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Time Off for Holidays and Holiday Pay Under California Law

December 9, 2020 Legal Team

All throughout California, many employers offer their employees holidays off with pay. Some may offer you hours that you can work on holidays, and they pay you additional holiday time wages as compensation. This arrangement sounds like a great idea, but it is not the case for everyone.

Employees should recognize the state of California’s laws concerning holiday hours and pay. Below, we’ll explain how California law handles matters of holiday hours, pay, and what circumstances warrant legal options to pursue compensation.

What is Holiday Pay in California?

In California, if an employee works on a holiday, then the employer may pay them at their usual rate of pay. California employers are not required to pay employees extra money for working on an official holiday.

Do Employers Have to Pay Holidays?

California law does not require employers in the state to offer their employees paid holidays off, nor do they have to offer holiday pay or overtime pay for hours worked on a national holiday. Many employees believe that they are entitled to receive a national holiday off, but many businesses do not close their doors for holidays.

Regarding pay, the only state-mandated law that entitles employees to overtime pay is the same regulation stating that anything more than 40 hours in a workweek deserves time and a half. If you work on a holiday, but you’re within 40 hours, your employer does not have to pay you overtime for working on the holiday.

The Exceptions to the Rules

While California laws do not require paid holidays or overtime pay for holidays, there are some exceptions that would entitle you to receive one or the other. These circumstances may change how your employer handles paid holidays or overtime holiday pay:

  • The company has a private policy that informs employees that they will have specific paid holidays or overtime pay for specific holidays
  • There is a collective bargaining agreement giving employees the day off on specific holidays or pays them overtime for specific holidays
  • The employee and employer detail paid holidays or overtime holiday pay in the offer letter when hiring the employee

You may not take legal action against an employer for denying you a paid holiday or overtime holiday pay unless it is contractually obligated, or the overtime holiday pay meets the regular overtime pay requirements. Our Orange County employment lawyers at Aegis Law Firm are here to help you understand your rights.

Call our firm today at (949) 379-6250 or fill out an online form if you feel you have a case.