California Holiday Pay Laws

Posted by Sessions & Kimball |

Many people wonder if their employers are permitted to force them to work on holidays. If they insist that you clock in, are you entitled to overtime? It’s important to know the holiday compensation rules so you can ensure that all of your rights are protected. If you believe your employer is forcing you to work when the state or federal laws don’t require that you do, or you believe you aren’t being compensated appropriately, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Orange County employment lawyer right away.

Can An Employer Force You to Work on a Holiday?

In California, your employer is not required to offer you time off for a holiday. Typically, if the employer is open for business and you’re scheduled to work, you must work even if it’s a holiday. Additionally, there is no requirement that your California employer offers you extra pay for work that you perform on a holiday. You are not entitled to any type of overtime or extra compensation.

There Are Some Exceptions

However, there are some exceptions. In some cases, your employer may be contractually bound to provide you with holiday pay. If they have a workplace policy that stipulates they will offer paid holidays, or they’ve promised in an employment contract that you will get paid for holidays, then they must follow through with holiday pay.

Additionally, your employer might be required to pay you overtime if you work on a holiday if you are a union member and the collective bargaining agreement stipulates that there will be holiday pay. If your employer is legally required to provide holiday pay and has unpaid overtime, you should contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

Does California Have Weekend Pay?

California law does not require you to be paid extra for working on the weekends. Under California law, weekends are essentially the same as any other workday in terms of wages.

Not Required to Pay For Holiday Time Off

Even if your employer does not require you to work on a holiday, they are not required to compensate you for the day off. They can permit you to take the day off, but you’re not entitled to anything else as far as extra compensation.

What If You Can’t Work on a Holiday?

Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations for you if you cannot work on a particular holiday due to religious observances. This is only true so long as the accommodation does not cause an undue hardship on your employer.

Reasonable accommodations may include changing your schedule, allowing you to work from home, allowing you to take breaks during the day for prayer, or anything else reasonable that would help accommodate the fact that an employee cannot work on an observed holiday. It’s also important to note that an employer is absolutely not permitted to retaliate against you for being unable to work on a holiday for religious reasons.

Contact a Lawyer for Assistance

If you believe your employer is forcing you to work extra hours without just cause, are refusing to make accommodations, or you just have questions about the laws surrounding holiday pay, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced employment lawyer right away.