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Am I Entitled to Paid Time off During the Holidays?


With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve just around the corner, our lawyers at K2 Employment Law Group have been receiving more questions from clients regarding whether their employers can fire them during the holidays for taking time off. That is why we put together this helpful guide to cover some of the common misconceptions people have about labor laws.

Misconception #1: Workers Are Entitled to Federal or Religious Holidays

Under the law, holidays are just another business day, which means private employers can decide if they want to let the workers take a day off. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, MLK Day, and Christmas are commonly called “federal” holidays, only federal employees are guaranteed these days off.

Misconception #2: Workers Must Be Paid the Overtime Rate on Holidays

Even though the holidays are busy and many employees are forced to work longer hours, there is no special law that requires employers to pay overtime instead of the regular pay rate on holidays. However, if you work more than eight hours on a holiday, you are still entitled to overtime pay under standard labor laws. If your employer does offer paid time off for holidays, then they don’t have to count it when deciding if you qualify for overtime compensation.

Misconception #3: Workers Are Supposed to Be Paid for Holiday Time Off

Whether you get paid for taking time off during the holidays depends on if you’re a nonexempt (hourly) employee or an exempt (salaried with no overtime) employee. If you’re classified as nonexempt, your employer doesn’t have to pay you if you take a day off for the holidays. If you’re classified as exempt, then your employer must pay your full salary for the week, including the days you took off for the holidays.

We Represent Employees Throughout California

At K2 Employment Law Group, our team of experienced employment law attorneys is here to answer your questions and explain all of the labor rights you are entitled to under the law. If you believe you have been wrongfully fired or unjustly compensated for taking time off during the holidays, then you need to get in touch with our firm today to discuss your situation. We will use our extensive resources and knowledge of the law to represent your best interests!

To speak to a lawyer at K2 Employment Law Group, call (800) 590-7674 to set up your free case consultation.