfair and even as an employer, I would feel that I would be cheating my staff.

  23. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Zoe! You sound like a good manager. Unfortunately, sometimes an employer has to permanently change the written policy, for reasons beyond their control. So no, the employee handbook is not an immutable bible. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  24. Kelly Says:

    I came into work on July 5th and was sent by the employer after 2 hours of work. Is my employer required to pay me for the difference of the 8 hours for that day?

  25. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Kelly! If you are an hourly employee, in most states the answer is no. The employer is only required to pay you for the time you actually worked. A few states such as California have a minimum payment for the shift. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  26. Nicole Says:

    I have a friend who was informed that they would not receive holiday pay after they received their payroll checks. Since they were not informed prior to payroll that the holiday would not be observed and they were asked to work on the holiday believing that they would be paid, would this be considered grounds for legal action?

  27. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Nicole! No, this is probably not grounds for legal action. If your friend worked on the holiday, he or she is entitled to payment for the hours worked at the usual hourly rate.

    In some states, if the employer has made promises in writing (such as: Anyone who works on July 4 will be paid double-time)that might be enforcable. But in this case, it appears your friend just made an inaccurate assumption. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  28. Tashatelle Says:

    With regard to Christmas and New Years for 2011-they fall on a Sunday and our employee handbooklists these as holidays we honor.
    Does that mean that in essence since it is listed in our handbook as an employement agreement we have to give them Monday/Friday off and pay them as a regular holiday?

  29. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Tashatelle! The overwhelming majority of employers (about 85%) will observe the Christmas and New Years holidays this year by giving employees either Friday or Monday off with pay. Friday is the most popular choice, since most employees would rather have time off before the holiday. However, there is no federal law that requires this (and most states have no law that covers holidays, either.) Your company should honor the policy that is in place. For example, last year Christmas and New Years were on Saturday. If your company gave employees Friday off with pay last year, they should give either Monday or Friday off this year. However, again, there is no law that requires you to do so. A few employers will just say “sorry, out of luck — no paid holidays this year.” Employees are justified in nicknaming such employers “Scrooge.” HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  30. Greg Says:

    realy sounds like unions are still needed to protect the workers rights. if its in a manual written by a emploryer than they should give the day before or the day after and stand by there word

  31. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Greg! That is a good point and many others would agree with you. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Caitlin

  32. Jennifer Says:

    My employer has that July 4th is a paid holiday in the handbook. However, they sent out an email stating we are now required to work on our regular day off which is Monday in exchange for the holiday. This is the Monday before the Wednesday July 4th holiday. We are normally off on Sundays and Mondays. I asked if I could work the holiday instead due to the fact that I have obligations on my regular day off. They said no. I realize they do not have to pay for the holiday even though it is listed in the handbook even if they want to change it but can they require me to work my day off for it? It does not seem fair. They are the ones who selected it as a paid holiday. I am a salary employee also.. Please let me know the rules on this for me and them.

  33. hrlady Says:

    An exempt employee can be required to work seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year. An exempt employee is paid a salary and must perform the required duties to get the job done per the employer.

    In addition, an employer can have an employee work a holiday.

    Thank You for selecting the HumanResourceblog.com

Leave a Reply





  • [ Back ]
  • WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

Home Ask a Question Archives

© 2008 HumanResourceBlog.com, All Rights Reserved