Your Holiday Rights

The holiday season is officially upon us. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Day. What this means is excessive shopping, family gatherings, parties, and eating way too much. It also means arranging your work schedules to accommodate the holidays. In the midst of the seasons, you should be aware of your holiday rights as employees in California.

Unfortunately, employment laws are mostly employer-friendly when it comes to holiday time and pay. Specifically:

  • You are not entitled to days off on holidays. Businesses are free to remain open on any day that they choose, and are not required to close their doors on holidays.
  • You are not entitled to extra pay on holidays. California law does not require employers to pay employees extra when they work on holidays. Of course, many employers wisely have policies that pay employees extra for holiday work. Creating such a policy is entirely in the discretion of the employer. If your employer has such a policy, then you are entitled to such pay.
  • You are not entitled to paid time off. If your employer is closed on the holiday, you are not entitled under California law to be paid for the days the business is closed. However, it is common for employers to have existing policies that provide for employee pay on certain holidays.
  • If your standard payday is on the same day as a Federal holiday, your employer has the right to pay you the next business day instead.
  • Just because your spouse or friends have flexible holiday hours, get all state and federal holidays off, or get paid extra when they work holidays, does not mean that your employer is acting unlawfully. Instead, this is an indication that your spouse or friend works for a generous company that has such policies in place to observe holidays and keep employees happy.

A caveat to all of these rules is that you are protected from religious discrimination. If you need to take time off on a holiday for religious observation, your employer is required to provide you “reasonable accommodation” to facilitate this. What this accommodation actually looks like depends on the nature of the job and industry. An employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation for religious observation may open it up to liability.

Family Smiling at Christmas Table

Moss Bollinger Law Firm

Employees in California are protected by some of the strongest labor laws in the country. If you believe that your employer is acting unlawfully or has not properly protected you in the workplace, call Moss Bollinger. You need an attorney who understands the law and how to stand up against employers. Let us help you protect your legal rights. We don’t charge any fees up front and only get paid if you do. Call Moss Bollinger at (866) 535-2994, or contact us online.

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