Is Making Employees Work on Holidays Legal?

There are few things more disgruntling to an employee than finding out they have to work on a holiday. Plans to go out of town can go up in smoke in seconds. This often leads employees to wonder whether they have any rights to time off on holidays.

In California, hours worked on weekends and holidays, are generally treated like hours worked on any other day. California does not require an employer provide its employees with paid holidays or give the holidays off. An employer may pay extra for holidays and even give its employees paid time off, but that is up to the employer. They may choose to create a policy giving specific days off, or make that a term of a collective bargaining agreement or employment agreement, but California law does not require employers do so.

Additionally, there is nothing in the law that mandates an employer pay an employee extra for work performed on a holiday or weekend. In other words, an employee is not entitled to overtime pay on a holiday or weekend unless they have already worked over eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek.

There are also no federal requirements that employees get paid or unpaid time off or overtime on holidays. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes federal wage standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments, does not require sick pay, paid vacations, or paid holidays.

Any benefits entitled to an employee regarding holidays are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee. It is important for an employee to read their employee manual or applicable contract, and make themselves aware of all agreements with their employer regarding entitled time off and pay.

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 23rd, 2014|General Labor Law|