As we move into what many refer to as the holiday season, employers may have questions about handling wages and the holidays. Here are four things for employers to understand about holidays and pay for hourly (non-exempt) employees.

  1. Hours worked on a holiday, Saturdays or Sundays should be treated like hours worked on any other day. This means that employers do not have to pay a special premium for work performed on those days, other than the overtime premium required for work performed in excess of eight hours in a workday, 40 hours in a workweek, or for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day. Depending on the number of hours worked each day of the workweek, a double-time premium for work performed may be required.
  2. Employers are not required to provide paid time off for holidays. An employer may be closed for the holidays and not pay employees or choose to operate even on days such as Thanksgiving.
  3. Paid time off for holidays does not count toward the overtime requirement. If an employer elects to provide paid holidays off, the hours paid but not worked do not count toward overtime.
  4. If payday falls on a holiday, the employer may pay on the next business day after the holiday. Under California law, employers may pay on the next business day after the holiday. The California Government Code identifies the following holidays:
  • January 1 — New Year’s Day
  • Third Monday in January — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 12 — Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Third Monday in February — George Washington’s Birthday
  • March 31 – Cesar Chaves Day
  • Last Monday in May — Memorial Day
  • July 4 — Independence Day
  • First Monday in September — Labor Day
  • September 9 – Admission Day
  • Fourth Friday in September – Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Second Monday in October — Columbus Day
  • November 11 — Veterans Day
  • Fourth Thursday in November — Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25 — Christmas
  • Other days appointed by the governor for a public fast, thanksgiving, or holiday