Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani

Are California Employees Eligible for Holiday Pay?

Certain California employees are confused with the State’s ruling about legal holiday pay. In the United States, many states require employers to provide additional pay or benefits to employees who perform work during legal holidays. However, it is a different case for California. In the State, there is no specific California labor and employment law requiring employers to give additional salary to workers during holidays. According to California Department of Industrial Relations, the number of hours rendered for work on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays should be considered as hours worked on any regular day of the work week. Hence, employers are not required to provide additional pay to an employee who performs work duties on a legal holiday or weekend. Additionally, according to the Department, the following are California’s ruling regarding legal holiday pay: 1. California labor and employment law does not legally oblige private entities to provide their employees with additional holiday-related pay 2. The State does not require employers to close their businesses during holidays 3. No California law requires employers to give employees day off because of legal holiday 4. California employment law does not oblige employers to provide their employees with special premium for work performed on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday 5. Labor law in California does not bar employers from creating a policy that aims to provide additional pay to their employees who work on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday 6. The State does not prohibit employers from providing incentives to employees who render work during holidays and weekends. California employers who intend to provide additional pay to their employees during legal holidays may do so. In relation to this, according to California Employment Development Department (EDD), the following are the legal holidays observed in the State: • New Year’s Day – January 1 • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday – Third Monday in January • Lincoln’s Birthday – February 12 • George Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day – Third Monday in February • Cesar Chavez Day – March 31 • Emancipation Day – April 15 • Memorial Day – May 30 • Independence Day – July 4 • Labor Day – First Monday in September • California Admission Day – September 9 • Columbus Day – Second Monday in October • Veterans Day – November 11 • Thanksgiving – Last Thursday in November • Christmas – December 25

In order to learn more about the legalities behind California holiday pay, it is advisable for employers to consult with employment lawyers. Additionally, employees, on the other hand, may seek assistance from government agencies regarding their rights about holiday pays in the State.

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