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Holiday Pay… or should I say, How-do-I-PAY?

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With the holiday around the corner, I’m sure employers are asking, “how do I pay my employees?” While most everyone is looking forward to relaxing over the holiday, business owners are feeling increasingly anxious and asking themselves “how do I pay since the holiday falls on the calendar mid-week?” or “do I have to pay my employees over-time or double?” and “am I required to give them the day off?”

Employers in California aren’t required to provide employees with paid holidays, time off (Note: Accommodation of religious holidays is required in certain circumstances.), nor are they required to pay additional wages if the employee works on the holiday.

Companies can choose to offer paid holidays and should communicate their holiday policies in their employee handbook. Workplace policies establish vacation, holidays, and paid time off requirements. This should bring the employer some holiday cheer – since neither federal law nor California law requires employers to give holiday pay whether you have exempt or non-exempt hourly paid employees, there isn’t much the employee can do, legally, about it.

If the holiday falls on the calendar mid-week, like the Fourth of July falls on a Thursday this year, some businesses will stay open the entire week while others will close for both days. If the business chooses to stay open the whole week, some employees may ask to take a vacation and some may call out sick. Your holiday policy will determine how you handle these situations. Additionally, if payday falls on the holiday your policy will clearly state whether you pay them the day prior or the day after the holiday.

It is up to your policy on whether you can deny the employees request for time off if they requested it per policy requirements. Sick leave, however, is a little different. Under California law, the employee is protected from the employer disciplining or otherwise denying the leave if the employee has accrued paid sick days and is using them. If the employer takes action against an employee such as a termination or suspension it could result in a wrongful termination, retaliation, or discrimination.

If you’re an employer who wants to relax on their holiday just like their employees, bizhaven partners with you to navigate through uncertainty, effectively implementing policy, and ensuring compliance within the business so that you are protected.

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