Do I Get Paid More for Working on Thanksgiving?

Posted By Alan Burton Newman, PLC || 23-Nov-2016

It’s that time of year again. As the holidays begin to come around and employees begin to get antsy, it’s important to understand your rights as they relate to holiday wages in California. Are you entitled to time-and-a-half pay? Do you automatically get time off for holidays? These are common questions that many employees have, especially if they believe that their employer is taking advantage of them.

List of Federal Holidays

Thanksgiving falls under the federal holidays list. Unfortunately, unless you work for the government, chances are that you will not be entitled to taking a day off for each of these holidays.

Federal holidays include the following:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Washington’s Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If you work for a private employer, you need to check your holiday policies to find out how your company handles time off and holiday pay.

Time Off & Holiday Pay in California

California does not require employers to pay their employees when the office is closed for a federal holiday. In addition, private employers in California are not required to give their employees a certain holiday off. However, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees who wish to take holidays off for religious reasons.

For example, if you wish to take Christmas day off to spend with family, your employer may or may not grant that request. You could still be scheduled to work on Christmas day and be obligated to come in and work your shift. However, if you request Christmas off due to religious reasons, your employer may be obligated to make reasonable accommodations for you to be absent from work that day.

It is important to note that your employer does not have to pay you extra for working over the holidays. While many private employers choose to pay their employees extra, it is not mandatory.

The best way to handle time off over Thanksgiving and other holidays is to speak with your employer or other manager about your options.

Unfortunately, as an employee for a private employer in California, you aren’t entitled to much in terms of holidays. However, if you are being discriminated against due to your religious beliefs and are not able to observe certain holidays because of unreasonable management, you may have a case.

To learn more about your situation, contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC. Our skilled Los Angeles employment law attorney can capably handle your case.