Holiday Pay Laws & Holiday Work Laws in California

Brad Nakase, Attorney

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When someone works weekends or holidays, the time worked is regarded as if those hours were worked on any other day. In the state of California, an employer does not need to give their employees paid holidays. The law also does not require them to shut down whenever there is a holiday. Finally, the law does not require them to give any time off for any holiday.

An employer may shut down their business on a holiday, while also letting their employees take off that day. If that is the case, this would be something guided by an internal policy. Whatever terms an employee agreed to with a company are the terms which they will have to abide by. This is because there are no laws on the books that mandate a business give their workers time off.

Also, there are no laws that require employers to pay extra when someone working for them works on a holiday or weekend. The only requirement is that they pay them overtime if that worker is working over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.

Are You Entitled to Getting Paid More Because You Worked on a Holiday?

Believe it or not, there are no laws in the state of California that require any business to pay you more, just because you worked on a holiday. This is also true if the day happens to be a Saturday or Sunday. This means that even if you worked 8 hours on a holiday like July 4th, you will get paid as if it was a normal day.

The only time it would be mandated that you get paid more is if you worked over 8 hours on any single workday. This also holds true if you worked beyond 40 hours over the course of the week. Your employer may have a company policy stating employees get paid extra because they worked during a holiday. If this is the case, then you would potentially be getting paid more. Also, if you are part of a union that worked out a deal with your employer, you many be entitled to earning more. However, as far as the laws in the state of California are concerned, there is only one requirement. An employer is only required to pay their employers for time worked beyond 8 hours within a day and 40 hours within a week.

Is It Illegal for an Employer to Demand You Work on a Holiday?

No, it is not.

State law does not specify anything about the need for any business to close on certain days. This is regardless of what holiday it may be.

An employer has full control over what days, if any at all, it decides to open or close. This means that if your employer decides they want to be open every day of the year, they can. This is true even if that means asking you to work on days that happen to be holidays. There is nothing illegal occurring. All they would have to do is make sure they are paying you overtime.

If You Work 48 Hours in a Week With a Paid Holiday, Do You Get Overtime?

No, you do not. An employer may decide to pay you for 8 hours of a holiday you did not work. You may have worked 40 hours over the course of the week, which would total 48 hours. However, since you did not actually work those 8 holiday hours, there will not be any overtime.

Any employer has the right to pay you for any holidays not worked at their discretion. There is no law on the books mandating they pay for a holiday. This means there is no requirement for them to pay you overtime on a holiday you did not work.

Overtime pay is based on the number of hours you actually worked. When you do not work over 8 hours any given day, or 40 in a week, you will not get overtime.

Is an Employer Legally Required to Pay for Holidays, Even If You Do Not Work on Them?

No, they are not. Paying for holidays not worked is a policy that varies from one company to another. One employer may decide to pay their employees for holidays not worked, whereas another may not. There is nothing illegal being done when an employee does not pay for holidays you did not work on.

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