As we approach the holiday season, employers may have uncertainty about handling holiday pay and related issues with holiday closures.

Under California law, hours worked on holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays are treated like hours worked on any other day of the week. In other words, there is no requirement that employers pay an employee a special premium for work performed on a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, other than the overtime premium required for work performed in excess of eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek.

There is also no requirement that an employer provides employees with paid holidays. If an employer provides paid holidays for its employees, the hours paid for the holiday do not count toward hours worked for purposes of overtime calculation.

Another issue that employers should consider with wages and the holidays are paydays. If a designated payday will fall on a holiday listed in the California Government Code, including a Saturday or Sunday, employers may pay on the next business day after the holiday.

The holidays listed in the Government Code are as follows:

  • January 1 — New Year’s Day
  • Third Monday in January — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 12 — Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Third Monday in February — 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